09th Jan 2023

The Hong Kong Rugby Union are saddened to hear of the passing of a true legend of Hong Kong rugby, Craig “Woots” Wootten. Woots was a Club man through and through, but was loved and respected throughout the community - locals and expats, national and community players, your day brightened when he appeared at the side of the pitch. 

He had a legendary tenure as Hong Kong national team manager…no one knew how to manipulate a tour budget like Woots, and he made sure that everyone who was ever lucky enough to tour under his tenure came away with memories to last a life time…and a surprising amount of kit.

He was always the funniest bloke in the bar, the maestro of mischief, the architect of anarchy … it was the greatest badge of honour if he anointed you with one of his special nicknames.

He had been a quality player in his day as well, and he was a key figure in the development of the HKFC 10s - when World Rugby were looking to standardise the global rules for 10s they approached HKRU for advice, and we asked Woots to help - he loved that his set of variations, drafted no doubt in the Sportsman’s Bar, became a global template for the game.

During his time with the HKFC 10s he was the ubiquitous “mine host” welcoming teams from all over the world to Sports Road, and was synonymous with Hong Kong for many in the international rugby community.

We’ll all have our own personal memories of Woots that bring a smile to our face, and that is ultimately the mark of the man - we were so lucky to have him as part of the rugby community, and he injected humour and humanity into all of our lives.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Melinda, Callum, Alyssa, family, friends and team mates … raise a Bundy and Coke, for we won’t see his like again.