In loving memory of Malcolm Pearce

17 February 2022

Today we say goodbye to a Bath Rugby club legend, forever remembered and dearly missed by all who knew him.

“He was a lynchpin at the club.”

Jack Rowell, former Bath Rugby Head Coach 

“A much-respected businessman who supported the club in a remarkable way.”

John Hall, Bath Rugby Club President

“The heart and soul of Bath.”

Mike Catt, former Bath Rugby Player

Tributes are being shared today for a man who holds an extraordinary legacy for club rugby in the southwest. Malcolm Pearce, sadly passed away following a short illness, surrounded by his family, on Thursday 17 February 2022.

He was a friend of Club President, John Hall who described him as “a real trailblazer of our golden era, who enabled our team to become competitive. A much-respected businessman who supported the club in a remarkable way.”

Through the eyes of club godfather, Jack Rowell, whose 16-year tenure at the club took it from humble beginnings to an all-conquering championship-winning team. “Malcolm was a lynchpin at the club.”

He made Bath an attractive place to come and play and offered a lifestyle and employment to many that allowed passionate young men to join the team, earn a living and become great rugby players. A combination hard to come by in those days.

In his autobiography 'Landing on my feet' (2007), Mike Catt said: “Malcolm is a businessman who is passionate about rugby and even more so about Bath.

“When I first came over from South Africa it was, he who gave me a job and subsidised my rugby. I was one of ten Bath players that he employed in his newspaper business. Going to work at 2am and stacking papers for six hours before jumping in the van and going around the city delivering them. Later I was promoted to working behind the till at his newsagents. I had it relatively easy as Ben Clarke worked at Malcolm’s dairy and had to milk the cows at 5am every day.

“Malcolm paid me £8,000 per year at a time when money was hard to come by. He made my life a lot easier at a critical stage in my career. I was able to train and devote my life to rugby.

“Knowing that I had his full support. He was the heart and soul of Bath; he was so passionate about the club. For him, everything revolved around Bath RFC.”

Malcolm was not only a passionate Bath Rugby supporter but played a pivotal role in saving Bristol Bears from extinction during his time at the helm between 1998-2003.

In their obituary they describe how Malcolm “led Bristol through a turbulent period, rescuing the club from financial oblivion in the late 90s and investing nearly £10m of his own money to ensure survival. During his tenure, he attracted World Cup winning coach Bob Dwyer and our very own head coach, Jack Rowell to the club, as well as a roll call of other notable names.”

Malcolm’s generosity provided the fuel for Bath Rugby’s halcyon days and to celebrate his extraordinary contribution our fixture against Bristol Bears on 5th March 2022 will be devoted to him.

Our love and thoughts go to all Malcolm's family and friends at this sad time.


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