We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Jon Dance from Berkshire RFU. The “write up” we were provided can be found below but as Oxfordshire RFU we would add that we worked with him on both the South West Regional Organising Committee and the BBO committee. He did a lot for our Oxfordshire Rugbyand in the words of one of our committee members ““Jon was a one off, cared about our game, and gave so much of his time to it.” RIP Jon
Jonathan Richard Dance
1947 – 2024
Jon very sadly died suddenly on Thursday 18th January 2024 and leaves behind a huge legacy having spent an immeasurable amount of time dedicated to the game of Rugby Football during his 76 years.
He was a Club man first and foremost, joining Bracknell RFC in 1972. He played as hooker until a shoulder injury curtailed his on-field activity, but he went onto to excel off the field holding numerous roles including being President for an unprecedented 36 years. His efforts, along with many others, in no small way have made the Club as successful as it is today.
Jon was also “Mr Berkshire” for many years, serving on the Berkshire Committee since 1977 in multiple roles including Team Manager, Competitions Chair, County Treasurer for 10 years (1982-92), President (1992-94) before becoming Berkshire Representative on the RFU Council (1994 – 2013). His knowledge of regulation was unequalled and he was still Chair of the Berkshire Disciplinary Committee at his untimely passing. He also re-wrote, along with Peter Ringrow, the Berkshire RFU Constitution in 2002, which modernised the way Berkshire RFU operated and made it more accountable to it’s member Clubs. The Berkshire Trust Fund, which loans money to Clubs for capital projects, was also the brainchild of Messers Dance & Ringrow and continues to be available to County Clubs today.
When the English Clubs Championships were set up in 1987, Jon along with his great friend Tony Boyer, were instrumental in looking after the interest of Berkshire Clubs and he became a member of the South West Divisional Organising Committee in 1993. His in depth knowledge of Competitions saw him at the forefront of the organisation and he remained an active League Secretary and member of the BBO Committee up until his death.
Jon rose through the ranks of the RFU Council very quickly when he joined in 1994, he was appointed to the Management Board of the RFU within 12 months and soon became an integral part of the organisation. Again, he held multiple positions, Chair of Competitions, RFU Legal Officer, Finance, Pensions, International Tickets, represented the RFU on the Six Nations, FIRA (now Rugby Europe), ERC, IRB (now World Rugby) and was a member of the successful RWC 2015 bid team. His term of office culminated in becoming RFU President in Season 2014-15, chairing the RFU Council with his inimitable style & wit.
There simply will never be another Jonathan Dance, and he will be sadly missed by his wide circle of friends, both in and out of the game, and our sincere condolences go to his Wife Mary, his children Nick, Katie, Mark and Ister and the rest of the family.