Obituary: John Forster

Obituary: John Forster

Scottish Rugby is saddened to learn of the death earlier this month of John Forster, a pillar of the sport in Argyll. He was 71.

Described as “coach, friend and heartbeat of our club” John McWilliam Forster was the driving force of Campbeltown Junior Rugby Club.

One of those who benefited from his wise counsel, Allan Wright, Active Schools Co-ordinator for Oban, Lorn and the Isles, said: “If it were not for John and his efforts, especially around 10-12 years ago, I doubt there would have been any rugby in Campbeltown whatsoever.

He pretty much single-handedly kept the game afloat there. Allan Wright, speaking about the late John Forster

Forster, who farmed in New Luce, Dumfries and Galloway, played as a flanker for the Wigtownshire club between 1973 and 1975 and the energy and physicality he brought to his game belied his 5ft 10ins, 10½ stone frame. He went on to win selection for the Glasgow and District Union side.He continued to play the game he loved well into his 50s.

After a spell in the south-west of England, where he helped potato growers in Cornwall with their marketing, coining the logo “Rub me, scrub me”, Forster came to Campbeltown, working as an agricultural consultant with SAC Consulting, which is linked to Scotland’s Rural College, and fulfilled every conceivable role at the rugby club, most importantly, as coach.

Chris Doxsey, PE teacher at Campbeltown Grammar School, worked with Forster over the last eight years after moving to Argyll from Lancashire.

He said: “I moved here in 2012 and started helping in 2013 and at that stage it was pretty much all down to John.He was the heartbeat of the club. He would just keep pushing on and fighting for the club and for rugby.

“We chatted a lot about the way forward for rugby and for the kids in the area.Hopefully, the rugby here can go from strength to strength and we can keep developing it because that’s what John would have wanted.”

Forster was cousin of the mum of Scotland and Saracens centre, Duncan Taylor.

Scottish Rugby extends its sincere condolences to all John Forster’s family and many friends.

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