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An update to the recent sad news announcing the passing of one of the club’s true ‘greats’, Gerald Luke, aged 83, confirms that his funeral will take place at Gulval Church on Tuesday 30th January, commencing 2pm, followed afterwards with a gathering at the Coldstreamer Inn.
Born in Mousehole, within a family with a long and proud rugby association in West Cornwall, Gerald played for England Schools under 15s in 1948-49, and made his 1st XV debut for the Pirates in 1950, at the incredibly tender age of just 15.
He was a senior England trialist in 1959, played for Cornwall & Devon against the Wallabies in 1957-58, and was capped 40 times for Cornwall (1954-63). His debut for the county was on the wing, however for most of his career he was a powerhouse with pace, who played in the centre.
Making 378 appearances for the Pirates, and in the process scoring 140 tries, Gerald was a successful club captain in 1962-63, when his team’s impressive record against other Cornish clubs read P 21, W 19, D 2. He was also a very good ‘Sevens’ player, and after hanging up his boots he in later years coached the Pirates at both youth team and senior level.
Gerald was educated at the Penzance Grammar School and St. Luke’s College, Exeter, which had a strong rugby tradition. In between, he saw National Service in the Army, when he also played for Aldershot Services and for Hampshire.
After qualifying to be a teacher, Gerald became Head of PE at the new Heamoor Secondary School (nowadays Mounts Bay Academy). He taught there for many years before taking over the management of his wife Wendy’s family laundry business in New Street, Penzance.