ONE of the stalwarts of Worcester Rowing Club, Graham Henderson, has died at the age of 75.

Mr Henderson, who was club captain in 2004 and 2005, was an ever present figure at the club headquarters beside the River Severn on Pitchcroft, involved in almost every aspect of its activities, until illness struck last year.

Worcester Rowing Club captain Anna Singleton said: “The death of Graham is a huge loss for WRC. He was a real treasure who dedicated so many years to the development of rowing. We will be forever thankful for all his hard work.”

As well as being a cornerstone of the rowing club, Mr Henderson was also a well known figure in the village of Whittington, near Worcester, where he had lived for nearly 50 years.

A civil engineer, when first posted to the city by his employers in the mid-1960s he stayed in a converted motor torpedo boat in Diglis Basin, but then moved to Norton before purchasing Lilac Cottage in Whittington.

Friend David Hallmark said: “Graham was committed to the village cricket club and was a steady medium pace bowler and hard hitting batsman. He kept the accounts and after the club ceased was able to organise reunions to spend the final funds.

"His affection and enthusiasm for rugby also allowed him to play for Worcester and after retirement he maintained his interest and became one of the original group which promoted the Sixways Training Shed project, which evolved into the new Sixways Stadium complex we have today.”

Mr Henderson was born in Edinburgh in July 1942 and from an early age his interests lay in sport and mechanical objects, especially steam trains and engines.  When he was young, his mother took him to South Queensferry to view the trains crossing the Forth Rail Bridge.

 After watching the first train go across, he appeared rather crestfallen and his mother asked him what was wrong. “I thought they went that way,” her son replied, tracing the profile of the bridge with his finger. It turned out he was totally disappointed as he thought the trains would progress up and down the structure, like  a roller coaster. Travelling straight across in a flat line was just too dull for him.

At only eight years old, Graham and a few friends would go  to Edinburgh’s Waverley Station to spot the trains. Often they would hop on a train and travel 30 miles down the line to Carstairs Junction, where they had the chance of seeing trains from the west coast mainline bound for Glasgow, travelling home in time for tea, or at least before they were missed.

Mr Henderson’s passion for steam trains continued throughout his life. He was a member of a number of steam train preservation societies and had enormous depth and breadth of knowledge in the subject.

At school he excelled at rugby and cricket, playing for Daniel Stewart’s College 1st XV and the cricket 1st XI. He became a prefect and in his final year was school vice-captain.

His work as a civil engineer took him worldwide and among his notable projects were the foundations for The Globe Theatre in London.

Graham Henderson’s funeral will take place at Worcester Crematorium on Wednesday, January 31 at 11.30am. It will be followed by a light lunch and gathering for family and friends at Worcester Rowing Club.