Rugby fes­tiv­i­ties kick off

Medals for the play­ers

Central Otago Mirror - - CENTRAL NEWS - By BAR­BARA WITHING­TON

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.

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