It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Dartfordian, Doug Blake.
Although never a player, Doug was a regular sight on the touchlines each week supporting one or more of the sides either at home or away. The accompanying photo shows him in a pose that will be familiar to those who knew him.
Doug became a member of the club in the late 70s when his sons – Nick & Tony – joined as players, first in the colts and then in the senior sides. He continued to support throughout the 80s and 90s until severe osteo-arthritis physically prevented him from doing so.
During that period, Doug also took on voluntary roles to help out. He was part of the ‘Nursemaid’ team – responsible for putting out the flags, post pads etc. for each pitch before the match and making sure they came back afterwards. He was ably assisted in this task by his partners in crime, Joe Samuel and Terry Saich and afterwards they would congratulate themselves with a beer or three.
Also, in the days before Satnav or even the internet, he would take it upon himself to provide directions to opposition clubs for the away teams. Each week, he would contact those clubs to make sure he had the right location details before tracking down local maps and writing down directions from Bourne Road to wherever they were going. These he would then photocopy at Bexleyheath library and make sure they were on the bar at the club on Saturday, prior to departure. He had a comprehensive file of these over the years until, ultimately, they were no longer necessary.
Along with his family, rugby and, specifically, Dartfordians RFC was one of the great loves of his life. He thought of the players and supporters there as his other ‘family’ and many amongst you became lifelong friends. The clubhouse was a place where he felt so happy and at home. In fact, he felt Darts had given him so much that he insisted on remaining a paid up non-playing member until his death so he felt he could give something back.