Jeremy 'Archie' Hartwright, a Typhoon R.I.P.
Jeremy 'Archie' Hartwright, a Typhoon.
It was with great sadness that we heard that Archie had left the pitch for the final time last Friday 1st February 2019.
Archie was one of the founding members of the Typhoons and played an integral part in the clubs early success and it's continued growth.
Archie was, along with his colleagues at K.G.V. School, Charlie Riding, Phil Arnold and Ian Slater convinced/begged/bribed (select your own word) by some of his former pupils to play for and support the Typhoons at its inception. Registering the official name of the Typhoons as the Hong Kong Former Pupils R.F.C. probably helped a little in getting his early support though by the end of the first game he was fully committed irrespective of what we called ourselves.
Archie was a front row forward of no mean skill and fitness and joined us from Hong Kong Football Club (H.K.F.C.) where he had played for many years. (As a member of H.K.F.C. it also meant he had a bar tab that he was happy for us to use when we played at H.K.F.C. and the last of their players had left the bar. We of course always settled up with him, honest!) He was always generous with his time during training and patience in the bar after games in explaining the dark arts of being a prop to the less experienced Typhoons.
While playing for us he continued to represent H.K.F.C. Contemptibles, their veterans team and in later years after his retirement from the Typhoons turned out on occasion for Kowloon R.F.C. Though officially a vet. in rugby circles when he started with us he was far fitter than most of his younger team mates.
In our first season we had 3 main objectives each week;
1) Get 15 people down to the pitch on a Saturday, preferably by kick off
2) Make sure some of them could play rugby
3) Ensure we did well enough in the game to make it worthwhile turning up the following week
Back in our first season in the days before the Typhoons had a web thingy and only the flash gits had a mobile phone most of the leg work in getting a side out on a Saturday was done by ringing round people on a Friday to cajole them in to turning up. This was followed by crawling the bars of Lan Kwai Fong and looking for candidates to press gang. When most people said they were 100% going to turn up, it meant a no show. When Archie said he would be there he meant it. All rugby teams start with a solid front row and knowing that Archie would be there gave us confidence that no matter who else turned up on the Saturday we would be able to compete. During that first season we only lost one game and won all competitions that we entered for both 15 and 7 a side. It is in no small way due to Archie's early support and commitment to the Typhoons that allowed us as a team to be competitive, attract and keep players who turned up and to grow as a club. All Typhoons players and teams that have taken the field in the subsequent 25 years do so in part due to Archie's commitment to the club.
While Archie gave much to the Typhoons I hope that we were able to return the favour in some way with the opportunity to achieve his ambition of playing rugby long enough so that he could play together in the front row with his son Ben.
Onwards and upwards and hats off for Archie, a team mate and a Typhoon.
Chairman, Typhoons RFC: 1995-1999
For and on behalf of Typhoons past and present.