<p align="left"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong><span style="font-family: Arial;"><em><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong><span style="font-family: Arial;"><span style="color:#666666"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong><span style="font-family: Arial;"><em><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong><span style="font-family: Arial;">There has been a lot of very significant Rugby played this week, with USA qualifying for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, and Canada’s women and men in action. These matches are reported below. But it all seems rather irrelevant currently as we deal with the murder, in his own house, last Friday, of one of the leading figures in NACRA Rugby;Sergeant Jacob Thompson, Chairman of the Jamaica Rugby Union. </span></strong></span></em></span></strong></span></span></span></strong></span></em></span></strong><span style="font-family: Arial;">
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<p align="left">Jacob was the winner of the 2007 IRB Development Award and, only a month ago, in the proudest day of his life, on Jamaica’s National Heroes Day, his beloved country rewarded his years of selfless effort with the</p>
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<p align="left"><em><span style="font-family: Arial;">Order of Jamaica Badge of Honour for Long and Faithful Service</span></em><span style="font-family: Arial;">, the nation’s fourth highest civil honour, “for valuable service to the youth of Jamaica through the game of Rugby”.
<p align="left">He had been the Chairman of Jamaica Rugby Union since 1999, and was appointed Vice-President of West Indies Rugby Union from the period 2005-2007. In 2007 he was selected as an Executive Committee Member of WIRU.</p>
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<p align="left">His relentless drive and leadership carried the Jamaica Rugby Union and its coaches, referees, administrative staff, Rugby development officers and players to the highest levels in the Caribbean region.</p>
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<p align="left">He was the primary reason that thousands of children from some of the poorest and most troubled inner city neighbourhoods now play Rugby in Kingston and around Jamaica.</p>
<p align="left">He was proud to say that Rugby is now permanently a piece of the fabric of Jamaican society. Today there are mixed primary school competitions, boys’ and girls’ high school leagues and cups, and senior leagues for men and women.</p>
<p align="left">Jacob also invested a fortune of his own money, so that in a country where poverty is widespread, besides ensuring playing and touring opportunities, if a player was hungry, he fed him; if a player was injured, he ensured that she was treated.</p>
<p align="left">Jacob Thompson was the embodiment of Jamaican Rugby. Whatever the future may hold for his cherished Country and Union, no one will ever forget the massive commitment he gave to his people, and to Rugby in Jamaica.</p>
<p>Rest in peace.</p>
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<p>Source: <span style="color:#0000CC">NACRA, by email</span></p>