Alan Stevens – Southern Rugby Identity Farewelled
Alan Stevens (1934-2019) had his final farewell when his funeral service was held in the Clubrooms last week. The Club was at its 300 capacity with family, friends and Club members from near and far honoring Alan and his family.
Sons Wayne, Ross and daughter in-law Cindy all spoke of fond memories of times with Alan and the great father and husband he was, while also outlining his more recent battle with dementia. Older brother Ian (SRFC Patron and Life Member) gave the early history of Alan and recalled good memories of family times, and outlined their initial association with the rugby club.
Eion Willis a fellow member like Alan of both Southern RFC and the St Clair Bowling Club spoke about what Alan had devoted to both Clubs and his absolute commitment to everything he undertook.
Alan, or Stevie as he was affectionately known, was one of Southerns great Club men serving at the highest level as a player, coach and administrator.
Alan joined Southern from Kings High in 1949 – so was a member for 70 years! He progressed through the grades to become the Senior teams halfback in 1953 through until 1962 with the exception of 1956 and 1957 when Lindsay Townsend, an All Black, was the senior halfback.
He played in the first V.G. Cavanagh game in 1958. He played 13 games for Otago in 1958 and 59 and formed a formidable combination with his brother Ian who played 40 games for Otago as a hooker.
Alan took up coaching on his retirement and in 1964 with Bruce Amas coached the Colts team to win the competition.
He coached Third Grade from 1965 to 1967.
In 1968 he was promoted to the Premiers with Dave Smith as his assistant and together they coached the Premiers for the next 8 years.
During this time they won the Championship in 1969, 1972 and 1975.
Alan became an Otago selector and coach in 1978-79
Committee 21 years
Elected President in 1976-77
Life Member in 1981
Patron 2011 – 2014
Throughout his time at Southern he received great support from wife June, and his sons Ross, Wayne and Barry all played at Southern and are still strong supporters of the Club.
Alan will be sadly missed by all, but good memories will remain.