Cockles head coach Jon Hill leaves the club after eight years

PUBLISHED: 10:20 18 May 2018 | UPDATED: 10:20 18 May 2018

Exmouth RFC departing head coach Jon Hill

Exmouth RFC departing head coach Jon Hill


Exmouth head coach Jon Hill is to leave the club after eight years with the Cockles, writes Stephen Birley.

The club announced his departure via a press release after the competition of the Cockles’ season, one that ended with defeat in the Devon Cup at Ivybridge.

We caught up with Jon following the breaking of the news and he spoke at length about his departure.

He said: “It is with great regret, sadness and some bitterness that I will be leaving all of my positions at Exmouth RFC.

“I would like to thank a number of people for making me feel so welcome at the club and for the roles they have played in supporting the club whilst I have been there for the last eight seasons.

“Two promotions, one league championship, five Devon Cup wins, and many a Devon derby victory will, of course, be the main highlights, but it is safe to say that Exmouth Rugby Club has been a massive part of my life for the last eight years and I thank you all for the opportunity.

“The victory over Barnstaple on the last game of the season to win the league was a personal highlight coupled with the play-off victory over Dorking to again promotion to National Two for the first time in the club’s history.”

He continued: “The players, throughout my time have been magnificent, and their efforts truly appreciated.

“The talents in the current squad are in abundance and have achieved some superb accolades for the club along the way.”

Hill then turned his attention to his praise individuals, saying: “The captain’s, throughout my time, have been Mark Wathes, Ross Morshead, Dave Bargent and Jack Fahy and they have led the club in exemplary fashion, helping to develop an Exmouth Brand and a high level of pride and passion that continues to make the CLOGS proud.

“The roles that Chris Wright, Keith Pyne and Roger Holman, amongst so many others, have played throughout my time have been immense.

“ Fitting, I guess, that, with Wrighty [Chris Wright] deciding to leave, that my time has come. Wrighty has been an unbelievable rock for the club, and has supported the dream and the vision at all times. He is, and indeed has been, a man mountain, a key influence and the main reason that I joined the club. I cannot thank him enough.”

“Keith [Pyne], was a fantastic president for the club, a loyal clubman, and a great figurehead. He truly is a real rugby man and one who was always on hand and would be open, honest and supportive to the players.

“He was, indeed is, a man who would always reinforce the old school rugby values and the pride in the Exmouth jersey on and off the field.

“Roger [Holman] – well he basically lives and breathes Exmouth RFC. Other than actually having a bed down there, I am not sure what else he could do to spend more time at the club working on various jobs , so many of them that go un-noticed!

“Chris Parks, the former chairman, was always honest and supportive, recognising his role off the field. He is another whose work behind the scenes often went unnoticed.”

The departing coach continued: “I would like to offer a very public massive thanks to John Justice, who has driven the rugby pathway and has done a lot behind the scenes to ensure that we have a group of very talented youngsters coming through.

“He is another genuine true rugby gent, it is a shame that I will not be able to work with you in helping develop the next generation, with so many good young players coming through this year. The vision and dedication of this guy is sure to ensure the club goes onto achieve lots in the future, and he has massive boots to fill in helping to replace Wrighty.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working on the commercial team. Over the past three seasons we have brought record sums of sponsorship into the club to support the club and its aspirations. Playing league rugby with four senior teams, and so many juniors certainly isn’t cheap, and the roles that Dawn, Jon, Tim, Sue Stone and Jan have played have been superb.

Finding many new sponsors, raising the profile of the club in the media and in the community, and increasing our social media followers by 600 per cent have been some key highlights. It is a shame that Dawn, Jon and Tim are also stepping down.”

Finally, Hill spoke of his closing feelings for the club in general. He said: “It is a truly special and unique club, I doubt I will find another ‘Bongo’ elsewhere, a guy who epitomises what it is like at Exmouth RFC.

“Where else will you find guys like him and Nigel Bates who come to watch training, bring sweets and treats for the players (that go against many nutritional guidelines!), and offer their support in their own special ways.

“Thank you for the memories – ones that will stay with me forever, and I wish you all the best.”

* Here at the Exmouth Journal sports desk we would like to place on record our sincere thanks for the time Jon [Hill] has always afforded us in terms of comments. He never ‘dodged’ a question and was always happy to give a full account of the rugby, be it good, bad, or ugly! Good luck with whatever comes next Jon.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Exmouth Journal visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Exmouth Journal staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Exmouth Journal account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other Sport Stories

Yesterday, 15:38

Two of this season’s new teams in the Exmouth Netball League, Gazelles and Kenn Valley played out an entertaining draw when they met each other in an opening game of the new campaign.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:12

Exmouth Town are in action at Plymouth Argyle on Tuesday evening and Kevin Hill’s men will be looking to get back to winning ways after Saturday’s exit from the Walter C Parsons Funeral Directors Cup when they were beaten 4-2 at Elmore, writes John Dibsdall.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:20

Budleigh Salterton Under-16s enjoyed smooth passage into the next round of the Exeter and District Youth League KO Cup with a 4-0 home win over Okehampton Argyle, writes SpursTom.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:58

A cricket charity that takes important health messages into some of the poorest communities in Africa is targeting coaches in Devon to join its next round of recruits, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:58

The final weekend of September (29 and 30), sees the staging of the final, and deciding, round of the ASWMC Southern Counties Autocross Championship and the MSA Inter Association Challenge, writes Colin Anderson.

Read more
Saturday, September 22, 2018

Exmouth Town let a two-goal half-time lead slip as they crashed out of the Walter C Parsons Funeral Directors Cup (the League cup for the South West Peninsula League), beaten 4-2 at Division One East side Elmore.

Read more
Saturday, September 22, 2018

The day of the annual River Exe Champagne Challenge, organised by Exe Sailing Club (ESC), dawned calm and race officer Richard Linsdale wisely set a short course for the club class, writes Rex Frost.

Read more
Saturday, September 22, 2018

Wincanton Racecourse will be opening its doors to the public on Friday, October 12 to show off its new facilities ahead of its first meeting of the new season which begins Friday, October 19, writes Lucy Johnson.

Read more
Friday, September 21, 2018

A new season of the Exmouth and District Netball League has got under way and there are three new teams competing, writes Pamela Taylor.

Read more
Thursday, September 20, 2018

Exe Jets were 36-32 winners when they met Cougars in an Exmouth and District Netball League match.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 4°C

Most Read Sport

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Photo Orders
Family notices
Google Plus
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Exmouth Journal twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists

Find planning applications