Leinster Rugby and Boyne RFC were sad to hear of the recent sad passing of John ‘Jazz’ Craven…BOYNE RFC TRIBUTE…

If a stranger arrived into the town of Drogheda on Saturday morning the 26th of September last between the times of 10:30am and 12:30pm and came across the funeral of John ‘Jazz’ Craven, they would have been left wondering who the famous person that was being mourned such was the huge gathering that had turned out to pay their respects.

The popularity of Jazz Craven was reflected in the magnificent turnout who came to say their last goodbye. If one were to decipher the various sections of the large attendance and their association with the genial and lovable Jazz, it would take several tomes to illustrate their reasons for being there. Such was his well known association with all of the sporting, social, working and community organisations that he was involved with, they came in large numbers to pay tribute to a wonderful Drogheda person.

It is from a rugby perspective that we pay tribute to Jazz for his great contribution to Drogheda RFC and Boyne RFC down through the years. We were fortunate that it was rugby that he developed such a passion for, because his prowess at other sports was very well known. Jazz’s introduction to rugby, ironically, came about because of soccer.

He assisted Drogheda RFC “All Blacks” in the summer soccer leagues many years ago and as a result of this association he was persuaded to take up the game of rugby. Along with his great friend Phil Malone, both of them have given marvellous support to local rugby down through the years. Jazz’s interest in Drogheda RFC and Boyne RFC has turned out to be a long and happy association and one that has particularly enriched the people who became involved with Jazz as a result. He moved to live in Dundalk and joined Dundalk RFC where he was equally as popular in that club as he was in Drogheda and then Boyne RFC. But, Drogheda was Jazz’s town, and he loved it.

The members will regale and retell stories of his exploits over and over again for as long as they gather in the name of rugby. It was fitting that we brought the Provincial Towns Cup to Shamrock Lodge before Jazz unexpectedly departed this world. And, it was also fitting, that the majority of those players who formed a guard of honour for Jazz and paid their respects and that of the club by escorting him into the Church and to his final resting place on Saturday last. The priest at Jazz’s funeral Mass, Fr. Denis Nulty called him a lovable rogue. We concur with him and go beyond it, by acknowledging that Jazz had a very rare human quality in endearing himself to everyone that came into contact with him. Messages of sympathy came to the club from various parts of the world, New Zealand, Australia, America among them.

This typified the character of Jazz Craven in making friends upon whom, he left an indelible memory. He also had an eye for spotting rugby players who came into sphere and he would immediately approach them to join the club. Jazz was unique and he had a personality that could open any door and engage whatever company he was involved with, in witty conversation. He always gave you the impression that he had “The Inside Story” on important issues of intrigue.

Boyne Rugby Club shall miss Jazz Craven but, not half as much as his dearly beloved wife and our friend, Anne, Sons, Daughters, Grandchildren and extended family to whom we extend our most sincere and heartfelt sympathies.

May He Rest In Peace…