I was Rob's Vice-Captain when he was School Captain in 1959. He was a great footballer and tried valiantly to encourage me, but when "Plug" Rawlings introduced the oval ball I realised that rugby union/scrum-half was my forte! I recall that Rob was always top in German (a language I never came to terms with). Even at that relatively tender age I accepted that he was too good for me, and most of the others in our year group, at this particular subject - and a few other subjects, I seem to recall......and so it is interesting, but not surprising, that he was living in that country.
Albert John Richardson (Taffy)....... I would not say that I knew Rob well but I always liked meeting him, he was always so friendly and above all knew who I was. We cannot afford to lose too many old boys of his calibre, especially the younger ones
Jeremy Chapman...........Rob was my first cricket captain and also school captain in my second year at school in 1958-59. An absolute cat of a goalkeeper, the best I ever saw at that level, who represented the county, and equally agile as a fielder at cricket. (had to be good at something as he never made more than ten runs and didn't bowl).
A first-class linguist and a most interesting man who always had time for you, a good human being and a good companion, which made him a fine school captain. He was not in my year so, outside the cricket and my support for the football team (both school and county), I never got to know him closely but he is remembered with great affection and admiration. A most tremendous credit to Shene Grammar.
David Wright......... We both lived in Palmerston Road. I remember him mostly because he used to play goalkeeper in the 1st XI, although I didn't know him particularly well. It is very sad to hear of his passing.
David Hackett....................My principal memories of Rob were playing football together for the Old Boys, where he was, of course the goalkeeper whose height would dominate the goal area.
One dark January, Saturday afternoon, Rob conceded an unlikely goal scored by yours truly. It was pouring with rain, we were ankle deep in mud and from somewhere near the halfway line I decided that a pass back to the goalkeeper was safer than trying to turn round in the gluepot and punt the ball upfield. I connected rather well but found, to my dismay, that Rob was propping up a post trying to keep dry, or warm. He had hardly moved before the ball entered the net. Fortunately we won the game........
Ken Waring..........I always will remember Rob’s fearless goal keeping exploits...too fearless sometimes. Rob challenged for a ball under the crossbar, jumped too high and pretty well knocked himself out on the crossbar. I think the match may have been 1st XI v staff.
Peter Flewitt............. Rob's brother, John Vaughan and I were good mates in our latter school days and for a few years after, until he went to work in Germany. Rob, of course, was a few years older than us so he moved in a different social circle, other than after soccer on a Saturday, so I can't really offer any anecdotes other than my memories of an Easter Tour to Germany, meticulously planned and run by him with a bunch of unruly teenage 16-50 year olds such as Bloxham, Harlow and I think Jeffs which he ran in his trademark calm and good humoured manner. I'll leave the real stories to others better placed..............
..........but, to use an Aussie expression, I'll bet London to a brick that you'll have a hard job finding anybody with a harsh word about him and, to use another one that's about as high praise as any Aussie ever gives, a real good bloke. Even from half way round the world and almost 40 years away he'll be missed.
Brian Roddis..................I remember Rob as a very affable, gentle giant of a man - and a damned good goalkeeper to boot. As I'm sure many others will also recall, Rob organised the groundbreaking Old Boys tour to Czechoslovakia in the mid-60s - a tour which I was lucky enough to take part in.
Richard Jones...............I remember Rob as our first School Captain at a time when the prefects were feared and respected - not sure it quite carried through to when we became prefects. My next contact was after I left School and joined the OB Rugby
Club. Rob kept goal for the Old Boys and we crossed paths after soccer and rugby games.
My last contact was just three months ago at the Reunion and his passing is a shock.
Brian Susman...................My memory of Rob is as a gentle giant in the school 1st football XI in about 1957 when the team went through a full season with a 100% record. In later years, he became a goalkeeper, progressing, I believe, to the likes of Kingstonian but in the school team, he played more often at right back. He was a big lad even then.
Indeed the defence as a whole frightened the opposition when we ran out on the field that season. As well as Rob at right back, standing about 6ft 2ins, we had John Corby at centre half (football teams were in 2-3-5 formation in those days!) who was 6ft 4ins at 14, as I recall, and myself at left back at 6ft 5ins. Little wonder that the opposition forward line didn't want to know...!
Nick Crisp.....................Sorry to hear about Rob - easily the tallest goalkeeper I've ever played with.........!
Michael Collett.................... Rob was a few years after me at school, but I do remember our visit to Germany and Holland for a couple of friendly football matches when Rob was our "representative" and made a speech at one of the dinners being the only one of us courageous enough to speak German in public.
The fact that he was in Germany so recently suggests to me that his German was somewhat more advanced than I had realised.
Len Timms..................Taffy, Very, very sad to get your message re Rob. I used to see him a lot at Craven Cottage in the Press Box. He was also the goalkeeper for the OG's when they beat Ham FC, so I will never live that down!
This Obituary appeared in the Sports Section of the Kingston Leader newspaper on 18th October, 2007..........
The description of "one of nature's gentlemen" is vastly overused but, in the case of Bob Vaughan, World Soccer's eastern European correspondent for years, is amply justified.
Bob, who has died aged 67, extended his original boyhood devotion to football to a playing peak as a goalkeeper with Kingstonian FC but his "real" career led him into education and ultimately to a role with the British Institute in Vienna, which with his command of German, opened doors for him throughout central Europe.
Later he turned to sports journalism as a means of pursuing his love of football and began writing for World Soccer in the 1970s.
For well over a decade his insight into not only eastern European football but also its cultural and political context made him unique among the region's commentators and observers.
The subsequent coincidence of retirement and reunification took Bob back to Germany and a new home in Berlin, where he died suddenly.
My last memory of Bob was seeing him edge his way seamlessly through the media scrum at this year's Champions League Final in Athens; that was Bob Vaughan - not only one of nature's gentlemen but also, to summon up another cliché that would have prompted an appropriate smile, a gentle giant.
Alan Wicks....................Your e-mail (Memorial Service) about RV came as a little surprise, because that was the first I had heard about his death. Maybe I missed an earlier e-mail, but I doubt it. Remember, Taffy that I don't have any internet facility here.
Anyway, how sad for one so young. I spoke to Allan Ward and to Rick Emptage to see if they knew any details - all that Rick could tell was the content of an obituary in The Times...'after a short illness'. Rob and I had spoken at length at London Welsh so recently. His inspiration and leadership made many many consecutive Easters on the Continent so memorable (despite the drubbings that we invariably received at the hands of the Hun). Also France, Holland and Czechoslovakia had been on the itineraries.
This took place at Christ Church, East Sheen on November 13th, 2007 at noon and was attended by the following Old Boys, among others: Alan Bloxham, Derek Carr, Hugh Coulston, Bob Cullen, John Curry, Rick Emptage, Terry Gazzard, Peter Godfrey, Sid Lines, Russell Nimmo, Jack Parker, Peter Penney, Morgan Reynolds, David Richardson, John Simpson, Edward Steers, Len Timms and Mike Turner.
Tributes were paid by Russell Nimmo, Bob Cullen and Alan Bloxham.
Prayers were said by Edward Steers who is the Parish Reader at Christ Church