It is the feeling when I first pull on the rugby jersey at the first game of the season where I think, “Damn, I’m hard” that makes me carry on. These days it takes longer to get kitted up than to play. Pasted with Vaseline, bound up with tape and strapping, and pumped up by the pre-match talk; I put my ‘game face’ on – or at least fake it.
That Corinthian Spirit is usually shattered by the pain of the first tackle. After a few matches, I am usually bruised, bashed, battered and broken but I have no regrets – the sheer impersonality of the bumps means that I wouldn’t have it any other way.
When I was younger (see below) I felt that if I did not come off the pitch bleeding than I had not had a good game. Nowadays I feel faint at the sight of blood and usually hope it is somebody else’s. But this game is fantastic for bringing people together – of all types, incomes and classes.
It is the game where the options – to kick, pass, run are infinite and flexible and endless – and despite the bumps it is generally safe and enjoyable. That first beer after a game is pure nectar. The fact that I have survived one more game, one more season, and still want more is a deep pleasure
. Here’s to the next 50 years!
1963-66 Durban Preparatory High School, South Africa 1966-69 Mount Pleasant High School, Salisbury, Rhodesia 1970-74 Island School, Hong Kong
1974-1977 University of London King’s College, UK
1978-1984 Kowloon Rugby Football Club, Hong Kong
1984-1986 Harvard Business School, Boston, USA
1987-1996 Kowloon Rugby Football Club, Hong Kong
1996-2004 Oundle Rugby Football Club, UK. Life Vice-President.
2004 Harvard Business School Old Boy’s Rugby Association, motto ‘Ve-ri-old’, UK tour.
2013 Harvard Business School OB Rugby, 50th Anniv. Boston, played in Harvard Stadium 2015 Harvard Business School OB, Twickenham (nearby) vs. London Irish Vets
2004-to date Kowloon Rugby Football Club, Hong Kong. 40th Anniversary. Kowloon Beavers.
2004-to date The Pot Bellied Pigs Rugby Football Club
Celebrating my 53rd season of playing rugby.
Played every season, scored a try every season (until I aged a little). Ambitions to play in the first team ended around 2001 – but I’ve played for most other teams down the bottom of the scale – most often in the Veterans.
CROUCH, TOUCH, SET !
Two Rugby Legends … and two more…