As we drift towards 2017 I think it’s been a strange year all round.
Apart from the complete nonsense of Brexit, Trump and Farage there seems to have been a higher than usual number of famous people passing away.
Perhaps it’s just that as I get older I have an increased sense of my own mortality or simply that the media is so in your face all the time.
You don’t have to be famous to be mourned of course – there will be a great deal of sadness amongst family and friends for all those ‘ordinary’ people who have passed away – although I’m sure that they were anything but ordinary to those who miss them.
Amongst the best known who left us, the two I felt most sorry about were Terry Wogan and Victoria Wood – both of whom I would have loved to have been down the pub with for a drink (or several).
Rugby also suffered losses –
Rugby people around the world were stunned by the news in March that the former Fiji international had passed away at the age of 37.
Rabeni represented Fiji in successive Rugby World Cups (2003 and 2007) and played top-flight rugby in England, New Zealand and France during a 16-year career.
The former Super Rugby lock died in April at the age of 31 after a long battle with cancer.
Haiu played 53 times for the Blues but retired in 2011 after being diagnosed with bone cancer in his rib.
The 20-year-old Harlequins academy front-rower tragically died in a car accident in May.
Adeniran-Olule represented England U20s last year and had been involved with the London club since the age of 13.
And of course –
It’s still hard to believe that Anthony Foley is no longer with us.
Such a prominent figure in Munster and Irish rugby, Foley died suddenly, at the age of 42, in a Paris hotel while away with the southern province for a Champions Cup game.
The Munster head coach won 62 caps for Ireland, three as captain, while he also led the province to their Heineken Cup win in 2006.
There is one thing I’ve definitely been grateful for in 2016 – I think this is the first year where I haven’t had to put on my one suit to go to the funeral of one of the guys I played with at Askeans – and long may that continue!