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The History of Quintin

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EARLY HISTORY OF THE HANOVERIANS RFC

It is a misfortune that the early records of The Quintin Rugby Club have not been preserved. The Polytechnic Magazine of September 1885 shows that Quintin Hogg, founder of the first Polytechnic, and grandfather of the present Lord Hailsham, appealed for players so that Tom Lea-Rayner could run a rugby club. A club was formed and called Hannoverians after the Polytechnic Institute Headquarters in Hannover Street. A practice game was played at Wimbledon and the first match in October, in which Mortlake were beaten by six tries to nil. In December 1887 the name was changed to Polytechnic R F C. We have a relic of those days, a Club cap awarded to a member in 1901, which by Order of the Club has to be worn by the presiding officer at the Annual General Meeting. There is a rumour that the Club was dissolved by the Poly governors following an incident - a beer barrel was rolled into the entrance hall of the strictly "dry" Polytechnic Main Building at 309 Regent Street. Nothing changes!

RESTART OF THE CLUB IN 1927

Fortunately in 1927, the Club was revived and in its first game lost 0 - 68 to Old Rutlishians on 24 September. The following season we affiliated to the RFU. Compared with the present sybaritic conditions at Chiswick, those of the old days were primitive indeed. Matches were played on a ground at Preston Road, Wembley; the pavillion was a shed and if hot water was required, volunteers were needed to arrive early, gather wood and light a fire under the boiler and stand well back! In 193? the Poly obtained our present ground by the Thames at Chiswick. Despite the rigours of the early days, the Club was well supported, and ran six teams until the outbreak of World War 2. The Club restarted with one team in 1946, captained by Dave Millar who became a Society ref, as did Alex Napier, and Tom Emerson. Dave achieved fame years later by playing scrum half at the age of sixty, for the over thirties against the under thirties, breaking from his own line and scoring a try. There was no pursuit!

COARSE RUGBY 1949 - 1957 IVOR RIDD, THE KINDLY GOFOR

We could have written the book, based on our own experiences, had not Michael Green got in first. Sometimes we had a referee and no opposition. Often an opposition but neither whistle nor referee. Once we had two teams to play us, so we watched them play each other. At away games, play would often be delayed while Ivor Ridd, with his handlebar moustache, the only one with a car, drove back to Regent Street to collect our shirts from the laundry in his Morris 1,000. Why we struggled to raise two teams, no one knows, because there was no beer after the game. The pavillion was strictly dry and one entertained the opposition over tea, while waiting for the riverside City Barge to open at 6pm. The opposition would only wait that long if they had no club house and had also been banned from their local. Financial management was no better. A new treasurer was told by his predecessor, who had left the Club, that the balance was nil and he had no records because he had not kept any. We did however have some good players, Nick Nixon flanker, ?Sett? fullback, Geof Rainbird centre and Chelsea Saturday night party contact, Peter Sawdy of Brooke Bond Tea and No 8, Arnold Linden also No 8, Harry Froud flanker, who later died aged 41,and recorded wins over Chingford, Old Twickenhamians (now Twickenham), Old Masonians (now Antlers), Southern Railway, Wasps Occasionals, Ibis and Woolwich Polytechnic.

BOB BENHAM PROVIDES

We didn't win many games, you see it wasn't that important old boy. In one bad season, when we found we could beat them, we played the Joint Services School of Languages XV three times to improve our record. Those who trained, simply kicked the ball to each other. Running was unheard of! Social events were well organised. We had an annual dance at the Westminster Arms, with live band, a stag Club supper upstairs at the White Horse in Soho, and visited the theatre in mid Summer. Saturday nights were enlivened by ex-RAF air crew bods like Bob Benham, who had the amazing knack of making beer bottles, and on one occasion a huge ham, appear without a bill of sale. The annual sub was 42 shillings (£2.10p). In 1955, a very small bar was installed in the club house. Other Club characters included Jacko Jackson, a hard square built Club Captain who, when putting on his boots for a game, said "That black toe nail is not much use" and promptly pulled it off, went out and propped. Jack Elliot and Wally Duck will be remembered for going to a game at Ashford Kent, when the rest of the team were at Ashford Mddx. They phoned at tea time to ask if we had managed without them, wanting to know where we were drinking that night. Ted Payne, a hard prop was a regular performer, and someone very much like him was seen in the Fauberge Club until the early hours.

