Tributes paid to all-round sportsman and former teacher Rick Bache

Sandford CC, where Rick Bache played cricket

If you played cricket, rugby or basketball during the 1980s or early 1990s, there is a good chance you will have encountered Rick Bache.

Bache, who has died aged 63, ran up and down the wing for Crediton in the 1stand 2ndXVs after joining the club when he graduated from St Luke’s college in Exeter and took up a teaching post in the town.

He played cricket for Sandford – bowling medium pace in the 2ndXI – and basketball for the side based at Queen Elizabeth Community College in Crediton.

Matt Theedom, Devon’s cricket development manager, turned out alongside Bache in Sandford cricket teams. He said Bache had an uncomplicated approach when he picked up a bat.

“He did not judge the ball on its merits – he just played it by numbers,” said Theedom.

“Every third ball that came along, he would take a huge slog at it and cheerfully admitted that was his strategy.”

Bob Eames, who has played cricket for England O60s, played all three sports with Bache and taught alongside him at Queen Elizabeth Community College. He remembers him as someone committed to everything he did.

“Rick, Dave Ringham and others turned the college staff team that played in the Exeter & District League into a force that went up through the leagues and did very well,” said Eames.

“Later, both went down to Plymouth to play for the Raiders who I think were in National Two then.

“After he retired as head of PE at QE Rick threw himself into keeping fit by cycling and running with iron man-like enthusiasm.”

Paul Harris, a former Crediton RFC player and Sandford CC supporter, remembers Bache well.

“Rick must have played for more than 10 years for us, when he wasn’t playing basketball,” said Harris.

“He was an all-round sportsman but of all the sports he played basketball would have been his number one sport.”

Rick Bache, who had retired early from teaching on health grounds, died unexpectedly while on a house-hunting expedition in Spain. He had been married and divorced and is survived by two daughters and a son.

No funeral arrangements have been made yet.