It is with sadness that we report the death of Bob Bates at the age of 88. Bob was a stalwart of the Club for many years, most notably as founder member of the Gondoliers in 1969. Danny Puttick, another of those first Gondoliers remembers him below.
“I first met Bob (or Robert as he tried so often to be called without success) when Tony Bryers first picked me for the 3rd X1 C1966. He was behind the bar and welcomed me into the team with a pint. When he found out I was also an Old Cranleighan, I think it added a special dimension to our friendship. Years later, he introduced me to his old housemaster at an OC dinner as "one of his oldest drinking chums", which really summed it all up.
In spite of being a biggish man, on the field he was always one of the most reliable defenders, with a clearance hit that you did not want to get in the way of. But it was off the field that he was so popular and generous. Always on hand to help out, whether it was using his car or serving behind the bar. The whole team in those days became more informed about farming because of the conversations that we had, and he was always interested in how his team mates were doing both in work and at home. I can recall asking his advice on numerous occasions and he always came up with something positive.
Away from the GHC he spent all of his time on his farm which was really his whole life. He was totally hands on, and the success of the business reflected this. His family were forefront in his thoughts, and he would often talk about their ups and downs, which is as it should be. Our special thoughts go out to them at this time.
I last saw him a few months ago and in spite of being rather frail, he appeared to be coping well with life which was so important to him. I, along with countless others, am sad at the thought that he's no longer with us and will always consider it a privilege to have known him."