Peter Cunningham – the RNRU mourns a dedicated player, referee and friend

Peter Cunningham’s funeral and memorial service will be held at St Mary’s Church in Alverstoke at 1400 on Thursday 10 January 2019. Peter requested that his male friends wore “no black ties – just happy ties” for the service to commemorate his life.  

Attendance at the Crematorium is by invitation only for very close friends.  It will be a “no flowers event” but donations in Peter’s memory can be made to Christian Concern, 70 Wimpole Street, London. W1G 8AX or via the Funeral Directors, Solent Funeral Services.  Donations can also be made at the service.

St Mary’s is a large church so there is plenty of room for his many friends to attend so please share these details with those you know who would like to remember him.  Trevor Robotham is co-ordinating arrangements for those who wish to gather after the service, where refreshments will be offered locally.  Please contact Trevor via email so that adequate catering arrangements can be made.

Peter had a long association with the Royal Navy Rugby Union.  He started out playing rugby for the Royal Navy when he joined Britannia Royal Naval College as a young man and he soon rose to prominence, winning his first cap in 1967 at full back.  He was capped twice that year, in the match against the Army and the match against the Royal Air Force.  However thereafter his naval career took precedence, as is so often the case, and although he remained a committed rugby player, he was not capped again.  As his playing days drew to a close in 1980 he made the transition to refereeing, and remained an ardent member of the Royal Navy Rugby Union Referees’ Society thereafter.

His accomplishments were not limited to the pitch.  A very capable administrator, Peter was the driving force behind the annual Navy Referees dinner for many years.  Those that worked with him were always amazed by his capacity for detail, ensuring that all eventualities were fully considered and all needs catered for.  He was a lifelong member of his local rugby club, Gosport and Fareham RFC, and a dedicated Hampshire RFU referee.  He will be sorely missed by all that knew him.  

With acknowledgements to The History of Navy Rugby website by Alligin Photography.

Peter pictured with Dunx McClement at the 2017 RNRU Referees Society Annual Dinner. Credit: Alligin Photography © Geraint Ashton Jones