Dewsbury Rams is sad to announce the passing of former player, coach and current club president Jack Addy.
Jack had been suffering from dementia for some time, along with other health conditions, and was recently admitted back into hospital where he sadly passed away today aged 81.
Dewsbury RLFC was a major part of Jack’s life, beginning with his early days as a player in the Colts team, but it was his time as head coach that really stood out.
He first took on the role in the 1983/84 season after the resignation of Tommy Smales and slowly put together a team capable of challenging for promotion.
He made his first partnership with Norman Smith – a partnership that was to come together more than once.
He persuaded local boy Dave Busfield to join from Hull as team leader and his contacts with the other side of the world led to what became the inspirational signings of Chris Mita and Tony Murphy.
He persuaded Nigel Stephenson to come back to the club from Wakefield Trinity and Jack’s leadership and astute coaching ensured that Dewsbury ended the season with promotion to the top division.
The following season, in the top flight, saw Jack recruit Neil Kelly and so started an association and later friendship that was to last through the rest of Jack’s life.
Without the funds to compete with the “big boys”, Jack ensured that the team could compete in the elite league.
He decided to move to Huddersfield for a similar role when he felt it was right for new blood to move in at Dewsbury, but he would soon be back at his spiritual home of Crown Flatt.
After a spell as assistant to Maurice Bamford, Jack again took on the role of head coach in December 1990. He steadied the ship in what would be Dewsbury’s final season at Crown Flatt.
Jack was then instrumental in getting Norman Smith back to the club, first as his assistant, and then in the role of head coach, paving the way for his successor at a time many supporters remember for the fast-flowing exciting style of rugby that they coached the players to achieve.
Jack’s association with the club was to continue long after his coaching days had finished, with roles serving the club on the committee, before taking on the role of club president and being a steadying influence throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s.
He also helped to save the club a lot of money by taking on maintenance jobs that would otherwise have had to be tackled externally, even standing in as head coach for a handful of games when called upon.
Jack met his partner, Pat, outside of rugby but he soon made sure she caught the bug and they were a familiar sight together at the games, as well as being regularly mentioned over the tannoy as club sponsors.
Jack also loved his cricket, playing to a high standard in a competition then known as the Yorkshire Council.
He also enjoyed golf, but it is for what he did for rugby, and in particular Dewsbury Rams RLFC, that he will be remembered for.
Jack will be sadly missed and our condolences go to Pat, and to all of his friends and to his family.
He will be dearly missed.
A befitting tribute to Jack will be arranged once more normal times return to all of our lives.
The picture is of Jack with the promotion winning team he put together.
Image below: Jack with the promotion-winning team he put together