Those We Remember
David Frost - June 2006
David Frost, former rugby union correspondent for The Guardian newspaper, has died at the age of 77 after a short illness.
Having been largely brought up as a boy in Cornwall, David played his first club rugby for the Pirates after having represented Cornwall Schools versus The Rest in a holiday match at Camborne.
His scrum-half partner was Mike Jenkin, them both clearly making an impression on the day. Following the match Rex Carr, then Secretary of the fledgling Penzance & Newlyn team, came into the dressing room and called the two naïve youngsters aside, asking them to promise never to play for any Cornish club but the Pirates. Both David and Mike played for the Pirates that same season, under the captaincy of Ben Perrin.
In the summer of 1947, following that schools game at Camborne, David was called up for military service with the RAF at West Kirby, near Liverpool, where he was joined by another Pirates player, Barrie Rogers.
While at Oxford University, David played together once more with Mike Jenkin in the same college side, and he also had the great pleasure of touring Cornwall with the Woodpeckers, the tour party always given a warm welcome on their arrival in Penzance by Mrs. Mavis Lawry, our lady President.
It provided a vital part in the process of growing up both off and on the field, when tough physical encounters were played against mainly the Pirates, Redruth and St. Ives. Ever grateful to Cornish Rugby, David appreciated the start the game in our county gave him, for teaching him how to play hard and fair and to enjoy himself.
Taking up a career in teaching, both in this country and in France, where he played rugby for Biarritz, David became a journalist in 1957 with The Guardian in Manchester.
His playing days had provided him with an enviable level of expertise on rugbys more technical aspects and a vivid clarity of reporting became the hallmark of his style.
In 1985, by which time he had covered seven British Lions tours, we were delighted to welcome him and his wife Pandora to our Club Dinner, him speaking and making a number of presentations on the evening, which included 100 games merit ties to Simon Nicholas, Dave Bowden and Robin Turner.
David was Chairman of the Rugby Union Writers Club from 1983 to 1985 and its President from 1994 to 1998. He was known by his colleagues as Frosty, a name which was in direct contrast to his convivial nature.
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