Understanding an increasingly popular sport with John Gysin


John Gysin was born in Westcliffe-on-Sea/Essex and was educated in the UK (Cranleigh). After three years service in the Royal Air Force he went to Hamburg in 1956 for two years to improve his German by working in a factory, returning to England in 1958. He then worked for 18 months for a British company at branches in Aberdeen, Neath, Nottingham and at Agriculture House in London, after which he worked for TKM, a Confirming House, who promptly sent him back to Hamburg. Two years later he was recruited by the Diplomatic Service, for whom he worked for 35 years until retirement as a Market Officer, Commercial Officer and finally Vice Consul (Commercial), based in Bonn, Berne and Zurich respectively. He started to play Rugby (or Rugger as it was then known) at school in 1946 and has continued to play and referee ever since. He played for RAF Linton-on-Ouse and HQ Fighter Command, led St Pauli Rugby (Hamburg) to the Nordmark Meisterschaft in 1957 (when he was also awarded the German DRV Verdienstnadel), co-founded a Rugby Club in Bonn in 1966 and is currently playing for the Grasshoppers Zurich Golden Oldies team. In addition he is a qualified FSR referee and arbitrated the 1991 Swiss Cup Final in Versoix. His other hobbies are amateur dramatics (Zurich Comedy Club), Tennis (TC Egg), Squash (a GC Squash founder member), Cricket and Plastic Modelling (IPMS). He is a qualified ASTTI translator, teaches English (he also speaks French), is married to Sissy, an Austrian lady and has two sons and a daughter. He was awarded the MBE in 1986.