HALCYON DAYS 1957 - 1969 DANNY WINTERS LEADS & COLIN SMITH CLOSES THE STABLE DOOR

These started with Danny Winters as skipper, supported by Don Dixon, Alan Hancock, Vic Taylor, Jimmy Gallo and Colin Smith. The backs included Billy Ferreira and Bob Harty, two first class Rhodesians, and we amazed ourselves by winning our first five games, but it didn't last. 1958 saw a restart with Colin Smith as skipper, ably supported in closing the door on the coarse period by Peter Davies , the A team skipper who led a good side from fly half and helped in improving the organisation of the Club.

NARRACOTT HITS FLYHALF

We started strenuous training , introduced touch rugby and a professional hit man at breakaway who sometimes used a fair tackle on the flyhalf. Anyone who knew him will recognise Tony Narracott of Barnstaple, Devon and Rosslyn Park. Bill Smith , a classic English centre joined us, bringing a flash Belgian winger, Bodie Duerinckz (watch your girl friend). Forwards such as water polo international Bill Tovey, Alan Hancock, Jack Newland, Harry (have you got a bed for the night) Lines and the late Gerard Plaux, a great French No 8, ensured that we won enough ball. Vic Taylor was tried at flyhalf, and told that if he ran more than five paces with the ball, Narracott would tackle him. Fear was the spur, it worked; Vic passed the ball and tries came.

BIILY BARNES STARTS EASTER TOURS

As our Club bar was just a small hole in the kitchen wall, we did our serious drinking at the City Barge until we were finally banned for the last time in about 1967, and moved next door to The Bull. Chairman Billy Barnes encouraged Colin to use his West Country contacts to arrange an Easter tour to North Devon, for which Billy awarded the famous tankard ties to all tourists. The tour was a great success despite losing two close games to Barnstaple A and South Molton, and became an annual event, the beer kitty getting larger each year.

BILL SMITH'S UNBEATEN RUN

Bill Smith took over as Skipper when Colin was posted to Sunderland. Geof Rainbird came back from Canada and a number of South Africans joined us , including Cedric Hannay, Peter Price, Barry Elliot and Aubrey Torien, a junior Springbok, and we had our best years. As someone remarked "we didn't lose a game after Colin went away, until he played for us on tour at Barnstaple".

CHRIS MORCHER LACKS SUPPORT

Chris Morcher became skipper when Bill Smith retired to the lower teams to nurse injuries, but after a promising start in 1963-64, we lost our South Africans, Geof Rainbird retired, and we had our worst season, due in part to a 10 week freeze up. However, a bright spot was an excellent tour to Paris, organised by Chris Morcher, where we played a Paris University team.

COLIN SMITH DROPS COMMITTEE

The Committee pulled an aging Colin Smith out of the lower teams to sort things out. 1964-65 saw the sub go up by 2 shillings! the shadow tacklers dropped (most of the committee) and the net cast for replacements. These eventually came in two Scottish forwards, Al Black and Marsden Hislop, flyhalf Pat Greaves, flanker Duncan Rotherham, super swerving Irishman Hank Stevens, lock Mel Barlow, centre Dave O'Flaherty, an exceedingly fast crash tackling wing Duke Minks and a young well built lad John Collins, up from the A team, better known as "JC" who with his build could only be a prop. After a run of nine defeats, we got it right and beat Henley and ended the season even. Graham Goldie averaged a try a game and Nig Cole, now making his mark in the first team with Hugo Harris, better known as "H", scored over 114 points in the season.

