OURFC are very sad to say that Emma Biddiscombe (Keble 2016) has passed away from cancer. After joining OURFC in November 2018, Emma played centre for the Blues, Panthers and KCRFC. As an immensely valued member of OURFC and KCRFC, Emma’s passion for rugby inspired countless girls from different backgrounds and drew them to our club. In addition to her passion for rugby, Emma undertook many other projects whilst studying for her Philosophy, Politics and Economics degree, from being Careers and Alumni Officer for Keble College JCR, to leading on the marketing for several student plays.
Emma was a fan of all levels of rugby, but her true love was reserved for development rugby. She was heavily involved with the Panthers and the Keble Women’s Squad during her time in Oxford. She managed both teams to success in 2018-2019, with the Panthers celebrating a historic Varsity win and KCRFC competing in the Cuppers final. However, balanced with her competitive edge was her belief that rugby should, most importantly, be fun. A belief that manifested in her enthusiastic and fancy-dress fuelled management of the Panthers, and as self-appointed KCRFC social sec.
Emma’s true gift was her ability to selflessly share in the joys and experiences of her teammates making her a fantastic training and pitch-side presence. Not only did she bring people to the sport, but she uplifted them throughout their journeys, paying extra attention to that member of the team taking part in their first training session or playing their first rugby match. Many players who still play today were recruited to the OURFC community through Emma’s passion and encouragement.
Her commitment to the club and its players was outstanding. It was simply not enough for her to attend every OURFC match as a student; in the year after her graduation, she attended multiple OURFC games, often taking annual leave to do so. She was a true supporter of the sport and an uplifting teammate and friend. Her legacy will be one of ambition, inclusivity, but most importantly friendship. Our community feels this great loss; we send our condolences to Emma’s family and friends, and are grateful to have had the privilege of experiencing Emma’s brilliance.