Day: 5 October 2021

A message of condolence from Charlie Mallinson

How is it that I’m having to write this? It all seems so unfair and unjust and I just can’t process the cruelty that has been inflicted upon us all.

You bounced into my life with such endless positivity, unbridled optimism, and the truest sense of joy: It felt as though nothing could ever bring you down.

You saw the truth in people, and were never afraid to express how you felt, but you always did so with a kindness that showed the valiant nature of your intentions.

The only thing that surpassed your positivity was your generosity. You always had a kind word, a cheerful observation, or an invitation for me to add to your (far too frequent) Amazon shops – whether it be rugby equipment or isotonic drinks.

I laugh now about how you talked without taking a breath for an hour, causing me to miss junctions and ultimately me having to ask you to shut up so that I could do a three point turn; but it was impossible to be annoyed with you, your cheerful disposition spread to all around you, and it was already being joked about before the engine had cooled down.

I remember your countless messages asking for advice on teaching, rugby equipment, the best alternative venues in Manchester, or even relationship advice (goodness knows why you asked me!)

In short, you possessed all the best qualities in humanity, and your future was bright, and whilst I’m utterly gutted I’ll never get to see you reach your fullest potential, I know I’ll move forward with a bit of your kindness, a lot of your optimism, and with a determination to live in your legacy.

“La muerte no existe, la gente solo muere cuando la olvidan” ¡Nunca te olvidaré!


It is with profound sadness that the Spartans share with our family of supporters and our rugby community, the news of the tragic loss of one of our youngest Spartans, Robert James-Gonzales.

Having only joined us six months ago, Robert made a huge impact on the club and immediately gained many friends, thanks to his brilliantly warm nature.  This amazing young man was gently spoken, had a great laugh and a beaming, kind smile.

Joining our 1XV, our 23yr old newbie actually brought many years of rugby experience and his great talent to the squad. ‘Roberto’ was a player, school coach and referee. Before joining the Spartans family, he played from 2011 to 2019 with XV Hortaleza in his native Spain.  We know they’re also deeply saddened by this loss and we send our condolences to all his Spanish team mates, in addition to his family and friends, here and in Spain.

Whilst receiving the news last week was very hard for the Spartans, especially, the many players who’d become solid friends with him over the summer, the time between has also been incredibly uplifting….to hear how the club had brought Robert so much joy and happiness, and to read how warmly he was thought of at the club by his new friends in rugby.

Whilst this loss has floored us like a heavy hit during a game, not only are we all reminded just how precious life is and how unexpectedly it can be taken away, Robert’s attitude, skill, kindness and consideration for others makes us more determined than ever to get up and ‘play on’. 

It strengthens our resolve to keep working hard to bring inclusive rugby to more people and continue to be the kind of club that makes a positive difference to people’s lives.

We are so fortunate to have had you amongst our ranks, Robert.

Rest in peace.