Tributes to Rugby Lions' dedicated president and owner David Owen

Rugby Lions pay tribute after sad news that former chairman and owner David Owen has died

David Owen watching a game from the clubhouse balcony, with former player Eddie Saunders in 2009 (Archive picture by Mike Baker)

Rugby Lions have been paying tribute and expressing their gratitude to president and owner David Owen, who died at the weekend.

With a dedication and passion for the Lions and the game, David had led and backed the Webb Ellis Road club since the late 1990s, but began preparing to hand over the reins last summer because of his ill health.

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In an announcement on the Rugby Lions RFC Facebook page, their statement says: “The club are devastated to bring you the very sad news of the passing of Club President and owner, David Owen MBE.

David first became Chairman of the club some 25 years ago and will be remembered by many for his very vocal support from the Webb Ellis Road balcony on matchdays.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all David’s family and friends at this very difficult time.”

Supporters, players and those involved with the Lions over the years, have been paying tribute in their many comments, describing him as a true gentleman and clubman, who was respected by all and will be greatly missed – as well as expressing their appreciation for everything he did for the club.

The Mini and Junior section have also added their sympathy on their Rugby Lions Minis and Juniors Facebook page: “Today, we share the club's devastating news of the passing of Club President and Owner, David Owen.

David was always present at our M&Js presentation evenings, awarding the next generation of Lions their medals and club ties.

Our thoughts and prayers are with David's family and friends at this difficult time.”

Paying tribute in an announcement on the Rugby Lions’ club website, Mal Malik said: “I was devastated to hear the news from Julian that his ‘Pops’ and our club Chairman David Owen MBE, had passed away peacefully with family by his side. On behalf of everyone at the Rugby Lions, past and present, I would like to pass on our sincere condolences to David’s wife Patricia and family for their sad loss, and indeed ours.

Next year, 2023 is officially the Rugby Football Club’s 150th anniversary. I would like to put on record our thanks to David and his family for their support and commitment to the Rugby Lions over the last two decades. As a club we must take great heart and offer our gratitude to our Chairman for helping us get to the cusp of such a milestone. We owe it to him to work together as one club, in order to reach our next milestone. Thank you David and God Bless."