RALPH WILLIAMS, BUGS RIDDELL AND COLIN BRIGHT DO IT RIGHT

From 1964-67, Ralph Williams led a very successful A team from fullback, winning almost all their games by huge margins, with fellow Welshman Brian Morris Thomas at flyhalf and Bugs Riddell at scrum half and a young John Collins at prop. Ralph was followed by Bugs Riddell skippering an equally successful A team from scrum half from 1967-69. Colin Bright built up and led a powerful exA team of young players with a few old heads, such as 15 stone centre Brian Currie and Bernie Foreman to show the way. None could withstand them in their unbeaten season. They beat Henley 3rd by 50 points to avenge the previous season, and I was fortunate to hook in his team that smashed Thurrock thirds. Denis Sage and Mike Baker had their early training in this team, going on through our first team, to play for Blackheath first team, where Mike won a Surrey cap.

MEL BARLOW SKIPPERS, & BRIFFA BRINGS THE AUSSIES

Mel Barlow, a large mobile forward, was skipper in 1966-67 at the start of our Australian period. Arthur Briffa, our original Aussie with a deep chuckle, joined us in 1959 playing in the third team and scored a try on tour at Bideford in his first game with the ones, and in 1966 became a regular in the ones. Art introduced fellow Aussies Warwick Lyon, Peter Richie, Ian Calvert, Tim and Monty Bagot and many others. Mike Baker was now hooking, propped by the genial Geof Watts from Barnstaple with Al Black and Marsden Hislop giving great support. Mel left for the States at Xmas and Colin Hoad, a touchline goal kicker from South Molton took over. 1967-68 saw the Club running five teams successfully with Art Briffa as skipper.

CAPTAIN BAGOT KEEPS IT GOING

Key players with Art were Pete Vincent, an Aussie State fullback, Graham Goldie, Dave O'Flaherty, Pat Greaves and Hugo Harris in the backs while up front were Dick Harris, a powerful No 8 from South Molton, Doug Abrahams, Joe Cridge and Tim Bagot, a powerful flanker who led the pack and captained the team in Briffa's absence.

WITHERS WHIPS THEM IN

Briffa was followed by Malcom Withers in 1968-69, the stars in his team being, Warwick Lyon, Dave Homer, Joe Cridge, Cole at flyhalf, Pat Greaves and Hugo Harris. The Club was at strength in depth throughout this golden age, supported in the lower sides by players of ability including Pete Lavin and Norman Moore in the fifth; Pete "Strangler" Lodge and Roger Nicholls in the fourth plus Mike Tonks, Rupert Harvey, Brian and Ray Currie, Colin Bright, Des Conboy, Bugs Riddell, Ralph Williams and Wally Freeman.

THURROCK BEATEN 24 - 0

In this period, better clubs beaten included Old Meadonians 14-6, Met Police No 3 District, Shirley Wanderers, Old Reedonians, Battersea Ironsides, CentYMCA (now Hampstead), University College Hospital, Woolwich Polytechnic, Old Hamptonians, Kingston, Thurrock 24-0, Old Twickenhamians, Grasshoppers, Barnstaple Athletic, South Molton, Taunton A, Beaconsfield, Upper Clapton, Chipstead, Northern Poly, Sudbury Court, Feltham, Wasps A, Harrodians, Merton 15-3, London Welsh A, Antlers, Centaurs, Bexley and Old Cooperians.

THE LEAN YEARS 1969 - 76 HARRIS TAKES CONTROL

This phase opened with Hugo "Aitch" Harris as skipper for two years, managing four sides until the big freeze beat the fourth team and shortage of players caused Roger Nicholls' exA to fold in March 1971. Colin Smith broke his leg in one of its last games against Kingston, and retired. However there were many good signs: flood lights were being planned under the guidance of Club coach Mike Tonks; Malcom Withers introduced Rod Hubbard and Brian Evans played for Middlesex colts. Regretably Pat Greaves left us, and worse, the sub went up to 70 shillings! Hugo was well supported up front by Dick Woodeson, Pete Sutton, Mel Barlow, Rod Hubbard, John (JC) Collins, Doug Abraham and Brian Evans. Although the backs lacked punch in the centre, John Trodden, Graham Goldie and Dave O'Flaherty played well. Games were lost by narrow margins but the overall record was not good.

