rugbyunion
Latest News:

Meeting your rugby icons


a run on the wing

By Aidan Berry
November 20 2017

What is it about meeting the players that makes them seem like good fella’s? Is it that they are totally comfortable in their own skin and their evident self confidence makes them appear at ease, or is it that they are genuinely nice folks who will be happy to collide on a pitch but then leave that there?      

I’m going to start with Rob Andrew whom I met on a couple of occasions and was always delighted to have a chat with.  When he first came to the Falcons I was lucky enough to be in the players lounge after a game and was able to chat with him.  Back then he had a good giggle with me when I reminded him of a letter my club had sent back to the Falcons. The Falcons had written to all clubs in the area asking them to get behind the new professional set up and also to make sure their star colts were pushed their way. I reminded Rob that at Jarrovians we couldn’t help them because Westoe poached all of our best players but he could help us by coming and having a run out for us when there wasn’t a Falcons game on the Saturday. I even said we’d look after him and let him start on the wing to see how he settled into the game.

 

My favourite memory of George Graham was him being injured one time and having a walk around the ground during a game. He came upon us guys from Jarrovians and we’d had one or two; the only problem with that was his wife had been chatting with us for ages and we were able to mercilessly tease him about the lack of tidying up etc in the house. He and his wife were great company and just stayed and had a right good laugh with us all. His wife always made a point of saying hello to us after that and George just gave us the knowing look that he’d been done by a combination of his Mrs and a bunch of drunken Jarrovians.  Long live the little cube

 

The drunkenness leads me on to a certain Viaga Tuigamala, who approached our little corner spot on the south terrace with a tray of sausage and chips from one of the vans. A certain Archy then happily asked for a chip and was delighted to see the plastic tray offered. The look in the great man’s face was priceless when the sausage was scoffed rather than some chips.  I can still hear him laughing now and saying we’d probably done him a favour.

 

So what tales do you have of Falcons icons ?

View a Printer Friendly version of this Story.

Bookmark or share this story with:

Meeting your rugby icons
FalconsRugby.org.uk (IP Logged)
20/11/2017 15:29
What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
If you do not already have an account Click here to Register.

 
Re: Meeting your rugby icons
Bedlington Lad (IP Logged)
21/11/2017 08:39
I remember him claiming he was "carbo - loading" smiling smiley

 
Re: Meeting your rugby icons
Monkey1 (IP Logged)
22/11/2017 09:12
I was at KP in the clubhouse one afternoon many years ago when we had something of an injury crisis. I think I had been to see Mick Hogan about something, and got roped into a huddle around a table where Rob Andrew had people checking through pages of papers.

The upshot was, we had a game coming up, Newport cup game at KP if I remember right, and so many injuries that trying to guess who would be able to play at the weekend was pretty much impossible. Rob had the rules of the competition, many pages of small text in legalese language, which as far as he could tell just said that he had to name a team by noon on Friday. He had us all checking through every word of the documents to see if there was any stipulation that it had to be the same team that would take to the pitch?

After much checking & cross-referencing, it was agreed that it just said name a team, so he duly named 22 players & got on with something else. Not surprisingly, the team that he named bore almost no resemblance to the blokes who turned up on the pitch.

 
Re: Meeting your rugby icons
markismith50 (IP Logged)
22/11/2017 09:57
I remember it well. Seem to recall we named James Grindal at fly-half and then played Sparks Wilkinson, who got man of the match in a stonking home win.

The rules of the tournament have changed since then, and we have to provide a medical certificate for any player named in the team who then doesn't play.

 
Re: Meeting your rugby icons
DeceptivePace (IP Logged)
22/11/2017 10:12
I had a brief but memorable (for me) convo with Matt Burke after he finished training one morning at Cramlington Sporting Club. He had been probably the only senior player among academy and fringe players, which prompted me to ask if he'd been running the session. He explained that he was doing a light session away from the rest of the boys to manage his body in order to play that weekend.
As you would imagine, he was charming and happy to engage. Even though the Aussies routinely use the term "mate," when he said it, it felt briefly like he was.

 
Re: Meeting your rugby icons
markismith50 (IP Logged)
22/11/2017 10:47
The lads did used to rinse Burkey for having the 'Golden Ticket' of minimal training during the week but playing every weekend. Though in fairness it's hard to argue when he played so well.

