<![CDATA[It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of the passing of John Izod, a longtime stalwart for Toronto Nomads RFC.
John Izod passed away Thursday, April 7 at the Conquest Hospital in St Leonards after a short illness. He was heavily involved in all things Rye, was a cartoonist and illustrator, fundraiser for charities in town, rugby enthusiast, and a stalwart of Rye Bonfire Society. Cllr Izod was also involved with Rye Community Transport. Fellow town councillor Sean Rogers said: “Very sad news. He will be missed by me and many more. John was a very colourful character around Rye and good fun to be around.”
Via Nick Mitchell, the chair of the Aurora Barbarians Black Sheep Society:
“John was a Nomads stalwart in earlier years, and gave a lot to Rugby. He was also an accomplished artist, an actor and a raconteur with great wit. He moved to England over 30 years ago, but has stayed in touch. He has hosted many members of the Ontario Rugby community at his home, including me.
“He was also a Town Councillor in Rye, Kent, his home in England and led many local initiatives. He was good company and will be missed by all who knew him.”
Via Rye News (John’s community newspaper in England – read more:http://www.ryenews.org.uk/news/johns-heavenly-route):
“The question eventually came from his father: “what are you going to do with your life?” He decided to go to Canada with a mate from the street and they headed to Toronto. “When you arrive in Canada as an Anglo Saxon with rucksack and axe you usually sell real estate and make a fortune and then have a town named after you”. John’s life took him in another direction. The British Lions rugby team had jumped boat from New Zealand having been thrashed in the Pacific and it was a miserable time. “It was decided to have a big party and singing broke out. I found myself on a table singing risqué versions of athletic songs. The General Manager of Rowntrees in Ontario, who managed the Ontario Rugby Union, asked, “who is that man? I want him on my team” and so I became a production assistant at Rowntrees”. Divine intervention number one.
“John stayed in Canada for ten years, working and playing rugby. His rugby trips involved travelling down through the States of Michigan, Baltimore, New York. “It was marvellous – the skilful weedy drinker types from Canada could beat the Yale yankees by their knowledge of the game”. On his trip to New York he found a “lively lovely girl behind a bar” and married her three months later. They went back to Canada and had a son, Max, now a graphic designer with a five year old daughter. In Canada he had a brief spell as a film star when he responded to a request for paunchy, balding 50 year olds and successfully gained a role and a trip to Jamaica to film “Misfortunes” about a group of people marooned on an island. The film was later withdrawn on the basis that it was too similar to “Castaway” starring Tom Hanks although John has a copy for interested groupies.”