Condolences to the Family of Pat Bobbett on his passing!
It is with the greatest of sadness that I must recount the death of Pat Bobbett.
Jack Conlan writes:
Pat was an Ashbourne Rugby Club man from year dot.
He was Club President, Club Trustee, Ashbourne team selector, Leinster Juniors team selector, joint founder of the Ashbourne junior section with Tim O’Connor, referee and most famously – touch judge.
Pat invented the “sin bin” in Ashbourne for junior players long before the professional game. He also operated as the “referee’s assistant”, on occasion. A referee was so concerned about his exertions in this role on one occasion, that he suggested he should take an “early shower”.
Pat was a passionate man, maybe deriving from the Huguenot genes and he was passionate about Ashbourne Rugby Club.
If there was a title of “Mr. Ashbourne Rugby Club”, surely it belongs to Pat. He had a profound influence on the strategic decisions of the club. He epitomised the ethos of rugby and the concept of being a member of a club. Within the club, he was colorful, charismatic, convivial and democratic.
He flew the ARFC flag throughout Leinster rugby. His welcome and generosity with visitors to the club was well recognised by all.
Pat was a recruiter of players and he always kept an eye out for possible new talent at Mass, on Sunday. Rory Gleeson was such a find.
He played for Bective Rangers FC in his time and was very proud of winning a County football medal with Curragha
He also also a leader in the IFA , some years back.
In the days of one pitch in Ashbourne – generously provided by St Andrews Athletic Club, the pitch invariably became water logged and unusable.
Pat a man of land and of the land, stepped in and provided 2 pitches on his farm. I witnessed one of the greatest centres/outhalf for Ireland and the Lions- Paul Dean, play in Pat’s field (The Priest’s acre). The match was between Eamonn Walshe’s famous thirds team and St Mary’s.
One of my own fell in a drain and came out drenched from head to toe, on another occasion.
Pat’s family are now an institution in Ashbourne rugby. His sons, grandsons and grand-daughter are playing or have played for Ashbourne. His grand-daughter Judy, has played for Ashbourne and Ireland and is currently a coach in the club.
We have lost a legend.
Our condolences go to Alice, John, David, Pat, Charles, Stuart, Grant and all the family.
Former Club Captain Tim O’Connor writes:
Desperately sad news. Another giant oak of the Ashbourne RFC forest down. Your tribute is superb, thank you for it.
You capture so many elements of a legendary figure and wonderful human being. As you say, Pat and I started the Schoolboy Section in 1975, just a year into the life of the Club.
To be clear, Pat was the senior man in our duo in every sense! He was a natural leader and his generosity of spirit shone through every conversation. He knew that the young lads were the future of the Club and he was as passionate on the side-lines of a school-boy match as he was with the seniors. Of course it helped also that he had a big car for the necessary ferrying to matches!
He was also very good as you say at recruiting others to the cause and his addition of wonderful colleagues like Fran Bebbington, Tom Gannon, John May and others to the Schoolboy Section was a critical part of building the foundations of the Club.
You describe his characteristics brilliantly and all I can say is that it was an absolute privilege to have spent those years alongside him, learning from him and being inspired by him. What a legacy he leaves.
Of course the biggest loss of all is to Alice and the wonderful family they reared together – the Waltons were only trotting after them. Our deepest sympathies to them all and to all the Club.
Leaba i measc na naomh go raibh ag Pat.
Funeral Mass at Ashbourne Church at 11:00, on Saturday morning.
Club members asked to meet outside the AIB to form a guard of honour for Pat!
Full details on RIP.ie
May he Rest in Peace.