04th Sep 2023

Hong Kong China Rugby are saddened to hear of the passing last Tuesday of Chris Howarth, one of our Honorary Members and a much loved and greatly respected member of our rugby community. 

Chris was a stalwart of the HKFC rugby section, a former Treasurer of the then Hong Kong RFU, a Trustee of the Union’s Charitable Trust Fund, and was a founding member of the Rugby Union Club on whose committee he continued to sit until the present day.

On the pitch in the 70s he was an accomplished loose forward running out for Club 1sts and Dragons, and was unlucky to miss out on selection for the Colony 7s team. He was part of the organising committee of the inaugural HKFC 10s in 1986, and worked closely with Jamie Scott on the drafting of the Union’s Article of Associations in 1989.

His contribution to sport locally and internationally encompassed far more than just rugby, however, as he was a driving force behind the establishment of the Hong Kong China Waterski Association and a prominent member of the International Waterski and Wakeboarding Federation, serving as their Treasurer from 2003-17 and latterly as their Asia Secretary General.

He delighted in sharing his love and passion for sport with others, and helped develop water sports in places as diverse as Saudi Arabia, UAE, India and North Korea. Chris loved a challenge, and genuinely nothing was impossible in his opinion - with a smile on his face he would simply roll up his sleeves in his unassuming manner and invariably a solution would be forthcoming.

Although Hong Kong had been his home for almost 50 years, Chris was born in Cheltenham, England, and graduated from Edinburgh University, and I know he had been looking forward to attending some of the Scottish World Cup matches in France.

The world has lost a genuinely lovely, humble, intelligent and compassionate gentleman - rest in peace Chris, you will be much missed, and thank you for all you did for our community…our thoughts are with his family.