The turnout for Tewy’s memorial service at the Life Church in Lichfield, and subsequent wake at Lichfield RFC, on Friday 19 May spoke volumes for the popularity of the man, and the widespread social circles he moved in.
Tewy was coerced into reigniting his rugby career at Spartans following a 10 year lay off (having previously played in Northampton). He played a number of seasons at the club up to 2nd team level, and graced the Stags’ backrow/second row on a regular basis.
A variety of career highlights at the club included playing as a (significantly) overage player in a Spartans’ Development XV over at Rugeley in a 100+ points drubbing of their hosts. In a politically correct move, Steve deliberately avoided getting on the scoresheet that day!
Another one for the Tew archives was an away trip over to Edwardians – a tough encounter in those days, and to be even more of a challenge given that we were travelling with the bare minimum of 15 players. We went out to warm up as the kick off time approached, but I could only count 14 Spartans guys on the field. I returned to the changing room to see Tewy doubled over in pain. “Sorry Gooders, you will have to do without me – I have put my back out tying my laces!” We took a right drubbing that day.
Steve’s proudest moment in a Spartans’ shirt was the day he took the field alongside his son Sam on his introduction into senior rugby – truly one of the most pleasing moments for any father. With an army of supporters from Lichfield RFC to witness the day, the Tews helped Spartans to a healthy 47-17 over at Claverdon RFC.
Tewy’s “sporting prowess” was not just limited to the rugby field, he was a keen squash player and walker. He was one of the original “Hucklebuckers” on the coast to coast walk from Southport to Scarborough – raising in excess of £35,000 for charity, and would have demolished the 2016 challenge for the same group, had it not been for his ailing health.
He was a regular on Spartans’ Golf Trip – although in all the time he played, I only ever saw him hit one good shot!! But that was a beauty – as he regularly told me!
A few “non-golf” snippets from Golf Trip do spring to mind, however.
Firstly, the Hummer incident in Leeds, when Steve popped into the cab of a Hummer after the driver had vacated it momentarily – and promptly pulled off up the road. I was not there – but the driver’s distress at his Hummer being driven off was something to behold!
In Chester, whilst rooming with Steve, there was loud hammering on the door in the early hours of one morning. No stress, I thought, Tewy will get it – he was an excellent roomie like that, with nothing too much trouble!
I was starting to get a little bit agitated when the hammering continued, so I looked over to Steve’s bed to see he was not there. Reluctantly, I got up to answer the door, to find Tewy standing there in the corridor in just his pants! “Alright Steve, what are you doing out there?” I enquired. “Just got up for the loo” he told me, “but got the wrong door!” “Wouldn’t mind” he continued “but Wes has just walked past me in the corridor in my pants, said “goodnight” and went off to bed”!!
I feel blessed to have known Tewy for a number of years, and in that time we shared some great times – as I know he did with a number of close friends.
Steve would have been immensely proud of Sam’s delivery of the Eulogy at his memorial service – a true testament to his father.
In the closing months of Steve’s life it is very hard to express the physical distress he went through – but not once did he show any negativity, and always took a pragmatic approach to what he was going through. He was a man of immense courage and up to the end thought of others first.
He truly was a good friend.
From all of Steve’s Spartans’ family I should like to express our condolences to Carole, Sam and all of Tewy’s nearest and dearest.
And to conclude, the words from the poem Steve wrote as his darkest hours approached …………… “The Writing is on the Wall”