Merrick Jones - 28th Dec 1948 - 27th June 2022
Merrick Jones 1948 – 2022
With immense sadness we must now begin to mourn the loss of a giant who we all thought of as indestructible.
In the last 10 years, Merrick had drawn a truly short straw with his health and at each awful turn of events he has never been less than positive and dismissive of his various conditions which would have felled a lesser man. He finally succumbed to a disease which had run riot and laid him low. He was always surrounded by and immersed in his family. His last few months, although bed ridden, he maintained an alertness and interest in all things including his garden, his club, his Sudoku and the almost tame Ethiopian garden bird which had adopted him. Only a few weeks ago, his eyes were bright and his mind alert for anyone who had failed to do what he wanted done. He had a view on all things and expressed those views forcefully to anyone who would listen. He had however, come to terms with being bed ridden and he knew his time was short.
Born into a rural environment in Brecon with farming and strangely seafaring, running through his history, he joined the Army before coming to London and working for a local council. One of his workmates played for Wanstead but was leaving to move away from London. He offered Merrick his club socks and Merrick turned up to training at Lechmere Avenue. The rest is history and the stuff of legends.
Merrick was a tall, heavy and powerful No 8. He had the fire and aggression that only a proud Welshman could bring to the London suburbs. His enormous hands wrought havoc on the field with even his average haymaker being twice the length of anyone else’s. He was a fine player and at the very heart of everything that Wanstead represented and aspired to be.
Off the field, he was a family man, marrying Louise and having Gareth, Robert and Charlotte. Later, numerous grandchildren bought him joy and allowed him to mellow just a little.
Merrick was many things to many people but what motivated and drove him were his background and above all, his principles. He lived by them and he was an honourable man. His love for his family knew no bounds and he put them first. His very presence enlightened proceedings and he will be sorely missed.
On behalf of all Herons, I offer our sincere condolences to Louise and her family for their loss and I thank Merrick for his service to our club.
Rest in peace Merrick
Mike Calvert, President
The funeral service for Merrick will be held on Friday 8th July at the City of London Cemetery, 12:15 followed by a celebration of his life at Wanstead RUgby Club, IG8 8JY