ONE OF the driving forces behind the success of the IW Rugby Football Club (IWRFC), Roy Jones has died at the Earl Mountbatten Hospice on Sunday (18), aged 90.
As a proud Welshman, his great passion in life was the game of rugby and the Wales team. Latterly, he continued to attend Welsh internationals.
Having trained as an engineer, Mr Jones moved to the Island in 1956 to pursue a career in engineering — joining Saunders Row, and later the British Hovercraft Corporation, East Cowes, where he rose to the position of training manager.
During his time with the company he coached the apprentice’s rugby team and the IWRFC first team.
A stalwart of the IWRFC, Mr Jones, of Cambridge Road, East Cowes, served as its chairman and helped develop and build its clubhouse.
He was also a rugby union referee, officiating in matches across the southern region.
To mark his passing, there will be a minute’s silence observed before the first team’s home game, against Chineham, at Wootton, tomorrow (Saturday, September 24).
Current club chairman, Ollie Boulter, paid tribute to the active role Mr Jones had taken in the management of the club and the development of its players as a coach.
"Roy was a very influential character, the archetypal gentleman and a fanatical rugby fan. There is absolutely no doubt the club would not be where it is today without his influence and input," he said.
"He lead from the front and was a driving force behind the scenes. Roy will be sorely missed by everyone at the club and all those who knew him in rugby circles."
Mr Jones was born on August 1, 1926, in the small mining community of Aberaman, South Wales.
On turning 18, he joined the Welsh Guards and served in West Germany and Palestine at the end of the Second World War. During his time with the regiment, he played for the London Welsh rugby club.
In retirement, Mr Jones served Osborne Golf Club in various roles for 16 years and stood down to care for his wife of 63 years, Jeannette.
He is survived by his wife, two brothers, daughter, Claire Underwood, grandson, Chris, and great-granddaughter, Hope.
Mr Jones’s funeral will be held at the IW Crematorium, Whippingham, at 11.15am on Monday (26).