It is with much sadness that the club has lost one of it's all time greatest players and stalwarts, John Conway. Wishes from all over the Gloucestershire Rugby community have come flooding in for both the club and John's family to which we are all very grateful.
John's Old Cryptians Playing Stats;
Games - 306
First XV -216 games
Second XV - 33 games
Third XV - 44 games
Fourth XV - 10 games
Fifth XV - 3 games
Points - 410
Tries - 84 (4 points per try)
Conversions - 25
Penalties - 8
Below is a tribute from one of his close friends and fellow clubman Raymond Simmonds;
"John first joined OCRFC in 1974. John was introduced to our club by Tony Chesson who was teaching at St Peter's school where John was a pupil. Tony was playing for OCRFC at the time. John was accompanied by his very close pals Pete Stephenson and Chris Neuschwander, (Nosher).
John went on to play 306 senior games for OCRFC, with his last appearance being in 1994. John scored 410 points, including 84 tries, (4 points for a try back then). During his playing career, John had a short stint playing for Stroud RFC, although this was hampered by injury and illness. A highlight in John's playing time was playing for OCRFC in the 1979 senior combination cup final against Matson at Kingsholm.
To those who had the privilege of watching, playing with or against John, he is regarded as one of the finest, if not the finest, scrum halves ever to have played for OCRFC. John was a very talented player, renowned for his sportsmanship and bravery, and was enormously respected by club mates and opponents alike.
John was a very talented all round sportsman, and also played Gaelic football for the successful St Patrick's GAA team based in Gloucester. One of John's other hobbies was collecting programmes from many sporting events, and his knowledge of sporting facts, figures and stats was almost encyclopedic.
John played a major role in re-establishing junior rugby at our club, when managing and coaching the successful Cavaliers side in the 1990s. John was a fine mentor and example to many junior players, all of whom held him in the highest regard.
Away from sport, John was a very successful businessman within the optical industry, with a reputation for having great integrity and being honest and caring towards everyone that he came in contact with.
If you were lucky enough to have John as a friend, he was incredibly loyal and supporting and was uplifting and very amusing company. John was always there to help anyone who needed it.
A number of the older players from our club had the privilege of touring with John both during his playing days, and up until very recently. John was great fun on these trips, although it was evident that the one talent that John lacked was that of having a good singing voice. John's late night renditions of Buddy Holly and Irish songs would not have won any talent shows.
John was the the finest example of a family man. His family always came first and were always at the centre of his life. He was a brilliant sportsman, a successful businessman, but most of all a fantastic bloke."
A great eulogy for an even greater man.
John Conway's name will not be forgotten.
God Bless His Soul.