Milton Keynes Rugby Club has been honoured by the appointment of its President, John Silk, to the presidency of Buckinghamshire Rugby Football Union.
John of Woolrich Gardens, Stony Stratford, joined the club in 1973, when the name changed from Wolverton to Milton Keynes RUFC, and played for Milton Keynes in the inaugural game against a Jeff Butterfield International XV when the club moved to the then new ground at Greenleys in 1974.
As a player, John represented Milton Keynes from 1973 to 1983 and was club captain for the 1976-77 season.
Retiring at the age of 40, owing to a back injury, John took up the referee’s whistle.
He said: “This was my first introduction into the county, travelling around the Bucks clubs and meeting other clubs’ officials”.
Off the field, John was elected to the Milton Keynes committee and, in 1979, became Vice-Chairman.
In 1980-81 he was awarded Clubman of the Year for his services to Milton Keynes rugby club. The then Chairman decided to step down in 1986-87 and so started John’s venture as Chairman of Milton Keynes for 16 seasons.
John himself stood down as Chairman in 2003, but continued his unstinting work for rugby in Milton Keynes by taking on the role of the club’s County Representative, thus further enhancing his links with the County.
With the sudden death of Milton Keynes President Jeff Butterfield in 2004, the committee asked John to accept the position, which he still holds today.
After 38 seasons of being fully involved, “It has been a tremendous year in my rugby life,” John said, “with Milton Keynes moving to the new Emerson Valley Sports Pavilion on Bowland Drive.
"We now have first-class facilities with four full-sized pitches, fully equipped changing rooms and a medical room – and a well-stocked bar where all are welcome to join us”.
Milton Keynes Chairman, John Theobald said, “We are very proud that John has been elected President of Bucks. He has given great service to Milton Keynes rugby club, the county and rugby football over a long period of time and it’s a great honour for him and Milton Keynes rugby club”.