Benny Bell Death, Obituary – Benny Bell was a club veteran who played for the team for a number of years. It is with great regret that we have learned of his passing. Benny contributed to our club in a number of different capacities, including those of player, secretary, treasurer, and officer in charge of international ticket sales. This tribute is paid by Steve Uglow, who formerly served as president of the club. Benny Bell is credited with having made the astute decision to move on from Maidstone and join Canterbury, beginning his career with the Pilgrims in the year 1976.
He was a skilled winger who had a good turn of pace and played frequently for both the 1st XV and the Pilgrims. Benny was starting to feel his age, but he was still enthusiastic about playing baseball and was happy to suit up for either the Pilgrims or the Cardinals. In between scoring hatfulls of tries, he took pleasure in discussing the finer points of the laws of the game with the referee, often from the other side of the field. Throughout his career, he has amassed an impressive try scoring record.
It was an international Saturday and an early morning kick-off at Merton Lane when I confessed to failing to find a scrum half and was begging for volunteers. This led to a change in the direction that the 3rd XV was heading in while I was captaining the team. Benny put his hand up, played an outstanding game, and was so worn out that he couldn’t criticize the official. Both parties came out ahead. By the time the season was over, he was playing rugby for the first XV.
Benny, who was in his late thirties at the time, was presented with the “most improved” player award during the club’s end-of-season supper. As soon as he hung up his cleats, Benny threw himself wholeheartedly into his new position as club secretary, and he also self-appointed himself as the chairman of the club’s resident pain in the neck. Born in Hartsop, which is located in Patterdale, he was raised in the county of Cumbria. And it was evident; nothing slipped through the cracks because Benny would always dig down, check, and then check once more.
He was attentive to every little thing. However, he prioritized the welfare of Canterbury Rugby above all other considerations at all times. In recent years, you could reliably locate him on the sidelines, where he remained actively involved in the evolution of the team’s playing membership and coaching staff. In this regard, as in so many others, he was a man of many opinions, and according to the law of averages, some of those opinions were correct.