COLE IS TOPS AND CAMERON BARES ALL In 1970-71

Nig Cole was top points scorer with 106 points and Keith Gregory and Mike Fireman were mentioned in despatches. The Easter tour was to Fleetwood, Lancs, where due to circumstances we played only one game against Malvern, during which Pete Lavin got his infamous injury and "Mad Ron" Cameron entertained the locals at the Blackpool Tower with his famous spot dance, uninvited of course.

HARRIS AND BENEDICT MOVE ON

The 1971-72 season saw the Club's fortunes at a very low ebb. Ex first team skipper Hugo Harris and Paul Benedict decided to play senior rugby and joined Denis Sage and Mick Baker at Blackheath, while prolific try scorers Nig Cole and Doug Abrahams also moved to other clubs. The Polytechnic RFC had reached its nadir! Newly elected skipper Rod Hubbard was faced with the mammoth task of keeping the club going and even 'A' team skipper John Welshman usually found himself playing in the ones along with the remnants of the 'A' side. Team secretary Alan Hancock had an almost impossible task in finding enough players, although Mike Tonk's enthusiasm and experience proved invaluable as Club coach.

HUBBARD, TONKS AND DECIE KEEP IT GOING

The next season started ominously like the previous one, but due to the character and commitment of people like Rod Hubbard, Mike Tonks and Ernie Decie, there were optimistic signs for the future. An indication of this revival was the spirit shown in the Middlesex Cup rounds that season. Loyalists who stayed with the Club during this period were Bernie Foreman, John Nichols, John Collins, Norman Summerfield, Ieun Morgan, Ron Tupper, Alan Dawson, Rupert Harvey, Des Conboy, Keith Gregory, Paul Rowlands, Ken Lodge, Ian Stephenson, George Profit and John Graham. Alex Reeves arrived from New Zealand and made an immediate impact on the Club before moving on to senior rugby at Rosslyn Park. LAMBERT AND GAYTER ARRIVE The newly revitalised 'A' team were now led by Robin Atkinson and we continued to recover at the Bulls Head as the famous meeting place of former years, the City Barge, still remembered some of us! The first team had now poached Dave Lambert from Belsize Park and he brought with him Vince Gayter, his most illustrious protegy. Benedict had returned from Blackheath and Kiwi Neil Fitzjames was leading try scorer for the season. The Poly RFC was on the way back. During these lean years, we still had wins over Sudbury Court, Hayes, Port of London Authority, Haringey, GWR, Southern, Mitcham, Bexley, Hatfield Polytechnic, Raynes Park, Goldsmiths College, London Scottish XV, Sheen Old Grammarians and Effingham.

THE WORST IS OVER DECIE TAKES UP THE REINS

In the following season, Rod Hubbard handed over the captaincy to Irishman Ernie Decie; Club coach Mike Tonks, having seen the club through its bad patch, was forced for business reasons to return to his native Lancashire. Skipper Decie further consolidated the Club's revival and with the help of Bill Webster from Blackheath, Paul Benedict, Paul Rowlands, John Graham, Bernie Foreman, John Evans, Ron Tupper, John Collins, Kevin Latter and Rod Hubbard, now Club secretary, the first team were now well on the way to recovery.

BILLY BARNES STEPS DOWN & SETT TAKES THE CHAIR

Billy Barnes, Club chairman for 24 years, had stepped down and handed over to "Sett" Setterington, a former Captain, but Billy continued his other role of Club President. About this time, former secretary Colin Snow left the country to work abroad, but not before he had designed our floodlight mast foundations.

MARTIN STEPHENS AND IAN STEPHENSON'S ERA

After two years in the job, and with two sides now well established, Ernie Decie made way for Welshman Martin Stephens from Barry. Ieun (Hyphen) Morgan had moved up to the first team, so Ian Stephenson led the A's. Strong kicking fullback Des Conboy, who had been in charge of the Ex A for the past two seasons gave up the captaincy to work abroad. Former Club secretary Jim Parsons and ex A captain Robin Atkinson were generously refereeing most weeks and Nigel Cole was playing again, as were Brian Evans, recovering from injury after a period with London Welsh (he later played for their first team), and brother John, now running The Cock Tavern, traditional meeting place and watering hole for the Club in Town since time immemorial.

