The term ‘Legend’ has, within ‘Shire, been used somewhat too freely in recent times, however it is with regret that we should acknowledge the passing of a real ‘Shire Legend and true gentleman, Rye Cope.
In his early sporting career, Rye played Highland League football before turning to rugby in his mid-twenties as he preferred the social side. Rye ‘The Boot’ Cope played stand-off and centre for ‘Shire with distinction in the late 1950’s and early 60’s and was Vice-Captain for two seasons before captaining the club in Season 1961-62. Rye also played cricket for St. Ronald’s Cricket Club for several seasons. As a member of Murcar Golf Club Rye played regularly with other ‘Shire members, Eddie Foote, Allan Morgan and Jimmy Livingston. Rye was fiercely competitive but keeping track of the score had to be left to Jimmy for the sake of accuracy!
For many recently connected with the club, Rye will be best remembered as part of the formidable touchline trio known as ‘The Last Of The Summer Wine!’ Along with Alastair Davidson and Eddie Foote, Rye would at all the home matches regardless of the weather. They were unfailing in their support and would get enthusiastically involved with every match. One memorable match at Strathmore led to the referee complaining to the SRU about the behaviour of some ‘elderly supporters.’ As Rye was the last surviving member, it would be nice to think that the Rye will now be re-united with Alastair & Eddie to watch over future performances and, inevitably, lose all track of the score!
Having lived a long and fulfilling life, Rye passed away in his sleep on Saturday 2nd November having suffered a stroke the previous Sunday. The sympathies of everyone connected with Aberdeenshire Rugby Football Club go out to his wife, Libby, and the family at this sad time.
The Celebration of Rye Cope’s Life will take place on Monday 11th November at 11.30 am at Baldarroch Crematorium at Crathes. Aberdeenshire Club members, Past and Present, have been asked to proudly wear their ‘Shire ties as we send off a true ‘Shire Legend in style!