A man who helped rebuild Bury St Edmunds RFC in the aftermath of the 1974 air crash is urging the community to unite to pay their respects .
Tomorrow’s visit of East Grinstead (3pm) will see Bury take the opportunity to honour the memories of 18 club players and officials who tragically perished 40 years ago when their plane from Paris crashed minutes after take off, killing all 345 people on board.
And having lost friends in the tragedy, Dick Scruby, who helped keep the club going in the immediate aftermath and is still involved to this day, has called upon the town to accept the club’s open invitation and help remember those who they lost.
“Saturday is an open invitation to the town to come and be part of the remembrance,” he explained.
“We will never forget those who were lost in the crash and it is important to remember them.
“I played with some of those lost and their names still often come up at the club, so they haven’t been forgotten.
“There are still connections to the club from those times with sons and wives of those men still around.
“It is very important to keep their memories alive and pay our respects because it is something for the families of those who passed away to look back and remember.
“I think some people would be amazed to see the progress the club has made since the difficult early times after the disaster, but importantly we are still as strong a unit as we were.
“Very few people didn’t know someone directly affected by the crash and we have always had that community bond, not just within the club but the town as a whole.
“That is what the day is all about, the wider community coming together to remember those men and pay their respects as a family.”
n Entry to tomorrow’s match will be FREE of charge.
Meanwhile, 100 players, parents and supporters of the club will also be taking part in a memorial cycle ride later this year in memory of those who died, which will be in aid of St Nicholas Hospice Care.
n The annual Greene King IPA Sevens tournament will once again return to the Haberden on Sunday, May 4, and will include a host of top names competing within its elite, open and women’s competitions.
Premiership clubs including Northampton Saints, Leicester Tigers and Worcester will be involved as well as international sides Ireland, Nigeria and Belgium.