Tom Morrice (9 April 1937 – 31 March 2017)

It is with deep sadness that GHA report that Tom Morrice, past president of both Clarkston and GHA, has died. He would have been 80 on 9 April. Tom had been unwell for some time, but he bore his illness with typical fortitude, with even occasional visits to Braidholm for GHA matches this season.

He was president of Clarkston from 1980 to 1983, and after the 2002 amalgamation he took on the same role from 2009 to 2011 with Glasgow Hutchesons’ Aloysians. Away from Braidholm, he was also a kenspeckle figure around rugby in Glasgow and the West of Scotland. For several seasons he was also a member of the former Glasgow and District Rugby Union committee.

Tom was an Aberdonian. His early club rugby was with Aberdeen Wanderers, and upward from club rugby he went as far as playing in trial matches for the North against the Midlands, most notably in 1952, when he came that close to playing for North and Midlands against the Springboks later that season.

Tom and his wife, Edith, and their first son, Philip, moved to Glasgow in 1966. Their younger son, Stuart, was born two years later. Throughout his working life Tom was employed in the railway business, latterly dealing with insurance claims.

When the Morrice family moved south from Aberdeen their new home was in Clarkston. Tom could do no other than join the club of the same name. He was immediately a regular in the first XV, and for more than 50 years he was a prominent figure in the Clarkston club. Within a year of joining the club he was appointed match secretary, and he went on to fulfil other roles such as fixture secretary and editor of the club magazine, Crossbar, as well as his three seasons as president.

Countless are the friends he made during Clarkston’s years at Overlee and on to the club’s first established home when Braidholm’s original clubhouse was built and opened in 1971. He will be remembered by many for his good nature and bonhomie: whatever the situation, home or away, he was a welcoming host or a merrily gracious guest. Everywhere Tom went he easily made lasting friendships.

Latterly, Tom was a regular diner with the GROGS (Glasgow Rugby Old Geezers Society), the lunch club who meet monthly at Braidholm. He had a regular seat at the Ayrshire table at those lunches, an association he developed after Sandra and he moved to Irvine.

Edith died in 2000, and some years later Tom married Sandra. GHA folk send their sympathy and condolences to Sandra, Philip, and Stuart as well as to the wider family – a sentiment no doubt echoed by many rugby folk not only in Scotland but also much farther afield.

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