COLIN SMITH TAKES THE CHAIR

Colin Smith, a former 1st team skipper succeeded Sett as Club chairman and as the A team were always short, came out of retirement to play regularly in the centre with Irishman Brian Breslin and set the standard for older players in the teams. Gavin Cairncross added to the number of New Zealanders in the Poly along with comedian Brett Connoly.

THE QUINTIN RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB 1976 - 85

We changed our name following our founder, as many potential members, and club fixture secretaries thought we were a closed club for students of the Polytechnic. Although some older members regretted this change at the time, the new name brought an immediate benefit in increased membership. We also celebrated the 50th anniversary of the restart of the Club in 1927. Ernie Decie was again skipper of the ones, having lost none of his speed.

THE MET MOVE IN

Paul Fuller, Ian Jacklin, Terry Gamage, Chris Hully and Dave Weston joined us from the Met Police and around this time a young No 8 from Gloucester, Bob Reynolds, made his first appearance. We were able to restart the Ex A under the leadership of Alan (Les) Dawson. Phil Mason came along to get fit for skiing, and so began a long association with the Club. The long hot summer that year had made the pitches unplayable until well into the season, but that did not prevent us from beating our old friends (they were at that time) Feltham, who had dropped us five years before, by 14 points to 8.

WITHERS AND CAMERON CLAN AT REUNION

It was decided at this time to turn the traditional Veterans v Apprentices game into a reunion game for former members. This at first proved successful with many old faces of the sixties such as Mel Barlow, Pete Lodge, Malcom Withers and Tony Taylor. "Mad Ron" Cameron, now living in the Highlands at Lochaber, brought his Clan down for what proved to be the first of many return trips. This was the year of the famous tour to the West Country starring the Mighty Flynn and Bobby Reynolds which typified the reasons for going on tour (More of this later).

DAVE SEABOURNE HITS THE HIGH SPOTS

Welsh flanker Dave (Seaweed) Seabourne skippered the ones from 1977-79 and during this period the spirit in the Club hit an all time high. Fine performances on the local Harrodian sevens, when both our teams reached the semi-finals were typical of this spirit. Even though we had lost Paul Rowlands, John Evans and Alan Dawson, players such as Nig Cole, Paul Benedict, John Collins, Bernie Foreman, John Graham, Rod Hubbard and Ernie Decie were still playing as well as ever. Some very good players had joined us including Phil O' Donovan, Evan Hughes, Roy Pollock, Phil Stanhope, Gordon Hunter and Dave Fear. Ian Stephenson, who had successfully led the A handed over to Peter Reid and instead ran the ExA.

GREGORY GETS US DANCING AND THE PIG COLLAPSES

The re-appearance of Keith Gregory brought about a revival of social functions, last organised by Ron Hurst in the early seventies, and Paul Benedict announced his retirement. He felt he could no longer make the long walk from the changing rooms to the pitches alternate Saturdays. "Pig", as he was affectionately known throughout the Club due to his habits, was noted for his remark to former first team skipper Art Briffa, after he collapsed after a training sprint, "But Art, its the trees, they take all the air". In the scrums, Pete Close, a Durham county hooker won the first team a lot of ball which Evan Hughes used to good effect. Paul (Road Runner) Fuller was weaving his magic in the backs beside his compariot Ian (Tacklin) Jacklin and one Robert Grant, later to become the richest man in the Club.

CLUB SEVENS AND FOREIGN TOURS START 1978

was the year when we started our first Sevens tournament, named after Ken Lodge, a young prop who tragically died from a brain tumour, and the following Easter we forsook our usual trek to the West Country and crossed the Channel led by Ieun Morgan, who presented the brass bell in the bar, for the first of many European tours, playing two French clubs, including first division Rouen. THE EVANS FAMILY SEW IT UP The next year was the season of the Evans family, with John taking over the first from Seaweed, and his father Doug Evans becoming President of the Club. Benedict had returned from his premature retirement and was back in the first again with Ernie Decie, Ian Jacklin, Bob Connors and Evan Hughes. Rod Hubbard had taken charge of the A team with Nig Cole occasionally guesting. In October, in the full glare of three floodlight columns, over 50 players were training at Chiswick ! so there were no fears that the third side, now known as the "Hoggs", would not survive the season especially as they were now under the north and south of Keith Gregory.

