THE Cornish rugby fraternity has been stunned by the death of former Cornwall player and coach Bobby Tonkin at the age of 62.
Tonkin made 27 appearances in the black and gold shirt of Cornwall between 1971 and 1981, playing in many County Championship games along with prestigious fixtures against the South African Barbarians, Canada and the USA.
In a distinguished playing career he made 622 appearances for the Camborne club before later going on to coach the Cherry & Whites.
He was also fondly remembered for his two-year spell as Director of Coaching with the Cornish Pirates (1995 to 1997), as well as other local clubs including St Ives and Hayle, where he also enjoyed a spell as youth development officer.
More recently he was a Rhino Rugby consultant, using his many years' experience to coach at home and abroad.
A statement posted on the Camborne RFC website said: "It is with great sadness that the club announces the untimely passing of former player and coach Bobby Tonkin (62).
The well known prop forward played for the Cherry & Whites from 1967 to 1985 making 622 appearances for the club and later came back to coach the team. He also was capped for Cornwall 27 times and went on to become head coach of the County.
Bobby was a talented coach and after leaving Camborne went down the road to Hayle where he masterminded a shock Cornwall Cup semi-final win over his old club.
He went on to coach the Cornish Pirates during their early years and also had a spell at St Ives.
Bobby was a real character and will be very much missed by all those who knew him."