Michael Douglas RIP
Michael Douglas 1949-2019
My brother Mick Douglas passed away on Wednesday night, 20th November, and will be a huge loss to both family and Gateshead Rugby Club.
Michael joined Gateshead Fell RFC as a colt after playing rugby at school as a back row forward. When he was at college in Liverpool he played during the holidays. On one occasion when I got injured playing football for the school in the morning, he had just got back home and stepped in for me in the 4th team. Unfortunately, he snapped his cruciate ligament in doing so and was out of the game for a couple of years.
He got back to playing in his new position as tight head prop and proved to be an immovable object as he was very strong and tenacious. He played in all the teams from the 4ths to 1sts and on one occasion when expecting to play for the 4th team he was drafted in to play 1st team against West Hartlepool! He always said that you don’t have to be daft to play in the front row but it helps!
His playing career stopped when he was diagnosed with a blood clot and began taking warfarin. Consequently he took up refereeing, which he did with the same sense of humour obtained from the dark arts of the front row!
After many years of reffing he became the club match photographer and over the years he has taken thousands of photos of all age groups which have adorned our website and Facebook pages. He was never prouder than when his granddaughter Katie started playing rugby at the club so he could take photos of her too.
He was well known for sitting on his throne at the bar in the corner and when he walked in anyone sitting there would jump up and give him his seat. Michael was always forthright with his opinions and never afraid to air them. What he did love was sportsmanship and encouraged players to have a pint with their opposite numbers after the game, which unfortunately has become a dying art.
He will of course be a big miss not only to his own family but also to his family at the rugby club. RIP brother.