The Old Pocklingtonian Old Pocklingtonian 2017-18 - Page 26
DEATHS AND OBITUARIES
Dereck Dennington (54-60) was one of
Pocklington RUFC’s most loyal supporters and
biggest points scorers in the club’s history. The
following tribute to Dereck was published on the
Pocklington RUFC website.
No-one accumulated more points at Pock for all
teams than goal-kicking legend ‘Denno’. Joining
PRUFC straight from Pocklington School he kicked
over thousands of conversions and penalties and
won countless games with his metronomic, toe-
end goal kicking in a 30-year Pocklington career,
sometimes for the 1st XV (he is pictured, with hair!,
before a first team game against Wharfedale in the
1967-68 season), but predominately for the Pilgrims.
The Pilgrims enjoyed a golden era in the 1970s and
‘80s and Denno’s prolific boot at fullback was the
key part of their success.
He didn’t just grace Percy Road as a rugby player.
He was a useful wicket keeper in the days when the
club ran a team on the front pitch in the Pocklington
Cricket League; and he was a talented musician -
playing with top local band ‘Roy & The Zeros’, and
doing gigs at the club first time around in the 1960s,
then again with their revival 20 years on. He also had
a long career as a local estate and property agent.
On retiring from playing he became an avid
supporter at first team games, and of Sunday
matches when his sons, Michael and Christopher,
now respectively a golf professional and local team
room owner, played junior and Colts rugby, both
following in his footsteps as noted goal kickers.
Even after he suffered a severe stroke a few years
ago which severely handicapped his mobility, he
never missed a game. And he was on the touchline
as usual on the Saturday before his death, and in
brilliant form in the clubhouse afterwards, laughing
and joking with his former teammates in the bar.
His family asked that everyone raise a glass to
remember him at Pocktoberfest the weekend
after his death – a fitting tribute as his last public
performance at Percy Road was to play in ‘Curly’s
Band’ as the headline act at the 2014 Pocktoberfest.
And club captain and guitar vocalist, Micky Beard,
made an even more poignant afternoon by leading
a rendition of the club song, ‘Take me home, Percy
Road’, in memory of Derrick.
Brian Foster (53-60) was a day boy at Pocklington
School assigned to Dolman for house events. His
friends remember his mischievous humour and
athletic prowess. On the rugby field, he was a star
player when, as a schoolboy team, Pocklington
School won the Good Friday Pock 7s in 1960.
As a regular centre in the 15s team, partnering
Richard Capper (55-60), and outside Pat Briggs
(51-59) at fly half, Brian was immense, playing major
roles in key wins against much bigger schools. He
also excelled at long jump; whilst other jumpers
were hovering around the 20 feet mark, Brian
disappeared into the distance jumping well over
22 feet! Off the sports field, Brian took part in the
school play, Macbeth, directed by the English master,
Mike Stevenson (55-67) who was a great inspiration
to Brian and many other pupils at the time. In 2008,
members of the cast, including Brian, reunited at the
Crown and Cushion near Malton in honour of Mike
and to mark 50 years since performing together.
After leaving Pocklington, Brian gained a primary
teaching certificate at Bishop Otter College in
Sussex. His first job was in Warwickshire, followed
by a career break to Norway before he arrived
in Suffolk towards the end of the 60s. He must
have been a topic of conversation; an outspoken
Yorkshireman who kept chickens, gave generous and
enthusiastic support to all the local pubs, smoked
roll-ups, created a garden in a disused crag pit, sang
and played a penny whistle, joined the Coastguard
and East Suffolk Morris Men, brewed wine from
the hedgerows, suffered a badly broken leg playing
football and, before fulfilling his ambition to become
village schoolmaster at Bawdsey, lived on rabbit
stew in a dilapidated green caravan. Although at
first perhaps not every parent’s embodiment of
a primary school teacher he nevertheless was
wholeheartedly adopted by the good people of the
peninsula as one of their own.
Brian had already experienced his first life-changing
accident while loading a provisions lift on board a boat
in Trondheimsfjord, nearly severing both arms. Life
changing in that with both arms in plaster for several
months he not only grew a beard in preference
to being shaved by the nurses but developed a
fascinating ability to wiggle his nose when it itched.
Brian’s exceptional physical strength was matched
by his stoicism and determination to overcome
personal disaster. As a late parent and talented
all-round athlete, he continued to win the annual
fathers’ race on sports day despite having taught
many of the other fathers.
Always an idealist, Brian demanded integrity from
others. Fearless, outspoken, undaunted, committed
to sharing his knowledge, gentle with the young and
unrelenting with dissemblers, fiercely protective of
what he saw as the best of English traditions and
A post-retirement career as gamekeeper’s assistant
gave him the freedom to ramble and the license to
be as perpetually muddy as any twelve year-old.
Over 300 people joined the family for his farewell, in
tribute to an outstanding teacher.
(Susan Foster, Mike Gardiner 52-60, John Lindley
John Patrick Hastie (53-60) enjoyed recounting
tales of his experience and exploits during his time
at school, always with good humour. He started as a
boarder at the age of 9; his brother Michael (52-60)
was already a pupil. Playing rugby was probably his
favourite sport and art was also important to him.
After leaving school he began a long career in
insurance joining Andrews, Porter & Co. Ltd. He
soon stepped up to be company secretary at the
early age of twenty-one and within a short time was
running the company, eventually becoming the sole
partner. Much later, he amalgamated with another
company and retired shortly after.
He made many good friends throughout his career
and will be remembered for his cheerful approach
to life. He was married in 1968 almost reaching his
fiftieth wedding anniversary.
He is sorely missed by his wife, Brenda and two sons,
Adam (83-88) and Lloyd (85-90), who also attended
He was looking forward to the next Dinosaur Club
Luncheon in September 2018, sadly it was not to be.