Earlier this month, National League Rugby were saddened by the news that former Barnstaple chairman Ian Stanton had passed away following his lengthy battle with cancer.

Barnstaple, a club who were competing in levels three and four as recently as last season, was Ian’s passion.

He had an illustrious career in rugby from a very young age and whose involvement with Barnstaple goes back well over 50 years starting as a brilliant player for the Chiefs in the 1970’s.

Ian grew up in Birmingham (Sutton Coldfield), where he excelled at sport and had trials for West Bromwich Albion and threw the javelin for the county, but it was rugby that he truly excelled at and was in the England Colts squad in the 1973/74 season.

During this time, Ian played his rugby at Moseley.

Moving to North Devon, Ian was soon involved with Barnstaple, joining the club in the 1974/75 season. Playing over 200 times for Barum as a back row No.8, Ian was in the squad for the Devon Cup final in his first season and was still playing regularly during BRFC’s centenary year and beyond.

Ian moved back to the Midlands in 1982 and played for Worcester. During his time at Worcester, he played 1st XV from 1982 to 1994 and also played for the county team and the combined North Midlands team.

Upon hanging up his boots, Ian continued his passion as part of the committee at Worcester that transformed the Warriors into a Premiership club for many years before their demise last season.

Ian returned to North Devon in 2005 and it was in 2007 that he joined the committee at Barnstaple. Ian became Chairman of the club in 2016 and he held that position until 2021 when his health just didn’t allow him to continue.

National League Rugby would like to pass on our sympathies to Ian’s wife Jackie, his family and friends.

Barnstaple have confirmed Ian’s funeral is on Tuesday 5th December at 1:40pm at North Devon Crematorium, followed by a wake at the club.