banner ad


| 17/12/2021



 The news of John Coleman’s death on Thursday 16 December at the age of 82 has been received with considerable sadness but with many memories of John’s stirring presence with the club over a long period.

A young John Coleman first appeared for Bridgwater & Albion RFC in the 1957/58 season alongside other newcomers Dennis Hill, Roy Chidgey, Phil Sealey and Geoff Paisey.  He went on to serve the club for the next twelve seasons before taking early retirement to concentrate on his farming duties.  John was an ever-present during his playing career and accumulated 415 1st XV appearances starting in second row partnership with Dave Hodge and later forming a formidable second row pairing with Richard Bell whom John guided in his early days in senior rugby.  He played in some of Albion’s vintage years in the late 1950’s/early 1960’s with team mates such as Colin Ball, Bobby Collard and Cyril Moate.

John captained Bridgwater & Albion 1st XV in both 1963/64 and 1964/5 – when the new clubhouse at the Broadway Ground was opened.  He was also present in the 1965/66 side which met Bristol to inaugurate the Broadway Ground floodlights.  He also appeared for Somerset in 1960/61.

John was the first ever winner of the club’s “Sportsman of the Year” trophy in 1962/63.  He took part in the memorable tour to Denmark in 1970 and just after that retired in the 1970/71 season.

John was certainly gentle in demeanour and conducted himself with great aplomb both on and off the field.  He was a popular teammate and opponent.  However on the field he was as uncompromising as the opposition demanded – always giving his all for his team and teammates.  He guided the careers of many young players who came in to the side giving them the depth of his experience – some never looked back.

After his retirement he served on the committee and was also at one time our fixtures secretary.

Throughout his career and indeed life John was a dairy farmer operating from Southwick, Mark and despite the long hours which farming demanded, his ever present record for Albion is remarkable and strength to his loyalty and dedication.  He would have been delighted that his son Neil (a scrum half!) also played for Bridgwater & Albion between spells at the Burnham-on-Sea and Weston-super-Mare clubs.

In 2015 John was presented with his Bridgwater & Albion RFC cap honouring his stalwart service to the club.

Bridgwater & Albion sends its sincere condolences to Jo and family on their sad loss.


Tags: ,

Category: Club News

Comments are closed.