Bath Rugby is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of club legend Brendan Perry.
Born in the city in 1942, Brendan was educated at St John’s Catholic School, Bath, where his athletic prowess quickly became apparent. A schoolboy sprint champion, he also represented England Schoolboys at Under-15 and Under-19 level. Finishing his education at St Brendan’s College, Bristol, his natural pace and quick rugby brain saw him make his first team debut for Bath at the tender age of 17 on 28 April 1960 in Bath’s second post-war fixture with Torquay. He scored just before the interval and played a part in another try with some superb attacking play.
Such was his impact on the team, there was real concern expressed in the media that his school and university commitments would impact on his availability to the detriment of the Blue, Black & White.
One of the many dynasties that made Bath such a family club, Brendan followed his father, Idris, into the Bath team and was succeeded by his son Matt. Although Matt didn’t quite match his father’s appearance record at the club (221 v 227), he surpassed his father’s achievements, winning 36 England caps, six British & Irish Lions & five Barbarians appearances.
Brendan made 227 appearances for Bath over a 14-year period (1960-74), ending his First XV days at the club against the Royal Air Force with a 26-6 victory. There were other games after this for the United & Spartans, where he was persuaded to bring along his boots whilst acting as a selector in his Committee days!
A short spell with Bristol followed before Brendan returned to The Rec as a Management Committee member, a role which he held for many years, and was appointed Chairman of the club for the 1989/90 season – a year the club won the Pilkington Cup. He became Club President between 1995 to 1997, a period in which a league and cup double was secured.
Brendan was a Bath man through & through, living & working in the city all his life. As successful in his professional career as on the field, he was a senior partner in the local law firm Burningham & Brown. In recognition for his services to the club, Brendan was one of a small number awarded with life membership of the club and is a widely respected person in the Bath community.
Our sincere heartfelt condolences go out to Betty his wife, family and friends.
He will be sorely missed.