Dr. Richard Aldo “Dick” Donelli, DDS, a co-founder of the Old Blue RFC (NYC), passed away in his sleep on Sunday, July 24 at the age of 73.
A co-founder of the Old Blue Rugby Club and widely regarded as a passionate, intelligent, and competitive rugby man, Donelli is also credited with helping change the sport by popularizing the scrumhalf spin pass.
Beloved husband of Kathleen and father to Tiffani, Jacquie, Kerry, Nicole and Charles, Donelli was a graduate of Columbia College and Columbia School of Dentistry; he practiced for over 40 years in Hartsdale, NY.
He was a rugby player at Columbia and later formed Old Blue as an offshoot of the Columbia team.
He played for the MetNY and Eastern RFU select sides on many occasions in the 1960s and 1970s, including, famously, this clash between MetNY and the New Zealand All Blacks (pictured rugby, RUGBY Magazine photo).
In the photo you can see Donelli's competitive nature front and center as he, in the middle, stares down New Zealand legend Sid Going.