Dear NHRFC Family,
It is with profound sadness that the New Haven Rugby Club announces the passing of one of its most legendary members, Lou Petruzzello. Lou was tragically killed while riding his bicycle in his beloved hometown of Middletown on May 1st.
Lou joined the New Haven Rugby Club soon after its founding when the club merged with the Berlin Strollers. Lou’s contribution to our club is difficult to measure as his actions and influence were a major part of the club’s early and ccontinued success – earning Lou a spot in the inaugural NHRFC Hall of Fame. Lou was a true athlete and competitor. He played a tough, smart, and cunning game of rugby. He also served as the club Match Secretary for the better part of a decade, was present and involved in every club event, and was the impetus for the first ever “Family Day”. Lou was also a long-term referee and was always available to officiate if needed. Anyone that played or came in contact with Lou through rugby knew a truly good man. Lou was a great influence to be around and was uniquely kind and generous. He loved to have a couple of beers and a good laugh – he had equal time for brand new players and grizzled veterans. He was widely known throughout the rugby world in the northeast, beyond, and everywhere he went. Lou had legions of people that he knew - everyone absolutely loved seeing “Sweet Lou”. The respect for him transcended team allegiance and was a reflection of the approach he had for the sport and all its players.
Lou leaves behind his wife Debbie and son Tony, and the New Haven Rugby family shares in their heartbreak. Debbie, an accomplished track and field athlete and coach, shared Lou’s love of sport and together they lived their lives as perfect representatives of the best qualities that sport imbues in people. They have raised a wonderful young man, Tony, who is as widely known and loved in the rugby community as Lou, which is no small feat. Lou and Deb have encouraged Tony to be his best person, which is reflected in his unfailing love of people, his creativity, and his ability to connect.
While we are saddened by his loss, his memory will live on, and the lessons he taught us will live on in the hearts of all who came in contact with him. We love you Sweet Lou, Rest in Peace.
Donations in his honor can be sent to 37 Elihu Dr., Durham, CT 06422 or accepted through the "Donate" button below:
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all spring and summer activities have been suspended.