MONDAY was a reflective day for all those involved with Worcester Warriors as the club marked the first anniversary of former President Cecil Duckworth's death.

On November 15 2020 the club, as well as the surrounding city of Worcester, were hit with the tragic news that the 83-year-old had died after a short battle with illness.

It was a huge loss for the city, Warriors in particular, as Duckworth was the man responsible for taking them from the Midlands Leagues all the way to the Premiership and building a stadium that the city and county could be proud of.

He was involved with numerous charities and organisations across Worcestershire and they, a long with players past and present, came together last Friday to celebrate his life at the President’s Memorial Lunch.

As COVID-19 protocols restricted the numbers of those who were able to attend Cecil’s funeral last December, this was the first opportunity for those who knew Duckworth well to gather and pay tribute to a man who touched so many lives across the County.

It was a poignant but uplifting occasion and, as he would have wished, proceeds from the lunch will go to the Warriors Community Foundation, one of the many worthy causes that were special to him.

The Memorial lunch was attended by many of the organisations that benefited from Duckworth's expertise, considerable wisdom and financial support including Worcester Bosch, Acorns Children’s Hospice, and The Warriors Community Foundation.

Also in attendance were representatives from the Lord Lieutenant’s office, The Mayor of Worcester and Worcester City Council, Worcestershire County Council and Wychavon District Council.

Jim Panter, Chair of Warriors Community Foundation hosted the event and the tribute to Cecil was led by David Hallmark OBE. Past present and future Warriors were present including Steve Lloyd, Chris Pennell and Justin Clegg who all took part in a tribute on stage.

Warriors released their own statement on Monday morning to pay tribute to the legendary figure.

"Today marks the first anniversary of the passing of Cecil Duckworth CBE, our President in Perpetuity," it read.

"The thoughts of everyone at the club are with Beatrice, the Duckworth family, Cecil’s friends and colleagues from the many aspects of his amazing life.

"Cecil may have gone but he will never be forgotten and he is always in our thoughts, today in particular."

Fans took to Facebook to share some of their memories of Cecil Duckworth. 

Pauline Bronwen Price: "I knew Cecil through Acorns who of course Worcester Rugby Club have a lot to do with. He was one of the nicest men I have ever met. RIP Kind Man xxx"

Anthony Newman: "A Legend, put worcester on the rugby map. We owe everything to Cecil. Really nice man."

Martyn Jones: "Clearing the snow at Sixways one Christmas. He got my daughters, who were 8 and 10, to help him bring trays of hot drinks for those helping ...even he had a shovel a couple of times...true gent x rip"

Mark Davis: "It was my drinks round just before kick off. I was in the west stand and was one of the last to leave with kick off imminent. I started to go down the stairs with a full tray of drinks when a chap tapped me on the shoulder to get by so that he could open the door at the bottom..who was this kind gentleman?..Cecil Duckworth of course, owner and benefactor."

Gary Dean: "We had debenture seats in the east stand. There had been a lot of complaints about the audio system being poor and people could not understand what was being said.

"We had a new supporter next to us, it was Cecil, I asked why he was there (bit below a guy who has his own hospitality suite) and he replied that he wanted to check out how bad it was.

"For me this was an owner who cared about the supporters experience and was prepared to mingle to get first hand experience of the problems paying supporters were experiencing. Great guy sadly missed."