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Nomads lose former captain and longtime member Neil Sorbie

The following excerpt is from Robert Jenkins, Fletcher’s Fields Communications and Rugby Ontario:

It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of the passing of Neil Sorbie, a long-time member of the Toronto Nomads Rugby Football Club, and a former executive director of the Ontario Rugby Union.

The following was written by Fletcher’s Fields president Robert Jenkins:

Dear Patrons and Supporters of Fletcher’s Fields,

It is with great sadness that I must let you know one of our Patrons, Neil Sorbie, passed away quietly on Saturday afternoon, May 30 at Bridgepoint Hospital in Riverdale.

Neil, known by many of his friends as “Off -side Sorbie”, was well known in the rugby community having joined the Nomads while at Malvern Collegiate. He captained the Nomads in their victory over the Scottish in the 1976 Carling Cup Grand Final (attached is a photo of Neil from The Globe and Mail’s match report).

Neil graduated from the University of Toronto where he played and captained the Varsity rugby team. He led the alumni campaign when the university administration decided to cut the funding to the rugby program and reduce it from a varsity sport to a club sport.

Not only was Neil an active player but an accomplished rugby administrator becoming Executive Director of the Ontario Rugby Union. After the loss of the Carling beer sponsorship, he was responsible, with the then-president Bob Elder for re‑naming the new Grand Final Cup after the late Vic McCormick.

After several years as Executive Director of the ORU, he left to assume a teaching career with the TDSB in Regent Park. While teaching, he developed the “HolyMoly” strap, which he trademarked and patented. This has become standard issue for all mini non-tackle rugby programs and for many school phys ed programs in the province.

A regular listener of CBC’s Metro Morning radio show, Neil was never short of an opinion and could often be heard phoning in his views to CBC’s VoxBox.

Neil was a staunch supporter of Fletcher’s Fields and rarely missed a Grand Final. A true rugby man, Neil will be fondly remembered for his latest rendition, to a rapper beat, of “Blue is the Colour”, the Chelsea FC song adopted by the Nomads, at the Grand Final lunch last year.

Neil is survived by his loving wife Monica, their two daughters (Alex and Bronwyn) and two grandchildren.

Robert

Neil will be missed by Ontario’s rugby community, as his spirit and dedication towards rugby will be remembered fondly.

We would like to extend our sympathies to Neil’s family and friends, as well as the Toronto Nomads’ rugby community.

Neil will never be forgotten.