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It was with a sense of real sadness for so many rugby folk about West Cornwall and beyond when news was confirmed that a true past stalwart of the Pirates, Des Thomas, had passed away on Sunday.
A former player, who was proudly a member of the 300 games club, Des had also coached and could always be relied upon to help in whatever way he could. Nothing was too much trouble – indeed, when the Pirates introduced a ‘Clubman of the Year’ award back in 1986 it was quite fitting that Des was the first-time winner.
Raised in Penzance along with his fellow rugby playing brother Mike, besides his games for the Pirates, Des also played over 400 games for Chippenham RFC, where he skippered their side for several seasons and played county rugby.
On his return to Cornwall in the 1970s, he resumed playing for the Pirates and would later coach the club. He also had a spell coaching at St. Just RFC, and in recent years gave assistance in a variety of ways firstly to Mounts Bay RFC and then the Pirates Amateurs, to proudly complete a lifetime of service to the game.
The word legend is loosely applied at times, but not in the case of Des. He was held in high regard by all who knew him, so many appreciating from a truly unique character his incredible input, support, guidance, and friendship.
Condolences at this time are expressed to his wife Diane and all family members, with funeral details to be made known once confirmed.