The 'Chicken Shed' updated at Barnstaple Rugby Club
THE vocal crowd that watches Barnstaple rugby matches from the small stand at the club's Pottington Road ground had reason to think of a former colts and second team manager on Saturday.
Supporters in the Chicken Shed, as it's affectionately known, were sitting on new timber seats and surrounded by a newly-clad stand, thanks to a donation from the family of Phil Slade, who died in May 2011 after a long battle with cancer.
Phil's wife Lesley, daughters Gemma and Sarah and sons Brad and Jason, who both play for the club, made the donation and club chairman Trevor Shaddick said he was very grateful.
"The family's generosity has allowed the former very sad looking building to be completely refurbished with new outside cladding and timber seating," he said.
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"Phil worked tirelessly for the club and his style was to treat each player as if he were their father so it was a tragic blow when he fell ill. It was an illness he never mentioned, and he carried on until he eventually succumbed."
Mole Valley Farmers, Jewsons, Bradiford Glass and club volunteers also helped with the project.
One of those volunteers was director of rugby Kevin Squire, who was working on the stand when he fell from a ladder and broke his ankle and hip.