TRIBUTES have been paid to long-standing Plymouth rugby official Graham Emond, who sadly died on Wednesday aged 71.
Emond was made a life member of Devonport Services a few seasons ago after 25 years of service to the club.
He was also on the executive committee of the Plymouth & District Rugby Combination and was at one time a Devon RFU committee member.
For many years he helped organise the Devon Under-16 Fisherman’s Cup and was involved with the county under-16 side and also the England Under-16 squad.
Emond put a lot of time into youth rugby, first at Plymouth Albion and then at Devonport Services, and lots of players were grateful for his efforts.
Former Devonport Services junior Luke Arscott, who currently plays in the Premiership for Bristol, said: “He did so much for the development of many youngsters, myself included. He will be sorely missed.”
Mike Yeats, of Devonport Services and the Plymouth Combination, said: “He will be sadly missed at the club and in many other areas of sports and volunteering.
“Over the 30 years I have known him it never ceased to amaze me how much he did for other people.”
As well as rugby, Emond was heavily involved with the army cadet force and organised many of their sporting events, rugby, swimming and athletics.
Recently he became involved much more with the British Legion in Plymouth and a few years ago was awarded an MBE.
“With his passing there will be many people who will suddenly realise just how much volunteering he did because this or that was not being done or organised as it had been,” added Yeats.