Alan John Adam 1950 – 2013
Most of you will now know that, after having suffered a series of stokes last week, Alan Adam passed away onSunday, March 10, 2013 in Birmingham, England. Alan’s loving partner of 20 years Morag was steadfastly by his side through it all.
Alan was committed to the Toronto Scottish as much as he was to his other club, Moseley, in Birmingham. He regularly attended Scottish games at Fletcher’s Fields when he was in Toronto staying at their downtown waterside condominium that he and Morag often described as “This is Paradise”.
Alan first came to Toronto on a Moseley rugby tour in the late 1970s. He fell in love with Toronto and the Scottish and returned to live and work here shortly thereafter. This was the start of a long reciprocal connection with Moseley RFC.
Alan was influential in our bleak playing times in the early 1980s and became the coach with a focus on re-building the Toronto Scottish. He introduced many Moseley players to the club, including Steve Lloyd, Geoff Grist, Douggie Payne, Neal Lyman, Harley Williams, Chris Burgess, Adam Williamson, George Say and Moseley’s former captain, Peter Shillingford. They all stayed in Toronto, and sometimes with Alan, for varying lengths of time and contributed immensely to the re-building of the club.
Alan’s father, a Scot, was in the RAF and they were frequently posted overseas from England. His mother was from Birmingham which is where his roots were. Alan was sent to boarding school at Loughborough Grammar School where he participated in many sports, including rugby and rowing, the latter of which he introduced to the Toronto Scottish members when we were associated with the Argonaut Rowing Club. Alan was captain of the Birmingham Rowing Club and frequently attended the famous annual Henley-on-Thames Regatta.
Following school, Alan briefly attended a polytechnic where he met Dick Sojecki, another long-time member of the Scottish. Moseley, once one of the strongest clubs in England, with many capped international players, was in the wrong place with the introduction of professionalism in 1995. The club fell on hard times, losing its long-time ground (which it owned), known as the “Reddings”, to a major housing development. The club was on the point of folding and moving from Birmingham to Oxford when Alan and a number of former players stepped in and Moseley was re-born.
After losing the Reddings, the club moved to Birmingham University and eventually to the ground, which it now leases from the Birmingham City Council, at Billisley Common. Alan could be seen frequently at the ground busying himself with various tasks and running the club. Alan was a director, shareholder and chairman of the board and represented the club at meetings with the RFU in a vocal and forceful way (he was never afraid to “push the envelope”.
There was not much that went on in the re-birth of Moseley that Alan did not have his hand in. As Alan said frequently “it has taken me over 10 years to re-build Moseley”. Many have said that without Alan’s input and expertise there would be no Moseley Rugby Club today. Alan trained as a chartered accountant specializing in insolvency work. It was on one of these insolvency projects, when Alan was appointed the administrator of the homebuilder John Lawrence (Glasgow), owner of the Rangers FC in Glasgow, where he met Morag.
Those of us who were at the Alumni Christmas lunch will remember the wonderfully witty speech Alan delivered. He spoke for over 20 minutes without notes and frequently cracked jokes that brought down the house. Geoff Grist assures me that the #2 in this photo, complete with torn shorts, is Alan in his prime as a hooker. The tall forward, gazing fondly at the opposition, is Nick Jeavons, the former England and British Lions player. Alan played rugby in good company as well as a great game on and off the field. We will all miss him very much. The other photo below is just another one of Alan’s many achievements, as an elf last Christmas. Alan was the true embodiment of what is a true “rugby man”. Smart, witty, gutsy, fearless, a good sport but, above all else, caring and interested in others.
Alan’s funeral service will be held on Thursday, March 21, 2013, 2 pm, at St. Bartholomew, Edgebaston Old Church, Birmingham, followed by a reception at Moseley at 3:30 pm. In accordance with his wishes, he will be interred in the family grave at St. Nicholas and St. Peter’s Church, Curdworth, North Warwickshire, a quintessential English village churchyard.