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20 November

Tributes to Cecil Duckworth CBE

We were saddened to hear of the death of Cecil Duckworth who many OVs will remember. He will be very much missed and our thoughts are with Cecil’s family at this difficult time.

Cecil started the very successful Worcester Engineering Company in 1962 which was he later sold to Bosch. Following his retirement in 1996 he dedicated a great deal of support and financial investment to Worcester Rugby Club, now called Worcester Warriors. With Cecil’s support the club rose through six divisions to the Premiership where they have remained since for the majority of seasons. Cecil was also President of Worcestershire County Cricket Club,

Cecil set up the Worcestershire Duckworth Trust in 1998, a charity which helps to relieve poverty and promote conservation. He was one of the original benefactors of Acorns Children’s Hospice and a trustee of the Wooden Spoon Society, supporting disadvantaged and disabled children.

Cecil was awarded an OBE in 2004 for services to rugby and the community. He was appointed a CBE in 2013 for his charity work.

The following OVs commented;

Almost 27 years ago I had the pleasure of attending a lecture by the Late Cecil Duckworth CBE in the John Moore Theatre. It was a Lecture on tenacity, which contained wisdom and sage advice that can only have come from a man with a great wealth of experience. I left with the words etched on my mind – keep going, through adversity comes strength and if you’re tenacious enough you will find a solution.

Little was I to know that those words were to serve me well in my ambition and determination to serve the City. In 2018 I had the honour of becoming the 1st citizen of this great City. I was inaugurated as Mayor and had the honour of Cecil Duckworth’s company at my table. We talked at length and I reminded him of his words of inspiration all those years ago, it was a special and profound moment that we shared and cherished.

For all Cecil’s business achievements, his British Empire medals and award of honorary Freeman, his true legacy cannot be quantified. His passion, and love and the gift he gave was priceless.  He literally gave warmth, hope and inspiration to thousands. Rest in peace Cecil may your joyous smile and legacy live on in the City.

Jabba Riaz (Br 91-96)

 

In all my dealings with Cecil Duckworth over the years, the thing that struck me the most was his humility. He was equally at home talking to anyone, no matter what their role, background or position. Worcester was lucky to have him and I suspect we will not see his like again. Rest in peace Cecil.

Russ Mason (Hon OV)

 

Sometimes in life, if you are really fortunate, you meet impressive, inspiring, dare I say incredible people that you will never forget. I was lucky to spend time with Cecil as our President at Worcestershire County Cricket Club, he was all these things. Rest in peace Cecil, thank you for all you’ve done for so many people and our County.

Fanos Hira (Os 80-87)

 

I first met Cecil back in 1996 not long after he had become fully involved with Worcester Rugby Club at a time when Rugby Union was becoming professional. He offered me the opportunity to achieve a boyhood dream of becoming a professional sportsman, something I am sure Marc Roberts (Hon OV) chuckled about, and something that I will always be eternally grateful to him for. Since then, and until the last time I saw him at a function in his honour at the end of last year, he was always a Gentleman. Whenever I saw him or randomly bumped into him he always took time to stop and talk, ask about the family and seem genuinely interested in how I was doing.

He was a man that led from the front, I remember seeing him one night in the early days collecting glasses in the bar at the rugby club at the end of an evening; some people in his position would have left them for the staff to collect but not Cecil, he wanted to be involved and be part of the team. He has done a huge amount not only for WRFC (Worcester Rugby Football Club) but the local community and charities, he will be sadly missed by many across all facets of the county. To do him justice in a few words is tough, all I can say is he was a true Gentleman, a leader, a pioneer and most of all a people person who never forgot anyone. RIP Cecil, thank you sir you will not be forgotten.

Duncan Hughes (Os 84-91)