A Richmond Family is being celebrated with a memorial bench on the Duke of Northumberland’s River for their contribution to the local rugby community.

Malcolm and Pat Hollins have given six decades to Harlequins Rugby Club, during which Malcolm provided free physiotherapy and Pat was involved in helping behind the scenes to organise the after-match players’ teas and other events.

Richmond Council worked with the Friends of the River Crane Environment (FORCE), and the Harlequins Football Club to install a carved bench, donated by the Hollins family, on the improved footpath along the river, adjacent to the Stoop rugby ground.

The bench was installed in the 150th year of the club.

Councillor Pamela Fleming, Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for Environment, Business and Community said: “The improved footpath along the River will be used by many people, not just those walking to the rugby ground and I am delighted we can honour the Hollins’ contribution to our community over many decades.

“The Council has worked closely with FORCE over the last few years to improve the ecology and access around Duke of Northumberland’s River between Twickenham and Isleworth.

“The bench will celebrate the uniqueness of the borough's parks and open spaces which can be enjoyed by everyone.”

Graham Hollins said: “We think this a very fitting way to celebrate our parents’ association with the club.

“The revamped footpath is excellent and will be used by many people, not least when walking to the RFU ground from Twickenham pubs.

“I remember playing behind the stand as a kid near the river and I’m pretty sure my mum and dad parked their car every Saturday on almost the exact spot of the bench.

“I hope that many old Quins players, who benefited from my father’s help, will visit the bench and reminisce en route to a match at the Stoop.”

Rob Gray, Chair of FORCE said: “Over the last few years FORCE have been working with Richmond and Hounslow Councils through the Crane Valley Partnership to improve the ecology and access for people along the Duke of Northumberland’s River between Twickenham and Isleworth.

“This little known, but unique river is home to both a diverse wildlife and two rugby grounds.

“The bench recognises both rugby and the river, and is one of fifteen carved benches that celebrate something unique about the parks and open spaces in the Crane valley.”