Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 5°C


Bury St Edmunds: Rugby club remembers the 18 players and officials that died in 1974 Paris air crash

10:11 10 March 2014

Bury v East Grinstead. Players held 
ne minutes silence for the players who lost their lives in a plane crash 40 years ago

Bury v East Grinstead. Players held o ne minutes silence for the players who lost their lives in a plane crash 40 years ago


It was a “special, special” day at Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club on Saturday as the town paid tribute to those that lost their lives in a plane crash 40 years ago.


The club’s match against East Grinstead marked an emotional day of events to honour 18 of the club’s players and officials who were among 346 that died in the 1974 Paris air crash.

Dozens of friends and family of those who died reunited to mark the crash’s 40th anniversary, with special scenes off the pitch matched by arguably the club’s best performance this season as they ran out 13-8 winners.

The club’s current youth chairman Gordon Ellis was eight-years-old when his father Bryan, who was club chairman at the time, died in the accident.

Gordon said: “It affected us all in very different ways. A wife lost a husband, a father lost a child, a brother lost a sister, a sister lost a brother, but the people who were left behind, some of the friends of the people who died lost 20 friends. For some people, it’s taken this long to heal.

“It was a celebration. I didn’t know how it was going to go – you never do – but it couldn’t have been better. I met old friends, and new friends from East Grinstead. It emphasises not just what Bury is about, but what rugby is about.

“Not only was it well organised, but it was just the right tone. It was a wonderful day, a special, special day, and I hope those that came enjoyed it.”

Monday last week marked 40 years to the day since the plane crashed into woodland just minutes after take-off, and Mr Ellis was among a group that travelled to the crash site to pay their respects.

Eighty-seven cyclists have signed up for a memorial bike ride to mark the tragedy in May, and will travel from the site of the crash at Ermenonville back to the rugby club. The funds will be split between the club and St Nicholas Hospice Care.

Current club chairman Mike Robinson described the day as “outstanding”.

He added: “The atmosphere at the club was fantastic and the players really did the club proud. It was a great crowd and it was so moving to see so many of the people we hadn’t seen at the club for so many years.

“It was exactly the sort of tribute we wanted to give the guys who died. All the families were really appreciative of what the club had laid on.

“But it wasn’t only about paying tribute to the guys that lost their lives, but also to many of the guys who were left behind and had to rebuild the club. The club could have folded at that point and it was important to recognise their efforts.”

To sponsor the memorial cycle visit



South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

A 20-year-old woman was given a six week prison sentence suspended for 12 months for stealing £10 from a resident of a care home where she worked.

Concerns for police staff over jobs

Hundreds of Suffolk Constabulary civilian staff face an anxious wait this week to discover the impact of a multi-million pound cost-cutting programme.

Tim Holder, director of the Suffolk Community Foundation, with Surviving Winter supporter, former journalist and TV presenter Christine Webber

A campaign to combat fuel poverty in Suffolk has helped more than 100 people to stay warm this winter in the first three weeks since its launch.

Former Ipswich Town manager Sir Bobby Robson

An online auction launched in memory of Ipswich Town and England legend Sir Bobby Robson has raised more than £160,000 for charity.

Bad weather in Felixstowe.

Properties are at risk from flooding at Bawdsey Quay and Felixstowe Ferry, the Environment Agency has warned.

Ipswich Crown Court.

A 67-year-old west Suffolk garage owner who sexually assaulted and raped three schoolgirls more than 25 years ago has been jailed for 19 years.

Some of the UCS Choir members who will be appearing on Songs of Praise on television

University Campus Suffolk’s new choir is to appear on BBC Songs of Praise

Felixstowe mayor Doreen Savage switches on the lights helped by Elise Gorski, Peggy Osborne, and Ash and Lila Tadjrishi.

It’s a problem faced by millions of families across the country every year.

The close-knit Smith family in 2006: Matt, Wendy, Nikki and Barry

It can be upsetting and lonely having a child with a disability, but Wendy Smith would rather shout about the many positives. Steven Russell hears how love and kindness trumps any anger and bitterness

Domestic violence reports increase

Domestic violence reports soared by 12% in Suffolk last year with more than 2,000 recorded incidents involving male victims, police have said.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Suffolk's trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the Ipswich Star e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24