Richard ‘Dick’ Connett, a former player and coach of Dudley Kingswinford and North Midlands Chairman of Selectors has died aged 78 after a lengthy period of poor health.
Connett played for DK as a centre, later converting to full-back, in the 1960s before he took up coaching in the early 1970s, taking charge of the Worcestershire & Herefordshire county side.
He was DK’s President from 1977 to 1980 and later moved into county administration, initially with Worcestershire & Herefordshire where he also served as President.
Connett represented the Two Counties on the North Midlands committee in the late 1980s and then became Chairman of Selectors of the county’s senior side where his rugby knowledge proved invaluable.
“I was very sad to hear the news of Dick Connett’s death. He was an excellent Chairman of Selectors for the county while I was Chairman of Playing,” said Dai Scard, now North Midlands Disciplinary Chairman.
“He was a good rugby man, a huge influence at Dudley Kingswinford, which was the club he loved, and a great supporter of county rugby, both Worcestershire & Herefordshire and North Midlands.
“He had a great affinity with the players, he ran his committee well and he will be sorely missed.”
Connett, who worked as an accountant, leaves a widow, Marlene, two sons Ben and Edward, and a stepson, Mark. Ben followed in his father’s footsteps by enjoying a long playing career in DK’s back row and serving as captain.
Despite suffering several strokes, Connett retained close links with DK until his death and was particularly proud that one of his protégés, scrum-half Shaun Perry, won 14 England caps between 2006 and 2007. Perry joined DK as a seven year-old and made his first team debut at 18 before being signed by Coventry.