In a recent re-organisation of Ashbrooke's magnificent archives,
a small personal library of books belonging to Alan was discovered
and its contents are worth listing -
- The History of the Rugby Football Union - O L
Owen (Playfair 1955). For a number of years this was the
bible of rugby historians later to be replaced by a centenary
publication and, more recently, by a history celebrating 150 years
of the RFU. Owen's work contained pictures of and made references
to Alan's fellow Ashbrooke administrator Eric Watts Moses who was
President of the RFU shortly after the war.
- Rugby Football - W J A Davis (Webster
n.d.c1922/3) was the predecessor to Owen's book.
- The Art of Refereeing - A Handbook for Rugby
Football Referees (RFU 1975 revision). This copy is
dedicated in Alan's hand-writing to Robin Auld, another key figure
in local and national Rugby administration. Alan's contribution to
the publication is made clear in the foreword where thanks were
given to him for his personal donation of 'time, experience and
skill' in creating what was regarded as 'an indispensable companion
for every referee'.
- The Manual of the RFU for Coaches for Coaches and
Players - ed. F H. Ellis (RFU 1952). This book was
published at a time when both Alan Bean and Eric Watts Moses were
pushing for more structure in the organisation of coaching at all
- Rugby Union in Lancashire and Cheshire - ed. W
B Croxford (Liverpool 1950). This contained a written
dedication to Alan from the author as well as a foreword from Eric
Watts Moses who was President of the RFU at the time.
- Lions Rampant - the 1955 British Isles Tour of
South Africa - Vivian Jenkins (Cassell 1956) - a
reflection on Alan's interest in developing international rugby. He
had refereed one of the wartime internationals.
- London Society of Rugby Football Union Referees
1889 -1939 (London Society - c 1939 - hand dated by Alan
24.3.1939). This is a fascinating little booklet signed at
the front by seven of the society's members including the famed and
long-serving A J Trollope.
Each book has Alan's signature clearly visible on the first page
and as the last book mentioned is of more than local interest, the
Ashbrooke Club/Sunderland RFC (due to celebrate 150 years in 2023/4
season) has decided to donate it to the World Rugby Museum
alongside a small photograph of Alan Bean.
About the Author - Keith Gregson is
historian of Sunderland RFC and a regular contributor to 'From the
Vaults'. His online biography of founding British Lion, Barbarian
and England international Howard Marshall is available to buy