Rugby Football Union’s senior vice-president Jonathan Dance labelled Bury St Edmunds as the ‘epitome’ of what a rugby club should be.
The high praise came as the next president of the RFU made a special visit to The Haberden for Saturday’s narrow 20-15 defeat to Tring.
And after soaking up all that Bury had to offer, Dance — who has also been on the international board — was left with a lasting impression of the club.
“I have been extremely impressed with what I have seen of the club they have a great reputation in rugby and they have certainly lived up to all expectations,” he said.
“To me, they are the epitome of what a good rugby club is and should be.
“They have a great community feel about the club and look out for one another, which is how it should be within a club.”
Having first come across the Suffolk side following the aftermath of the tragic air crash in 1974, which claimed the lives of 18 club players and members, Dance heralded Bury’s resilience and the recovery they have made since the tragedy to be where they are now.
“I can still remember the tragic accident that affected this club 40 years ago and that is when I first became aware of Bury as a club through the appeal that was set up to help,” he added. “It is truly amazing to see how far the club have come since that day and to see where they are now.
“We all know about their fantastic season last year to gain promotion and I truly believe they will continue to enjoy great success moving forward.
“I am a president of a club similar to Bury in the south of England and for me it is very exciting to see youth development in rugby and what is happening at clubs like this, hopefully that will continue to help the sport grow even further.”