On Saturday 8th December, Shanks (Andrew Horwood) had arranged a social event for former MRFC players to come up to the Club, have a curry, have a few beers, watch some quality rugby and have a few more beers - they didn't disappoint, beer taps were running dry all over the place.
Around fifty former players managed to attend the event, many of whom were from the days when the players had to change at the school, play on the Common and then socialise in the rickety old hut at Elcot Lane. Many enjoyed seeing the old photographs with them in, nearly all agreeing, they were the good old days!
A huge thanks must go out to Ben who not only cooked for these guys, but also for the four teams, as both senior sides had home matches which was a mammoth task.
Rod Adams (1871 Chairman) was accosting people as soon as they entered bar to buy raffle tickets, the prize was a giant teddy bear, won I believe by a certain Andy Warren who kindly gave it to one of the children who was in the bar, The money raised was to go towards purchasing a new battery for the Clubs defibrillator.
When it was time for kick off, the guys made their way over to the pitches, beer in hands (just like the old days for some!). For a number of them, it was the first time that they had seen the current 1st XV team. The lads scored some good trys and put in some great tackles, lots of gasps from the old timers and phrases like' thank god I'm not playing now' - the boys played well, shame about the weather, it hadn't seen the memo - no rain!. The heavens opened and the wind rose up, and as many of us know what it is like on the Common in this situation - you get soaked. The old boys quickly transferred back to the warmth of the Clubhouse and warmed up with a few more beers and enjoyed getting to meet the players of today.
There were still some of the older players in the bar at 8.00 pm after the others had gone home to bed with a hot chocolate; they felt that they needed to reassert some authority after seeing the youngsters have a go at a boat race. Chris Ward was the fossils Captain and Will Grant was the youngsters. Eight men to a team, pints in hand, the race is started, cheating on both sides, but ultimately it was draw. Lots of back slapping and hand shaking in congratulations, but I am sure next time they will all be out to prove they are the quickest. A great day and night had by all, quite a few sore heads on Sunday morning and promises to never drink as much again, well at least not until next time. Thank you for coming and hopefully we will see a few more of you back up the Club supporting the boys in the New Year.
Updated 21:41 - 14 Jan 2019 by Mike Banfield