A Great Sportsman

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The inhabitants of Bicester and District were stunned on Monday morning to the news of the sudden death of the Earl of Jersey at his seat in Middleton Park. And later the whole country regretted the departure of so good and great a sportsman, for the old saying is as true to-day as ever it was, that everyone loves a sportsman.

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The end of his Lordship was rather tragic. On Friday he attended the meetings of Bicester Board of Guardians and Rural District Council, and on Saturday he visited his training stables at Lambourn. He returned home in his usual health, and then in the evening he lapsed into an unconscious state. Dr R.A.Whitelock, of Oxford was summoned to his beside, but his lordship was past medical aid, and death took place from acute inflammation of the brain about 4 o’clock on Monday morning. Mr Whitelocke, in consultation with Dr Collier, certified the cause of death and decided that no inquest was necessary. The sad news so dumbfounded the people of Middleton that they could scarcely realize it.

Though the Earl of Jersey will be best remembered by the public at large for his love of horse racing, yet we in this locality have other thoughts of the noble earl, who tried to do his duty, like his father, to those who surrounded him. He took an active part in local matters. In 1910 he unsuccessfully contested the Banbury division as a Conservative. He had for some years been a alderman and vice-chairman of the Oxfordshire County Council. As a magistrate for Oxfordshire and Middlesex, he used great tact and judgment, tempered with a lenient disposition. As an employer of labour he was worshiped on his estate.

Lord Jersey was high stewart of Oxford, and on Monday the flags at the Town Hall and at Carfax were flown at half-mast and the tower bell was tolled. Other offices he held were member of the County Education Committee, alderman of Middlesex County Council, Chairman of the Oxfordshire War Agriculteral Committee.

The Earl of Jersey was born on June 2nd, 1873 and was thus 50 years of age. He was educated at Eton, where he gained an exbibiment in 1889, but did not play any very prominent part, either on the river or in the cricket field. After a visit to Australia, while his father was governor of New South Wales, he matriculated at New College, Oxford. He had not been long at the University before his sporting instincts asserted themselves, and he was elected Master at the University Drag Hounds, and was also captain of the Polo team. He won the Varsity grind twice, the Oxford and Cambridge Point-to-Point race, and the Inter-University Cup at Cottenham, riding on each occasion Ebony, a very favourite hunter.

Lord Jersey married in 1908, Lady Cynthia Almina Constance Mary Needham, only daughter of the late Earl of Kilmorey. They had four children, two sons and two daughters, and the peerage devolves on the elder son Viscount Grandison who is now 13 years of age, a year younger than his grandfather, the seventh Earl, was when he succeeded to the title.

The Earl of Jersey succeeded his father to the title in 1915. Lord Jersey leaves three sisters. Lady Dynevor, Lady Longford, , and Lady Dunsany, and one brother, Major the Hon. A.G.Child-Villiers,D.S.O.



Junior Clubs Presentation to Mr E. Roderick:

April 19th 1968

At the Jersey Cup final on Monday, Mr Eric Roderick, local football administrator for more than 36 years, was the surprised recipient of a gift from the junior clubs in the Bicester area. This took the form of a silver rose bowl, inscribed as follows: - “Presented to E. Roderick, Esq., by clubs in membership, in recognition of his services to football in Division 1V.”

After 27 years as Divisional Hon. Secretary of the Oxfordshire Football Association, Mr Roderick relinquished that office this year, to be succeeded by Mr Charles Rawlings, whose idea it was to invite the clubs to make some recognition of his predecessor’s service to junior football in the area for many years.

At Monday’s presentation, Mr Rawlings paid tribute to the work of Mr Roderick on behalf of the clubs in the area, extending over some 27 years, and 23 of them as Hon. Secretary of the Mid-Oxon Junior League, now managed by the Jersey F.A.. He said he had met with a most ready response from the clubs in showing their appreciation in some tangible form.

Asking Mr Roderick’s acceptance of the silver rose bowl, Mr Ernie Siggers, a member of the Jersey F.A. Executive Council, and Hon. Secretary of Steeple Aston F.C., also paid tribute to the active interest taken in junior football by Mr Roderick, with whom, he said he had been associated in soccer administration in the area over a period of many years.

Expressing his thanks to the clubs, Mr Roderick said he appreciated the thought behind the gift. Although he had now relinquished some offices, he had been associated with football too long to want to lose interest. He would always retain his interest in football in the area. Mr Roderick holds a remarkable record of long service to football. Associated with Bicester Town F.C. for over 36 years, he held office as Hon. Secretary for 21 years; and has been President for the past 18 years. Appointed to the Oxon F.A. in 1940, he has been Divisional Hon. Sec. Up to this year, he was Mid-Oxon Junior League Hon. Secretary for 23 years. He is Vice-President of the Oxon Football Association, and Vice-Chairman of the Executive Council. Last year he relinquished office as Chairman of the Lord Jersey F.A., after 21 years, and is now a life Vice-President. For 30 years he was Hon Secretary of the Bicester Sports Cup competition.

Appointed to the Committee of Trustees of the Bicester Sports Association in 1947, Mr Roderick has always been actively interested in the Sports Ground, being appointed Hon. Secretary of the Association in 1949 up to the formation of the Tenant Clubs Ground Management Committee some four or five years ago. He is still Hon. Sec. Of the Trustees Committee.

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