Canterbury Rugby Club is deeply saddened to hear of the death of Alison. Our condolences go out to her sons, Ben and Sam, and to Ian Williams. In recent years she has been a wonderful servant to the club as our honorary secretary but her involvement goes back many decades.

Born Alison Helen Turner in 1949, she trained at the Rose Bruford drama school in Sidcup in 1970. Later she was an imaginative and innovative teacher. She enthusiastically supported the fortunes of the club and formed enduring friendships with many players from that era such as Roland Bailey, whom she later cared for when dementia struck.

She and Ian had two sons, Ben (1978) and Sam (1980), who were soon playing in the minis and juniors. She was always present on the touchline, always willing to help and always happy to sponsor the junior club. In recent years, she has been at the club cheering on her grandchildren.

Later, she became a successful businesswoman, in 2000 founding and expanding her field-marketing firm, FDS, a national company based in Whitstable.

Her major contribution was when chairman, Giles Hilton, persuaded her to take on the role of club secretary. Her ‘no nonsense’, ‘can do’ approach gave impetus to many improvements to the clubhouse and to the management of the club. One major initiative were the pre-match lunches: under her guidance as “lunch monitor”, they grew from small get-togethers in the club bar to being an important part of 1st XV match days, regularly attracting 150 or more, adding to the craic of the occasion and substantially contributing to the club’s finances.

Alison was not only a tremendous servant to Canterbury Rugby but an example to us all in the way she twice fought cancer with courage and amazing will power.  She will be remembered for her kindness and support for others.  Club President Greg Mayne’s words reflect the thoughts of all who met her:  “We were lucky to have known her and to have had so many extra years with her.”

The club elected her a life member and created a garden in her name. It will be carefully tended in her memory. The funeral arrangements will be announced in due course