The funeral of the late Gordon Stewart will be at 11.00 hours on the 25 September at Morton Hall Crematorium, Edinburgh. Post funeral arrangements will be at the Clubhouse at Malleny Park, Balerno.
As Currie RFC heads towards its Golden Anniversary season next year, there are few in south west Edinburgh who could say ‘I was there from the start.’ As a player, coach, fine administrator and rugby ambassador, Gordon Stewart was one person who could say just that. He was also a man who has done much more for the burgeoning Currie RFC and was a principal force behind the success of the village rugby team that reached the very top of Scottish club rugby in a miraculously short period of time.
Gordon Stewart was no wolfhound on the rugby pitch, more like an aggressive terrier, who, once having got his teeth into a cause, would not let go until his objective was achieved. This was his philosophy in sport, business or even a lively conversation on the topics of the day; especially if it involved rugby football. He was a person who expected effort and results; in all his dealings, second best was never an option!
As Currie President his tenacious determination propelled the club forward, improving coaching and playing strength, enlarging the clubhouse and refurbishing the changing rooms; his management committee kept faith, but sleepless nights were common.
At match time, a rather morose looking figure would often mumble a mixture of dissatisfaction and praise as he stalked the touchline, irrespective of how the Currie team was coping with their opponents. After the contest he was always the beneficent host, and would, with a twinkle in his eye, welcome guests and newcomers ‘to the biggest Club in the World!’ Gordon would then explain that he was, of course referring to the club of rugby football, and the nurturing of lasting friendships wherever rugby people congregate; something in which he delighted when visiting rugby haunts throughout Scotland and around the world.
At weekends, and on a Thursday evening, Gordon could be found with the ‘old salts,’ and a couple of new ones, chewing the fat; some at the Club suggested that the Rogerson bar became a scene from the TV series – “The Last of the Summer Wine”, with banter bouncing off the participants like snowballs, while providing entertainment for all within earshot. No matter how gruff and controversial Gordon may have appeared, his glower and roar could not disguise a dedicated, good-hearted person who loved sporting competition. Once his rugby playing days were finished, he found time for another sporting passion; golf. A pastime that he, and his hugely supportive wife, Pat, enjoyed immensely.
Gordon was a passionate advocate of fair play, and admired teamwork as well as individual brilliance. It was an education to get his take on an International rugby match, or a major golf tournament, especially the Ryder Cup; he would be generous with praise when things went well or explode in frustration when they did not!
Although not in the best of health in recent times, Gordon rarely missed a game at Malleny Park, and it was good to see him at the opening fixture this season. As we approach that Golden Anniversary, Gordon Stewart’s name will be written large in the annals of Currie Chieftains.
At this sad time the Club’s thoughts and prayers are with the Stewart family, especially Pat, Elaine, Euan and Izzy.