Rugby festivities kick off
Medals for the players
Fans, friends, players and family gathered to celebrate 125 years of grassroots rugby at Roxburgh Rugby Club during the weekend. ‘‘It’s what you do for the love of the game,’’ said one of the Cromwell B players as they prepared to return home after a pasting by the Roxburgh Rugby team. Players from across the decades gathered to reminisce, celebrate and create new memories, and players from all teams on the day went home with engraved medals. Among the past players was Billy Moore, 76, now of Dunedin, who remembered being accidently bitten on the eye by a player from the rival team while playing as a junior. ‘‘Tommy Michelle and Pat Brady used to take us as far away as Waikaka and Lawrence to play, all of us in Michelle’s Land Rover or Falcon, and Brady’s Consul. We were allowed one bottle of beer each after the game and then it was home,’’ Mr Moore said. With fellow player Alan McDonald, of Alexandra, he told of practice nights on Tuesday and Thursday and playing on Saturday. The men were impressed by the guard of honour formed by more than 100 past players to lead the premier teams onto the field for the last game of the day. Chairman for the weekend John McKinnell said everyone had helped to pull the celebrations together. ‘‘It was a bit like reality TV. One minute there was nothing and then everyone arrived and did their job and it has been successful.’’ Ex-players Blair McLean,
of Blenheim, and Stu Geddes, of Alexandra, shared the role of MC during the weekend. ‘‘We did not make the legends team, so we have jacked up two Lost Legends jerseys, one to be auctioned and one donated to the club as a memento,’’ Mr McLean said. Sky television’s Grassroots Rugby filmed the day and will possibly screen the programme next week.
Club men: Past members of the Roxburgh Rugby Club Allan McDonald, of Alexandra, and Billy Moore, of Dunedin, celebrate the club’s 125 year anniversary.