Chichester rugby coach receives CBE in honours list

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ONE of the many coaches who helped Chichester Rugby Club to promotion this year has been named a CBE for his work with the Royal Navy.

Commodore Paddy McAlpine was named in the Queen’s birthday honours list for his contribution to defence.

He is the commander of the Portsmouth flotilla but was recognised following his previous job as commander of the UK Task Group, which was deployed on Exercise Cougar in 2012 and 2013 to the Gulf, as well as Exercise Joint Warrior off the coast of Scotland.

On hearing that he had been awarded a CBE, Commodore McAlpine said: “I’m delighted and extremely proud to have been recognised in this way. Of course, I have only achieved what I have in my career with the fantastic support from my wife who has raised our children and established our home in Chichester during my continued absence at sea.”

A spokesman for the Royal Navy said: “When not deployed away, Paddy is heavily involved with Chichester Rugby Club as a coach with the senior teams who were both promoted last season and is looking forward to the coming season as the 2nd XV head coach.”

He added of the UK Task Group’s exercises in the Gulf and off the coast of Scotland: “The aim of both exercises was to ensure the Task Group was fully capable of being deployed in the event of an emergency anywhere across the globe. In the past it was called to the crisis in Libya and also to the disaster relief operation in the Philippines.”

Commissioned into the Navy 32 years ago and a veteran of the first Gulf War when he was mentioned in dispatches for clearing Iraqi sea mines, over the past five years Commodore McAlpine has deployed to the Mediterranean and the Gulf as the commander of the UK Task Group.

He has also been the chief of staff for the Navy-wide training organisation, FOST (Flag Officer Sea Training), and commanded the first of class Type 45 Destroyer HMS Daring – the most technically-advanced warship in the world – on her first overseas deployment.

Also named in the honours leaders were a Chichester charity leader and an East Wittering cabinet maker.