Heartfelt tributes paid to sporting icon

HIT FOR SIX: Henry ‘Blowers’ Blofeld shows the chaps how it's done. Left to right - Nigel Smith managing partner Ellis Jones, Matt Lee executive director Julius Baer International Limited, Henry Blofeld, Rowen Pestana executive director Julius Baer International Limited and event organiser David Duckham.

SPORTING LEGEND: David Duckham is pictured far right at a Dorset Sporting Club lunch at Rick Stein’s Sandbanks restaurant in 2021. With him, from left, are Nigel Smith, managing partner Ellis Jones Solicitors, Matt Lee, executive director Julius Baer International Limited, guest speaker Henry Blofeld, Rowen Pestana, executive director Julius Baer International Limited.

A memorial service for rugby legend and Dorset Sporting Club leading light David Duckham MBE is set to be held next week.

The former England international and British & Irish Lions icon passed away aged 76 earlier this year.

A memorial service to celebrate Mr Duckham’s life is to be held on Monday February 27 at Coventry Cathedral.

Mr Duckham was the organiser of the popular Dorset Sporting Club lunches sponsored by regional law firm Ellis Jones Solicitors and supported by Julius Baer International Limited.

Sporting greats such as cricketer Phil Tufnell, Wales rugby international Adam Jones and cricket commentator Henry Blofeld are among those to have recently appeared at the lunches.

Nigel Smith, managing partner at Ellis Jones Solicitors, said: “The deepest condolences of all at Ellis Jones are with David’s family and friends.

“His incredibly sad loss will be felt across the sporting world and beyond, including the many friends he made at his impeccably organised Dorset Sporting Club lunches.

“The word ‘legend’ is often over-used, but David was a true legend of the game, becoming a superstar of the England and British & Irish Lions sides of the 1970s.

“But more than that, he will be fondly remembered for his warm and generous spirit, wonderful sense of humour and humility that made him such a pleasure to spend time with. He will be hugely missed by all who knew him.

“Dorset Sporting Club is planning a memorial lunch for David in May which we are pleased to be supporting.”

Alan Hooks, head of private clients, Julius Baer International Ltd, added: “Our thoughts are with David’s friends and family.

“His Dorset Sporting lunches were always memorable and a highlight of our calendar. It is a privilege to have known him.”

Mr Duckham made his name as a swashbuckling winger and centre who was part of the iconic British and Irish Lions side’s victorious series win in New Zealand in 1971.

He made his international debut in 1969 and won a total of 36 England caps with the last coming in 1976.

With Coventry as his club side, Mr Duckham was also part of a Barbarians side that earned a famous 23-11 victory over the All Blacks at Cardiff Arms Park in 1973.

Mr Duckham, who lived in Stratford upon Avon, went into business following retirement with successful careers in banking and construction.

He was the longstanding managing director and owner of the Southern Sporting Clubs, including Dorset.

Mr Duckham, who was made MBE following  his retirement from the game, is survived by Jean and his three daughters.