On Sunday, 20 November at 2pm, Marlborough Rugby Club will host a very special game in honour of Marco Merlina, an inspirational member of the Marlborough family during his ten years there before heading off to university.

Marco passed away two years ago, and the Club, with support from his family and friends, would like to celebrate Marco’s life in the best way we know how; by playing rugby where he first learned his skills and started his successful rugby journey. We welcome those who knew Marco – as well as those who didn’t - to come up to the Common and celebrate his love of life and rugby.

In the words of Marco’s parents, Alex and Enzo, "On 19 November 2020, Marco died suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 25, with everything to live for. He was hugely successful at work and was surrounded by so many great friends and colleagues who loved him, as well as his incredibly proud parents and wonderful girlfriend, Felicia.

After leaving St. John’s, he went to the University of East Anglia to read History and International Relations, but spent more time playing rugby than studying, becoming captain of the UEA First XV. He loved all sports, but rugby was his greatest passion, and what he learned through playing it regularly from primary school onwards substantially contributed to the wonderful man he became. Captaining various teams helped him develop significant emotional intelligence as well as team building, leadership, and (some) anger management.

There is much to celebrate, and both Marco’s family and the Marlborough family are proud of what he achieved in such a short time. He will be sorely missed but never forgotten, and the "Marco Merlina Cup" will henceforth be awarded annually to the Marlborough Colt player who has shown the same values as Marco – welcoming new players coming into the Colts’ scene, inspiring his teammates to put in 100% and excel at their highest level of rugby. These values form part of the club’s ethos today. Marco was just ahead of his time.

Marco's family is supporting woodenspoon.org.uk because Marco especially thrived on helping younger people grow and heal by playing team sports. Any donations in his memory would be greatly appreciated.

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