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When the Cornish Pirates play Hartpury at home on Saturday (ko 2.30pm), the day will see the one of the club’s leading contributors over many years, Chris ‘Jan’ Rendall, step down from office.
A first official role at the Pirates for Jan, who in recent seasons has been the Pirates’ dedicated Health & Safety Officer, was as a Sports Therapist in 2002, since when other roles undertaken saw him be a Fitness Coach, Kit Man, Team Manager, and Ground Staff member.
Born in Mylor, Jan showed early sporting promise at the local Junior School and won the ‘Sports Day Cup’ in his last two years before progressing onwards and upwards to Penryn Secondary School where he played in both the rugby and football teams.
As a true Mylor boy, and used to the sea, it was no surprise that at the age of 15 Jan joined the Royal Navy at HMS Ganges.
The first of many ships that he served on was that formidable and famous aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal. He attended many conflicts around the world during a 25-year-period, including Northern Ireland, Bosnia, the Falkland Islands, and the Gulf.
Serving and helping others comes naturally to some, and Jan is one such person. Such traits have also seen him involved in incidents that gained justly deserved awards – the first for saving a 12-year-old girl’s life when he jumped off the stern of RFA Grange in Portland Harbour, and the second for leading a team of fire fighters on a large ship’s fire.
Leaving the Navy in 1997, Jan joined the Royal Navy RNR, working for the MoD at RNAS Culdrose Fire School, from where he retired in July 2018.
In his rugby playing days Jan had represented Penryn, Malone (NI), the Royal Navy, Naval Air Command, and Bermuda, besides also boxing for the Navy and being a member of the 1979 Fleet Air Arm Field Gun Crew.
Clearly, Jan’s truly considerable input will be missed, but everyone involved with the Pirates, and the many he has helped over the years, will wish him and his family all the best, for what on Saturday will be his last hurrah!