CHARD Rugby Club was plunged into mourning over the weekend when it was announced that former chairman Phil Cook had died.

A club spokesman said: “Phil had done so much for this club — he helped us get to where we are today. He will be missed by all players and fans. Our thoughts are with his family.”

A number of tributes have been placed on the club's Facebook page.

Jim Jacobs wrote: “I am completely stunned - what a loss. Phil always had time if you needed it and his glass was always half full. He will be sadly missed.”

Andy Treble added: “Phil will be missed by everyone; our thoughts go to his family."

Clive Adams said: “He helped everyone he could. He will be sadly missed.”

Rugby was a big part of Mr Cook's life. “Rugby is a game for life," he once said. "The friendships that are made and the stories that come to be told are legendary.

“Enjoy the game, do your best to ensure other people enjoy the game and you will have a sporting companion for the rest of your days.”

Mr Cook had many 'sporting companions.'

He had taken great pride in the club’s recent successes on the pitch which now see them ply their trade in the South West One (West) having won the Western Counties North last season.

He was also very keen on developing young players within the club and continues to have a thriving youth section.

The club will be looking to pay homage to Mr Cook on Saturday when they return to playing action.

Chard 1st XV, who saw their match against Clevedon last weekend postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, will be hoping to pick up valuable points when they travel to Paignton Saxons this Saturday.

Chard are just one place and one point above Paignton in the table and coach Steve Broome knows that they will have to be at their best to get the win.

The Saxons are fourth from bottom, but have a game in hand, so a victory will be vital for Chard to move away from the relegation zone.

The 2nd XV entertain Midsomer Norton 2nd Xv in a Somerset Division One mid-table clash.

Chard 3rds, sitting in second place in Somerset Three South, travel to lowly Castle Cary.

All matches kick-off at 2.30 pm.