Dennis Easby, who was President of the Rugby Football Union from 1994-1995, died aged 92 on Monday 31 July 2017.
Dennis played rugby for Reading School first XV before a short course at Cambridge University and serving as a pilot in the Royal Air Force from 1943 to 1947, remaining in the RAF Volunteer Reserve from 1948-57 and retiring with the rank F/Lt.
He went on to be a solicitor for more than 40 years and became senior partner of Messrs Brain, Brain Solicitors, Reading.
He captained the first XV of Old Redingensians RUFC, and served as their fixtures secretary as well as Secretary, President and RFU representative for Berkshire County RFU. He was also Chairman of South West Division
He joined Berkshire Referees Society and later London Society and was appointed to the RFU County Panel of Referees. He was touch judge for England v New Zealand in January 1964 and Wales v England in April 1967.
Dennis served on a number of RFU and International Board committees, initiated formation of the International Referees Selection Committee, serving as its chairman. He was also chairman of the RFU’s Laws Sub-Committee and the International Board’s Laws Committee.
Dennis was also a member of the International Rugby Football Board from 1987 to 1994 and very much involved in the amateurism v professionalism debate as first a member of the IRFB Amateurism Committee, and then its chairman for two years preceding the game going open.
At the time Dennis believed that amateur rugby was “the principles on which our game was founded”.
A rugby man
A real man of rugby and of Berkshire, Dennis was part of a players’ safety working party for five years and both a member of the Five Nations and Four Home Unions Committees. After his RFU Presidency he became one of Twickenham Stadium’s first tour guides, continuing to pass on his love of rugby and Twickenham for more than a decade.
“Dennis was a man of the highest integrity and principle," said fellow former RFU President Jonathan Dance.
"He was deeply respected by the whole rugby community in Berkshire as player, referee and administrator at every level of the game which he served for so long and selflessly with such distinction. He will be long remembered and sorely missed.”
Dennis is survived by his children David, Phillip and Kim, his step-children Kathryn and Christopher, his seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Updated 1st August 2017