A friend passed from our lives this week, a boy really, less than a year older than my own elder son. Some people enter your life fleetingly and leave a lasting impression. Craig Grumoli was one of those people. Craig played for Paisley Rugby Club for a relatively short space of time before moving to Ireland to start a new life. I didn’t really get to spend a lot of time with him, but the little time I did was highly enjoyable. When my wife Brenda was in Paisley’s Royal Alexandra Hospital, Craig took time from his own busy working life at the hospital to visit her and bring her some of his trademark cheer, just because that’s the kind of man he was. Such small kindnesses are long remembered.
If I have one lasting image of this young man, it was his almost constant smile. As a rugby player he was uncompromising and never took a backward step, but above all else his sheer joy in taking part in a game he loved stood out. Of course, the social side of the game didn’t pass him by. He had a wild side to him which could be something to behold. Add to this a rapier wit (I can’t think of anyone better at the lightning reply), and you have a picture of a guy who was a lot of fun to be around.
Thanks Craig. Thanks for caring, thanks for the joy of watching you play and thanks for the fun and the kindness you spread around. Above all, thanks for being our friend. The boys at the club, Brenda and I will miss you terribly, but we’ll never forget you.