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Tigers pay tribute to Tudor Thomas

Leicester Tigers are deeply saddened to learn of the death of former first-team secretary and club president Tudor Thomas at the age of 89.

An extremely popular figure with players, officials and supporters, Tudor’s good cheer and sense of humour were a feature of the club for many years as well as his work behind the scenes.

Born in Penycae in North Wales in November 1928, he moved to Leicester to take a teaching role at New Parks in 1962 and became head teacher at Westcotes in 1971.

His long service to the Tigers began as team secretary with the Swifts and then the Extras before he became first-team secretary in 1978 just as Tigers were establishing themselves as the cup kings of English rugby.

He remained in post until 1993 as well as serving as club president (1993-95) and stepped into the role of honorary secretary when the game went open (1995-97) before being awarded life membership of the club in 2007.

Tudor was also well known to supporters and visitors as the voice on the microphone on Welford Road matchdays for many years and particularly for his authoritative "Shhhhh" to quieten any crowd noise in the build-up to kicks at goal by either team.

He remained a regular visitor on matchdays, meeting up with old friends in the dressing-room area and in the Droglites Bar, and his wife Barbara also worked for many years in the club shop.

Club chairman Peter Tom CBE led the tributes this morning, saying: “Tudor was a true Tigers clubman in every sense.

“The good name of the Leicester Tigers was built on the commitment and expertise of officials who volunteered their services and worked tirelessly for the club, and Tudor was certainly a part of that group for many years, both as team secretary and then as honorary secretary in those challenging years at the start of the professional era when he did an outstanding job.

“He was a very popular member of the team behind the scenes and a great number of players, officials and supporters will remember him fondly as much for his good humour and that unmistakable Welsh voice as for his hard work on behalf of the club.

“We pass on our sincere condolences to family and friends at this time. He will be sorely missed.”

Lewis Moody, Andy Goode, Ben Kay and Sir Clive Woodward were among the former players to pay their tributes on social media, while supporters have also shared their comments on a popular figure in the club's history.