Born in Sennen, mother's family from Penzance so when i became interested in rugby in my early 20's ( as i was an avid wendyball fan / player up till then) it was only natural i became a Pirates fan even though i lived in Bodmin then Liskeard.
Back in the mid 90`s, stayed in one of the B&B`s right opposite the Mennaye. Ever since then, and at the time a wendy ball follower, have followed the progress of the Pirates. Moreso in recent years, an avid follower. No interest in the round ball anymore. What a fantastic team and supporters we have!
My first game was in 1966 or 67. I remember Alvin Williams who seemed a colossus. Owen Barnes played at full back I think. I also seem to remember a Royal Marine band playing sometime during the day. Anyone else there?
I was there, Rob! Can't remember which game, but remember the band.
I always associate Marching Band music with The Mennaye and The Pirates - it was always on the tannoy before the game - and sometimes an actual band would play, like that day.
For me it was easy, parents are from St. Just, even though I was born 'up country, and now live in West Sussex. But needless to say I fell head over heels in love with West Cornwall from a very early age, and met my future wife on the beach at Sennen Cove when I was young. On our first holiday together back in the early 90's we stayed in a B&B opposite the Mennaye, and the hotel where we stayed on our honeymoon was in Alexandra Road. We now take our son down every single year to enjoy the best part of the world for himself when we stay in Ludgvan,
Of course, Penzance & Newlyn RFC were always on our doorstep, so who better to support from those early days!!
For those who didn't see my article in the most recent CPSC Newsletter, below is the story of how I became a Pirate. Suffice to say that I was a huge wendyball supporter (love is blind!) for many years, but supporting this wonderful club helped in no small part in eventually turning me away completely from the dark side......
A conversation with a fellow Pirates supporter or opposition fan at a game, that I have not spoken to before, is usually interjected with (once they have heard my distinct West London accent), ‘So how come you support the Pirates?’ Do you have family there?’, and my reply is normally a quite sheepish, ‘Erm, no’.
Having been born just around the corner from Rosslyn Park and brought up virtually in the shadow of Twickenham, it’s fair to assume that I should be supporting one of the many clubs in that area, but having first visited Cornwall ten years ago, subsequently falling in love with it’s beauty and culture (West Cornwall in particular), and coming back on a regular basis, I became interested in Penzance & Newlyn (as the first team was still known as at the time), by reading about the club in the local press. I wanted to get a chance to watch the Pirates, but they were never playing at home whenever I was down in the Duchy, and due to other sporting commitments at the time, I missed the club when they were playing up country closer to home. I even had a Pirates shirt that I proudly wore, but had never seen them play.....
Eventually my opportunity came when the Pirates had reached the EDF Trophy Final. Now I must admit a little embarrassment to this fact, as it makes me sound like a glory chaser, but anyone who knows my football supporting history (now a former life!), will understand that this is far from the truth. I didn’t know what to expect, but it was an amazing day, but most of all I came to see what friendly supporters the Pirates had and what a special club it was, and with a trip back down the Great Western Railway already planned for the following weekend, my first home game came against Birmingham & Solihull, and then came a trip the Saturday after to Coventry. By now, I had signed up to the forum (an essential tool for any exile to keep in touch with the goings on hundreds of miles away). I was well and truly hooked, and couldn’t wait for my first full season.
The most overwhelming thing for me, as being a non Cornishman with no links to the Duchy, is how welcome I have been made by all of the supporters I have met, and now have a good few that I proudly call my friends. Due to the cost of travel and accommodation, I may only make two or three home games a season, but I attend around 90% of away games, and my enthusiasm to making my next game never diminishes, as I look forward catching up with everyone again, and of course cheering on the Pirates, often joining in with the now famous (or is that infamous?) ‘Give us a P.........................’
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