The rugby community lost two legends in the past week: Hawaii Harlequins RFC’s John Wilbur and San Francisco Golden Gate Rugby Club’s William ‘Bill’ Cody.
Wilbur, 70, graduated from Stanford and UCLA before playing in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Rams and Washington Redskins in a career spanning 10 years. He played rugby in the offseason as a way to keep fit for the upcoming NFL season.
Wilbur was the “face of the Hawai’i Harlequins RFC,” the club said. The club will hold a Hawaiian barbecue in Wilbur’s honor Dec. 14 at the Harlequin Clubhouse. He passed away Dec. 9.
Cody, 59, was a “dedicated club member who helped in many ways to advance rugby in the Bay Are and at [San Francisco Golden Gate],” the club said. Nicknamed “the Commander” by his teammates, Cody played rugby at the University of California-Berkeley and continued playing after school with the Old Blues.
Cody founded the Barbary Coast Rugby Club before it combined with the Castaways to form the Golden Gate Rugby Club. With Cody’s help, the Golden Gate Rugby Club has produced some of the finest young athletes with its Youth Program since 1997.
St. Monica’s Church in San Francisco will hold services for Cody Saturday, Dec. 14.