TRIBUTES have been paid to Paul Elliott, the chairman of Notts, Lincs & Derbyshire RFU and a stalwart worker for rugby in the Three Counties, and Mansfield RFC in particular, who has died aged 61 after a brave battle against cancer.
He had been had been a member of Mansfield for many years and served on the committee in several roles.
Apart from his role as constituent body liaison, where he represented the club on both the Nottinghamshire s RFU committee and a member of the NLD committee, Paul Elliott acted as Mansfield’s first XV manager, providing support to the players and the coaching staff.
He was Mansfield’s marketing team leader until 2010 and was a key member of the team that was responsible for them becoming one of the first rugby clubs in the country to be awarded the Investors In People standard in 2000.
He retained his role of press officer right up to his illness, providing newspaper reports and radio interviews which ensured that Mansfield was always well represented in the local media.
Mansfield chairman Andy Foster said: “Paul was a true club man and his energy, enthusiasm and commitment was clear for all to see.
“We have lost one of our hardest working administrators and Mansfield Rugby Club will miss one of its most fervent supporters.
“ Everyone at the club is very sad that we have lost a great friend. Our thoughts are with Wendy and the family at this sad time.”
Mike Waplington and Alex Murphy, the two RFU Council Members for NLD, praised Elliott’s commitment and diligence.
“Rugby in general and many of us in particular have lost a good friend in Paul,” Waplington said.
“He became chairman of NLD in 2007 and also continued to chair the competitions committee too until this season when he took over promotions and publicity.
“Whatever role Paul took on, he brought the standards he adopted in his professional life to bear so that no stone was left unturned and the detail was always covered.
“His planning and organisational skills were second to none and despite the fact that he was also heavily involved in his local community as a Councillor on his Parish Council and within the equestrian world, he had tremendous energy and enthusiasm which he devoted to NLD, Nottinghamshire RFU and his club Mansfield RUFC to ensure whatever he was leading or involved in had the greatest chance of succeeding.”
Murphy said: “My association with Paul goes back to when he was working on local radio and I would go in as a studio guest to talk about rugby.
“He was a wise old owl who would often ring me to chat about his ideas and thoughts on the way forward.
“He was very conscientious and before making a decision we would consider all the potential pitfalls very carefully.
“He was methodical and organised and passionate about people involved in rugby. He was keen to be part of taking rugby forward.
“Paul was also an excellent communicator and he understood the power of good communication which he used to ensure that Mansfield and NLD were always portrayed in a positive way.”