Mike Treanor

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Mike Treanor

With the desperately sad news that Mike Treanor died on Sunday, it is surely appropriate to start by expressing our deepest sympathy to Anne Jill, Catrin, Richard John and the grandchildren , of all of whom he was inordinately, and justifiably proud.
I say this because in his packed life and immense contribution to Ebbw Vale, the town, the steelworks and, to him, the supremely important Rugby Club, everything always came second to his family, although to Anne and the children it might not always have seemed like that.
Mike was a true Corinthian. He gave of his time for everything he did willingly and battled even when times were hard.
He arrived in Ebbw Vale when the steelworks was at its peak. The Rugby Club was successful because the players were treated in a way few could match. The Cornish tour made men of boys. We had employment that could be offered. Everyone wanted to play for us and none wanted to play against us. For a Derbyshire lad, although always a passionate welshman at all times apart from when his beloved County were playing Glamorgan, the sporting opportunities on the Rugby and Cricket field and latterly the Golf course were endless and remarkably thirst inducing. He took full advantage.
His employment in the Works produced unforeseen challenges. When the General Manager decided it would be good for morale to start a Rugby team, with himself aged 47 and not having played for 40 years and never at outside half, the programme announced the names on the team sheet with the surprising addition of a 16th name ”who would assist the Captain throughout the match”. It is a tribute to Mike’s fortitude that he took the hospital passes that my father dished out to him without complaint.
He became used to adversity, but never shirked responsibility. In the aftermath of the steelworks closing, the Club went through a difficult period and were it not for Mike and his close circle of friends, acting as Secretary and Chairman, the likelihood is that Ebbw Vale would have gone the way of our great rivals, Abertillery. We did not and that is in large measure due to Mike staring disaster in the face and refusing to be beaten. Right until the end, this is how he was and the fact that his beloved club survived and thrived is in no small measure due to him. The added bonus of away trips to gastronomic centres in Europe was reward in itself, although an away trip to the Wines of Bordeaux might have suited him better than the one to the Prunes of Agen.
I had the privilege of sharing many happy moments with him and his family. His appreciation of the Leaning Tower of Pisa was all that might be expected of a first class civil engineer but came second to that day in Pontypridd when Damian etc beat the home team to win the Premiership. Mike was ecstatic and his ecstasy showed itself by constant repetition of” after all these bloody years, we have finally won something!”
Our club  has lost one of its greatest administrators, players and supporters. He is impossible to replace. There is much talk now of greatness, of form, of class but not much of the quality that marked Mike out from we lesser mortals- he had style, and bags of it.
And he is to my certain knowledge the only Ebbw player ever to have represented India at International Rugby- and if that isn’t style, I don’t know what is.
I speak for all of us when I say that we have lost one of our dearest friends.
Mark Powell QC
President Ebbw Vale RFC

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