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Islanders pay tribute to stalwart as Jon hangs his boots up
10:57am Friday 5th November 2010 in Mersea Rugby
Mersea Island Rugby club’s outstanding scrum-half and fly-half Jon Williams has announced his retirement from the sport due to work and family commitments.
Mersea president Ray Guest was quick to pay tribute to a true club stalwart who has earned his prominent place in the Islanders’ history books.
Guest said: “I first met Jon in 1994 just after he left university and moved to Rowhedge.
“Jon came from the Welsh valleys and wanted to join a small town club, similar to those clubs where he grew up and learned his rugby skills.
“The impact Jon had on our club and players was phenomenal and over a 14-year period he has played a key role in Mersea gaining promotion on seven occasions, to a level I never thought a minor club could achieve. Jon’s all round ability was simply outstanding and above all, his kicking skills were second to none.
“I have never forgotten a penalty kick Jon made from 45 metres out on the touchline at Witham in 1995 to win the match for Mersea and ensure the club’s first ever promotion.
“That kick is forever etched on my mind.
“Such was Jon’s ability that he has scored over 2,000 points for Mersea and without doubt he was the most successful points scorer in the whole of Eastern Region.
“Jon’s influence spread throughout the club and his impact on younger players was simply amazing.
“He had an ability to teach respect on the pitch to players for rugby officials and he would always help players get over playing errors, build up confidence and hold heads up high at all times.
“Jon’s coaching skills came to the fore in the later years and he has become a very fine coach to juniors at Colchester at Sunday youth sessions.”
Having been involved with rugby for more than 40 years, Guest has commented that Williams is beyond doubt probably the best example of a clubman he has ever seen – not only on the playing pitch, but also as the club press officer.
Guest added: “Jon put Mersea rugby on the playing map, so much so that the club won a national award as club of the month in 2007.
“However, most important of all was the way he cared about the club so much that he stayed loyal, despite many approaches from senior clubs to join them at a higher level.
“Jon will be sorely missed by all at Mersea Rugby Club.”
See this week's Essex County Standard for more reaction and a round-up of all the local rugby action.