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The photograph is of the Rochdale players (Lancashire, England), applaudiing Peter Sunderland, dead at 83. A talented artists and pianist, Peter was a life-long member and officer who also played for Les Vieux, Manhattan RFC’s Old Boys side for five years in the 1970s.
The Rochdale RFC in the north was founded in 1921, and its modest facilities offers locals a place to play and to gather socially. Peter and his wife Wendy (the only female President) were active members for forty-years, known for their team day food service of meat pies and mushy peas.
Peter Sunderland, Artist
Peter operated a successful, high-end wall paper and textile design business that catered to Europe’s and the United States' top interior decorators. He attended prestigious home shows in Deauville, France, and Manhattan’s Javits Center.
He attended the Rochdale Art College and the Manchester College of Art. He created a different wall paper design every day, printing out rolls in a cavernous room located in one of England’s oldest industrial mills.
When he retired, he returned to painting and examples of these colorful works are featured on his own page in the web site “Manchester UK” under “Greater Manchester Artists (102).”
“Clubbable” is a rarely employed word that means “sociable,” but, in another context, it describes a person who is an active participant in a club, usually, but not exclusively male. With the proliferation of rugby through the UK in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Clubs with grounds and pitches dotted the landscape.
Peter exuded the essence of enthusiasm and dedication to his clubs, volunteering for duties, and acting as an officer. He was a fine man, and the Rochdale and Manhattan RFCs celebrate his life as a wonderful teammate and friend.