John James – RIP
London Welsh Rugby Club is sorry to learn of the passing of former Minis and youth coach John James who died over the weekend, at the age of 63.
John started coaching minis around 2001 having fallen for the Seb Scotney recruitment programme . He then went on to coaching a very successful London Welsh Mini and Youth Team, introducing ‘switches inplay’ that the team had rigorously learnt in training. At the call from the bench, the players would follow their set-moves to the call of “Harry Potter 1” and “Harry Potter 2” and completely outflank and confuse the opposition!
He moved to London in 1987 after leaving the army where he played scrum half for the army and his regiment. Prior to that he played for Cardiff Schools (equivalent to county rugby) where he was coached by the great Gareth Edwards. He gave up playing rugby before leaving the army due to shattered knees and other usual rugby injuries, but he never lost his passion for the game. Visiting London Welsh and becoming a supporter and coach was his way of keeping in touch with his roots.
When his son was born in 1996 it gave him an opportunity to get more involved. Sadly, there wasn’t a U1s mini team, so he had to wait until Owain was 4 or 5!He was widely regarded by the many people who met him at London Welsh mini games and events as having a very dry sense of humour with more often a cheeky quip at inappropriate moments. He was a huge fan of Wales rugby and was delighted but also grief stricken when his son Owain was called up toplay for England U16s and U18s.
Since retiring from coaching John would be seen at as many games as possible and loved the club lunches with his fellow mini parents.Our thoughts are with John’s wife Katherine, and his son Owain and daughter Morgan and the rest of his family and friends as we offer our deepest sympathy to those that played a part in our London Welsh Rugby Community.
Rest in peace John from the #lwfamily