Robert (Bob) Lumley 1933-2023….Obituary

It is a sadness to announce the passing of former club president Bob Lumley at the age of 89.

Bob started rugby at Huddersfield in the colts team after his National Service in the RAF. He then joined the Kenyan police force and went to live and work in Africa during the 1950’s. On his return he rejoined the club and progressed to the First XV where he developed a reputation as an uncompromising second row forward. Off the field he worked on both general and management committees and was one of the club trustees who played an important role in the redevelopment of the club. In 1977/78 he served as chairman and was elected club president.  He remains the youngest ever person to be chosen as HRUFC president.

 (Bob pictured above unveiling a memorial plaque in 2019 celebrating 50 years of our mini and junior section)

In 1969 Bob, along with Martin Noble, started the club’s junior and mini rugby section. HRUFC was the pioneer of what is now known as Age Grade rugby. Hitherto the game was only played by children under 18 years of age in schools, meaning that youngsters who didn’t attend rugby playing schools couldn’t take up the game. Bob’s sons, Robert and Michael, were amongst the first children to participate. From humble beginnings at Huddersfield ‘Age Grade’ club rugby has grown into a worldwide phenomenon. In 2019 HRUFC celebrated the ‘Golden Jubilee’ of junior club rugby and Bob unveiled a plaque commemorating the anniversary. The club is extremely proud of being ‘the Birthplace of Junior and Mini rugby’  and it’s ongoing success will forever be a part of Bob’s legacy.

Bob’s son Michael went on to play club rugby at the top level with Headingley. He returned to Huddersfield to complete his playing career, serving as First XV captain from 1991-98, the longest spell by any individual.

On his return from Africa Bob worked for Sun Life Insurance before setting up his own business, Robert Lumley Associates Ltd, insurance, finance and investment advice specialists. He continued in the business until his retirement. He leaves a widow, Sally, children Caroline, Robert and Michael and 7 grandchildren. Deepest sympathy from all at the club goes to his family.

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