QUINTIN AGAIN FIELD FOUR SIDES & STEPHENSON SUCCEEDS

The following season saw changes in the captaincy of all four sides. Phil O'Donovan was running the first, with Keith Gregory, Ian Stephenson and Phil Mason in charge of the A, the Hoggs and the Ex A respectively. Whilst the other teams continued the upward trend of the Club, this season belonged to Ian Stephenson's side which only lost four games and came close to emulating Colin Bright's famous third team of the late sixties. On 19 January, Hugo Harris made his comeback for Quintin, playing scrum half in the Hoggs, a team which was to see much of him. In March of that year, we won the Plate at the Harrodian Sevens, a portent of things to come.

DAVE FEAR HAS THE TOP JOB, BUT "H" HAS HIS HOGGS

From 1981 to 1983, lock Dave Fear took on the first team captaincy with Keith Gregory staying at the helm in the A, and "H" Harris skippering the Hoggs. The first team still had the formidable "JC" at loose head prop with new boy Keith Vines hooking and experienced tight head prop Paul Benedict on the other side. Dave "Animal" Norburn was playing well beside Dave Fear in the second row and Chris Jannion, Bob Reynolds and Midge Clayton made a strong back row. The mainstay of the backs at this time were Ieun Morgan, Bob Connors, Richard "Scouse" Bolton, Julian Bond, Dave Lambert, Evan Hughs and John Evans. Keith Gregory's A were having mixed fortunes even though players of the calibre of Frank Landon and the Lawson brothers, Richard and John, were in the side. The Hoggs however were going from strength to strength; with experienced players like Paul Fuller, Ian Jacklin, Barry Paige, Ian Stephenson, Roy Pollock and new prop Pete Clack in the side, they were a force to reckoned with. Following the first Easter tour to Amsterdam in 1981, tour organiser Eiffon Morgan left us and presented the Club with a brass bell which now hangs by our bar, as a reminder of the bar bell in the Club's hotel in the Amsterdam red light district.

NEW PRESIDENT PLAYS ON AND HUBBARD TAKES THE CHAIR

In 1982, Colin Smith became President of the Club and Rod Hubbard took over as Chairman with Nigel (Shakespeare) Smith becoming Club Secretary. Although more than double the age of some members, Colin Smith continued to turn out regularly for the Hoggs and ExA as required. Vince Gayter was establishing himself in the front row again due to Benedict's problem with injuries.

STREAMS ARE OVERFLOWING, OCCASIONALLY FLOODING!

The Streams Gerald, Tony and Andrew were proving to be a formidable family, both on and off the field. Hayden Davies, a strong running centre, the Lawsons and Ian Feeney on the wing were playing with distinction in the backs; and in the A team, kiwi Brian Miller and Graham "Spider" Ellis were pushing for their first team places. The first team had played 720 minutes of rugby that season without any opposition crossing their line and skipper Dave Fear could call on the services of players like ex Blackheath prop Denis Sage, although we had by now lost Bob Reynolds to Worthing.

ADCOCKS JOIN THE HOGGS AND BRADY "SHAKES"

John Adcock and Mark (Shaking) Brady made their debut in the Hoggs, playing alongside the dependable Phil Mason and Dave Lambert. John Richards was running the 4th, even though he could have played higher up the Club. Antipodeans in Quintin colours at this time included hooker Steve Paul and flankers Martin Mullholland, Lance Nathan and Neil Brooks, all typically good, hard New Zealand forwards. Bob Grant was keeping our finances in good order as Treasurer, and was joined in the 2nd by Simon Lucas and Andy Kavanagh in the backs, and by prop Tony Cooke and flanker Gerry Smeddle. Around this period, props Hugh Nicholls and Lawrence "Burger" Allen joined us and hooker Dave Hodge was back after a couple of seasons at Wembley, also Ian Adcock decided to join brother John in the Hoggs.

