That sounds just like Albany, so funny. And describing the pitch as a mud heap!!!!! I remember the showers never working, so on a cold wet muddy day like you describe, imagine the joy of a cold dribble in the shower!!Mud all over the floor, fags being lit, bliss.
Taking me back a bit all this. As a student I played my early senior rugby in Sussex. Plumpton played right in the middle of the racecourse and it was alwayd freezing. The away team changed in what was the Ladies' loo on race days. But they always served up a great bowl of curry afterwards. There was another little place called Newick where you got changed above a pub where I swear the shower was just a box room with nail holes in the ceiling fed by a hose pipe. Completely ineffectual, which would not have been so bad but it was one of those pitches from which you had to remove the cows before the game. You know what I am saying?
Another great story Rob, memories of Albany where I played a few times. Another great place was Roseland RFC changing rooms in the pub beer garden and move the sheep off the pitch before the game. St. Just before they re-located the sewage works!!!!
Best place by a country mile I ever played was Sydney Welsh, the pitch was a short jog across a dual carriageway straight onto bondi beach and a fantastic clubhouse. Happy days and even happier nights!!
Play at the Mennaye and you have a beach at one end and palm trees at the Scoreboard corner. I didn't manage to play in Fiji, but I played for Singapore against the Fijian army on the Padang - I can still feel the tackles!!
Back in the 1960's the Pirates 3rd XV (Gendall's Buccaneers) used to play South Crofty Mine up near Tuckingmill. As you can well imagine facilities up there were a shade basic but due to the pithead baths their showers were excellent.
I was still at school when I made up the numbers just before Xmas. Midway through the second half one of their forwards collapsed in a heap and started groaning rather pitifully.
"Better run round the office and phone for an ambulance" said one wise soul.
"If 'es broak 'is leg 'e could get gangrene" was another less helpful addition.
" We gotta move un as tiz gettin' dark" said another.
Now despite his amazingly bandy legs and absolutely no teeth their scrum half was obviously a resouceful chap and having failed to locate a stretcher, found a screwdriver and a few minutes later came back full of gappy smiles clutching a wooden door.
With great care his teammates gently lowered him onto this rather flimsy bit of woodwork and lifted him off the ground. Unfortunately there was a loud crack as the door broke in half and he landed back in the mud with a thump only this time with a nasty looking wooden shard sticking out of his bottom.
The effect however was little short of magical. Just like the raising of Lazarus he leaped to his feet, let fly with a stream of filthy language and hobbled off into the gathering gloom still cursing all about him.
The game restarted. "Better of without 'un" muttered my opposite prop. 'E allas was a teasy @#$%&"
When ever I see all those neckbraces and oxygen cylinders we get these days when someone looks like they have twisted an ankle I always think of that bloke.
I think I saw him in a pub in Tuckingmill. He had a flat head and a big cauliflower ear. I had to chuckle, but was put in my place by a big ex miner " 'Ere boy" he said "don`t you be laughing at our local hero" "Tell me more" I said. "Well" continued my new best mate "there was a roof fall up at Crofty, a mile deep, and the old boy there used himself as a pit prop and saved a whole shift of men". "That explains his flat head" says I "but what about his cauliflower ear?" My new mate says "That was where we 'ammered him into place". No wonder he was a teasy b%^4£$*!!!!!
I`ll get my coat.
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