PETER STRANG (1928-2017)
Reading Rugby Club is mourning the death of long-standing member Peter Strang who died recently. A prop forward, Peter joined Reading as a youngster and then had a spell playing for Northampton and Harlequins before returning to Reading.
It was while playing for Harlequins that he played many of his 37 county championship matches for Berkshire, a tremendous achievement. In 1953/54 season he was one of four Berkshire players included in the Southern Group team which played the All Blacks at Brighton. He continued to support the county after his playing days were over, becoming President of Berkshire RFU.
In the late 50s he decided to return to Reading and his impact as captain for two years was to spark a rejuvenation of the club both on and off the field. This led to the award of the club’s Honours Cap, something the club captain usually decided in those days. However, the committee unanimously decided to take that right away from him so that it could be awarded to him.
After his days as captain were over Peter took on other responsibilities. First he joined the General Business Committee. Then he became Fixture Secretary in 1962, a position he held for ten years. During that spell, between 1967 and 1969, he combined that post with the position of Club Chairman. With Peter’s rugby background he was the ideal person to be elected as Club President in 1977, a position he held for two years. It was during this time that he became a trustee of the club, a position he held until the club changed its status in 1997.
In summary, Peter played what was then a record number of times for Berkshire in the County Championship, then the major rugby tournament in the country; he became President of Berkshire; he played top-class rugby for Northampton, Harlequins, and Southern Counties; at Reading he was captain, chairman, fixture secretary, president, trustee, and an Honours Cap recipient.
After he had finished his many years as an active committee member Peter continued to give the club his support and was often seen on the touch line, and in the bar after the game. Knowledgeable but modest, he never talked about his achievements and was a very friendly, supportive and approachable member of the club.
Outside rugby he was educated at Leighton Park School and Northampton Agricultural College before joining his father at Smallmead Farm, taking over when his father retired. He became a JP and in later life enjoyed bridge with the Stratfield Saye Bridge Club.
Updated 26th December 2017