"JC" SKIPPERS THE FIRST & REEVES RETIRES - TO US

Longest continuous serving player "JC" at last captained the 1st against Hammersmith andClub undertook a very successful Easter tour to Brussels, returning with an armful of trophies. The highlight of the year however was at last winning the Harrodian Sevens. Bernie Foreman and Alex (I love this Club) Reeves returned from Rosslyn Park and in the following season Alex Reeves became 1st team Captain as he loved this Club so dearly!

GREGORY TAKES MODERN RECORD

The season 1983-84 saw Keith Gregory skipper of the A for a post war record fourth year (Billy Barnes beat him from 1931-37) and Hugo "H" Harris elected captain of the Hoggs again, while Nigel Smith took care of the 4th team. Alex Reeves saw that the ones maintained their standards with Andy (Dyke) Stream and sometimes Bob Grant at scrum half, feeding the ball to Richard and John Lawson, now consolidating their positions as flyhalf and inside centre. Big Andy Pozniak and Gerald McCarthy were playing abrasively in the back row with the very mobile "Mighty Midge" Clayton and Dave "Animal" Norburn.

"JC" CALLS IT A DAY & HOGGS TRIUMPH

At last the experienced "JC" decided that it was time to let the younger players into the front row, having taught them some of his tricks, so Pete Clack became the regular tight head prop, with "Huge" Hugh Nicholls at loose head, supporting hooker Dave Hodge. Evan Hughes moved to Reigate, but we were fortunate to have players such as the Lawson and Adcock brothers John and Ian and also Simon Morris and Mike Richardson in the backs. The most successful team were the veteran Hoggs, winning 18 of their 25 games.

REEVES LEADS AND BROWNIE SQUIRMS

Alex Reeves led the first team into our 100th season, assisted by newcomers Bob Brown and Ian Smart, both kiwis, and TV personality Adrian Lewis. "Brownie was an outstanding centre and never stopped trying to beat the tackle. This was an outstanding season, and Staines were lucky to beat us in a Middlesex cup game, in which "Poz" was unfairly sent off after two minutes play.

NIGEL SMITH LEADS THE 4TH, ADMINISTERS CLUB & FIXES TOURS

Nigel Smith looked after the 4th, with lock Tom Aldridge leading the 2nd team and Paul Fuller the Hoggs. Although the Club still had its experienced core with players such as JC, Ernie Decie, Paul Benedict, Bob Grant, "H" Harris, Dave Fear, John Evans, Paul Fuller, Dave Lambert, and Ian Jacklin still fully involved on the playing side, the younger element in the Club were now fully integrated into the Club's administration with Tony and Andy Stream and Norman Birchnall on the committee. Richard Lawson and Bob Grant, our two last treasurers, had put the finances of the Club onto a sound base, due mainly to our very successful Sevens tournament, staged annually in September by "H" and Tony Stream. The Club had also been fortunate in having Nigel Smith to look after the administration as well as organise the Easter tours.

ADRIAN LEWIS LEADS GOFORS AND SCORES AT ROUEN

The first hundred years were nicely rounded off by a well attended Easter tour to Rouen, our second visit when, despite the good service provided by the "gofors" under Gofor-in-Chief Adrian Lewis, we just failed to drink the ferry dry. John Adcock tried every trick in the book to score from out-half but was a marked man. Arguably the best flash of rugby was Adrian Lewis' try when he jinked through the centre looking like a Welsh international. Gerald Stream won the top prize "Fastest Drinker", John Adcock was "Tour Tealeaf" for the second year running, and Colin Smith was "Tour Bully" for ill treating Norman Birchnall. Alex Reeves had no real competition for "Tour Drunk" despite Ian Smart's brave showing on the ferry home. "Tour Diplomat" was "H" as usual. Apart from the problem of collecting the £33 annual sub from Club members, we seemed nicely poised for our season of Centenary celebrations in 1995-96