Greg Gilding

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of another member of the Burnaby Twilighters. Greg Gilding passed away suddenly Saturday night, December 4, 2022. Several weeks prior to the fateful evening, he was diagnosed with cancer of the tongue and neck. The cancer was far more advanced and aggressive than anyone thought. The tumor closed the artery into his brain and caused his instantaneous and unexpected death.

Greg was a student of the legendary rugby coach, Dave Milne, at Burnaby South Secondary. He continued his rugby career with the Vancouver Trojans and eventually with the Burnaby Lake Rugby Club when the Trojans and Buffaloes amalgamated. Upon turning 40, he spent his final playing years with the Twilighters. Greg played hooker for the Twits and was very recognizable with his flowing blond hair and his ever-present smile.

Greg’s main impact on the rugby scene was not on the field, but rather off it. He epitomized what a good club guy should be. The players that knew him could talk endlessly about his legendary largess. During the past ten years two incidents stand out in my mind. The first occurred when fellow Twit, Trevor Jones, was injured in a bicycle accident and spent a considerable amount of time at G.F. Armstrong rehabilitating. Greg was one of the first to visit Trevor and he encouraged others to do so as well. When I informed Greg that I was going to drop by, he directed me to bring Trevor a brand-new flat screen television set. When questioned about the cost of the set, he just said he knew someone at Best Buy and got a great deal. The other event I remember just happened last year. The Twits were going to play in Duncan and were assembling in the clubhouse parking lot. Just as we were about to leave, Peewee gets a call from Greg asking the bus to wait a few minutes, because he was on his way to the clubhouse. We thought we could always use an extra player, so we waited. When Greg roared into the parking lot, he did not hop onto the bus, he just dropped off two dozen doughnuts and coffee and left. There will never be another Greg Gilding.

Greg always had a smile on his face and I am pretty sure he lived his life to the fullest. He may have left us too soon, but it sure looked like he had a good time while he was here. Greg will be missed not just by the clubs he played for but by the entire rugby community.

We will let you know when a formal celebration of his life will be held. In the mean time feel free to show your support by donating to the Burnaby Neighbourhood House Food Bank ( or the B.C. Cancer Foundation or volunteer at your favorite charity.