Stuart Rodney Gidley: [Heath 1954–1961]

Belatedly, and with much sadness, we report the death in June 2004 of ‘Rod,’ or ‘Gid’ as he was known to his family, many friends and acquaintances. He suffered prostate cancer very bravely, privately and with immense dignity and slipped away having bid farewell to many of those whose life he had enriched.

He was an accomplished sportsman and represented the School at rugby and cricket, continuing cricket into his fifties and captaining Sowerby Bridge, Halifax and Halifax Nomads. His long reach and athleticism also fitted him well for goal-keeping. For many years Rhodes Street Amateurs and on occasion Halifax Town, benefited from his skills. He flirted with rugby mid-week for many years, finally making it his preferred Saturday game when well into his thirties. When he hung up his boots two decades later it was after distinguishing himself first as fullback then as second row forward for Heath RUFC (where he was also a dedicated committee member).

Gid’s phenomenal memory and comprehensive general knowledge made him the source of reference on many varied topics and, of course, he was everyone’s first choice for their quiz team, helping to win many local and regional competitions. He was rarely mischievous in his recall of events past, but his undying sense of humour and infectious love of fun often helped those in his company to re-live funny episodes.

He used these powers of memory and recall to qualify in Law at the University of Liverpool and subsequently to succeed in his chosen profession as a local solicitor, serving his clients and friends well. He was very generous with his time, totally non-judgemental and most loyal. He started his career in Elland, where he became a partner in a small, established firm; then he worked as sole practitioner in his West Vale practice until ill-health overtook him. His commitment to work allowed few holidays although he regularly attended sports tours either as an active participant or a well-informed spectator. There were always sounds of laughter emanating from his close circle.

He leaves a wife, Linda; a daughter, Amy; and a son Oliver — as well as countless friends.

Roger Morley