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Former RFU Chairman Cliff Brittle dies

14 September 2011

  • Brittle passes away peacefully after long illness
  • A "visionary" who "cared deeply about the game at every level" - Fran Cotton
Brittle Portrait

Photo: RFU Archive

Cliff Brittle, former Chariman of the RFU, died peacefully on the Isle of Man on Sunday after a long illness. He was RFU Chairman from 1996 to 1998, having previously been Staffordshire’s coach and their RFU Committee member since 1989.

Benjamin Clifford Brittle, known to all as Cliff, played centre for Longton High School, Old Longtonians, Stoke-on-Trent and Sale, as well as for Staffordshire. He coached Staffordshire U21/23 team before taking charge of their County Championship squad.

He also served on both the Staffordshire Disciplinary and Selection Committees, representing Staffordshire on the Midlands Division before serving as Chairman of the Midlands Division from 1986 to 1988.

A successful businessman with his brother Robert, Cliff ran Bryrob, a Stoke-on-Trent based plant hire group serving the construction industry, until it was sold in 1987 when he moved to the Isle of Man. He leaves a brother, Robert, and sister, Gillian.

Former England and British Lions prop Fran Cotton, who was the Lancashire representative on the RFU Council and a member of the RFU’s Management Board, said: “Cliff had rugby close to his heart and cared deeply about the game at every level. 

“He was impatient to secure the best for English rugby, and all involved in it, at the very difficult time when the game went professional. I am sure many of us will remember him as a visionary and as a true friend.”

The funeral will take place at 2pm on Friday September 23 at Douglas Borough Crematorium, from which any donations will go to the Isle of Man Hospice. There will be a memorial service in England at a later date to be confirmed.