Dennis Miller 1939 – 2017
The passing away of Dennis Miller this week will have left a huge gap in many of the lives of we who knew him. If anyone embodied the club motto it was Dennis.
He joined the club committee while Andy was still playing and went on to serve the club loyally until last year when his illness took hold. His major contribution was as Honorary Treasurer, but in addition he organised all lunches and served as the liaison officer for the bar and kitchen. He was Mr Reliable, always there, always available, always offering his help and services for the most demanding jobs. Every committee needs a Dennis Miller, few are fortunate to find them.
In addition to his formal role he was an ideal ambassador for Charlton Park. He represented the club at pre-match functions and made instant friends all through the rugby fraternity.
Dennis did not come from the rugby world. He was initially a swimmer who was selected to represent UK at the Melbourne Olympics but was sadly ill and unable to take his place. He played football and became Chairman of Blackheath Wanderers for a while. He ran a dining club in the city and knew what constituted a good pint or a quaffable glass of wine.
Dennis was a great conversationalist and would delight in recounting stories of his racy past – being stopped by the police in his dinner jacket driving the wrong way round Parliament Square at four in the morning with glasses of whisky propped on the dashboard. Needless to say he was let off – Dennis gave a good imitation of a thoroughly upright citizen. He knew hosts of people from his business days who would pop up in various rugby clubs. However, he also had high standards and did not suffer fools easily; his role at the club often became that of the exasperated mediator.
John Hughes of Westcombe Park has written to the club describing men like Dennis as rare. So he was. A man of integrity, generosity, energy, who wanted to contribute his bit. He did so much and we will miss him enormously.
Andy tells me that there is likely to be a family funeral but that there will be a celebration of his life at the club later.