Club pays tribute to Hartlepool rugby legend

Bob Bateman
Bob Bateman

A COMMEMORATION evening is to be held celebrating the life of a rugby club legend.

Bob Bateman joined West Hartlepool Rugby Club as a young player almost 60 years ago, and was always involved in the club until his death in May, aged 73.

Throughout his long service to West Hartlepool RFC Bob held almost every role possible within the club, captaining and coaching the team before becoming club chairman and ultimately president, and was recognised as one of the driving forces behind the club’s peak years in the 1990s.

Originally from Wolviston before moving to Shropshire, Bob sadly passed away in May after a long battle with cancer, but he made it clear that he wanted one last celebration of his time with West Hartlepool once he was gone.

And August 31 will see Bob’s final wish come to life, as a commeration evening will be held in his memory at West Hartlepool Rugby Club, on Catcote Road.

The event will see people from all over the local and rugby community come together to celebrate the life of one of West Hartlepool RFC’s true legends.

Long-time friend Dave Stubbs, the chief executive of Hartlepool Council, said: “Members of Bob’s family and people from the rugby community will be coming up from around the country for it.

“There’ll be a few short speeches on the night, but nothing long or morbid, we want it to be more about the funny parts of Bob’s life.

“We want to do it with a smile on our faces and to remember all the good times, as it is what he would have wanted.

“I’m looking forward to it in a peverse sort of way, as I’ll be able to say all the good things I really want to.”

The event, which is free to attend, starts at 7.30pm on August 31, and will feature a selection of Bob’s favourite music and there will also be a buffet.