 
Re: Meeting your rugby icons
London_Falcon (IP Logged)
23/11/2017 11:53
Ok, time to roll out an old story. I coach a junior rugby team down here in South West London. In 2014 my squad made the transition from minis to juniors (at that time it would have been the end of their u12 season) so we took them on a long weekend tour to Toulon to mark their graduation.

Unbeknownst to any of us, the parent who had organised the tour had been emailing Jonny about the possibility of a meet and greet. Long story short we were having a training session on the beach and Jonny rocked up as a complete surprise to all bar one of the touring party.

He was an absolute gent. He ran a 45minute skills session, then did photos and autographs for all 25 odd families, before jumping in the car and heading off to catch a flight. In our little local rugby club it is a legendary piece of history.

 
Re: Meeting your rugby icons
NorfolkFalcon (IP Logged)
23/11/2017 12:35
Great story London.

My affiliation to the Falcons was purely because of Jonny. I am a Norfolk lad born and bred.

My parents owned a corner shop when I was young and Jonny's grandparents lived in the next village. His Grandma always popped in to the store on the Sunday to read his match reports. This was when he first broke through with us, not in his international heyday. Unbeknown to me, my parents asked his Grandma if she could get me his autograph. She got me a signed autograph with a personal message from both Jonny and Inga. I was delighted.

Football used to be my main fixation but having looked up how the Falcons were getting on when they went down to the Championship, I have been a regular follower ever since. I'd even go as far to say the Falcons has replaced my beloved Canaries.

 
Re: Meeting your rugby icons
Leipziger (IP Logged)
23/11/2017 13:27
I've chatted to a fair few Falcons players after games over the years, all pretty friendly. Not many funny stories really, I do remember chatting with Phil Dowson in a pub in Limerick and being insulted by two girls beside us. Once I'd got sick of it and gone back to the other Falcons fans, these girls were fawning all over Dowse quite pathetically.

I also once saw Colin Charvis in a pub in Cardiff, I could tell it was him because he kept glancing over at my Falcons shirt. I made a quick, happy comment to him at the bar but he wasn't up for chat.

One for Newcastle United fans though: when I hear a funny story about a player/celebrity, I often text my oldest mate and tell him that it's more of a claim to fame than the time he saw Des Hamilton in Kingston Park Tesco's.

 
Re: Meeting your rugby icons
Leipziger (IP Logged)
23/11/2017 13:35
Quote:
Leipziger
I've chatted to a fair few Falcons players after games over the years, all pretty friendly. Not many funny stories really, I do remember chatting with Phil Dowson in a pub in Limerick and being insulted by two girls beside us. Once I'd got sick of it and gone back to the other Falcons fans, these girls were fawning all over Dowse quite pathetically.
Then there was the time I was in a Bath nightclub post-match, and ran into Andy Higgins in the gents'. Upon seeing my Falcons shirt, he began singing: "Gannin' along the Scotswood Road!!"

One for Newcastle United fans though: when I hear a funny story about a player/celebrity, I often text my oldest mate and tell him that it's more of a claim to fame than the time he saw Des Hamilton in Kingston Park Tesco's.

 
Re: Meeting your rugby icons
oldlad (IP Logged)
23/11/2017 15:54
A few years ago my youngest was invited to join the junior academy by the then academy manager John Fletcher. On the first day I dropped him off at the changing room doors and was ushered up the stairs to the east stand bar where I was greeted by Rob Andrew who promptly produced me a cup of tea. This was a man I had watched and admired as a player both for club and country making me a brew, unreal.

 
Re: Meeting your rugby icons
markismith50 (IP Logged)
23/11/2017 16:01
Rob Andrew making someone a cup of tea.

I shared an office with him for three years and he never once brewed up!

 
Re: Meeting your rugby icons
dick g (IP Logged)
23/11/2017 18:24
My memories go back to the late 1960s. Some years earlier my hero was England fly half, Cornishman Ricgard Sharp who scored one of Twickenham's finest tries when he dummied and shimmered through a Scottish back row who had promised to flatten him.

Some years later, I was in a bar in Cornwall when I spotted Sharp. With beermat in hand and heart in mouth, I approached and asked for an autograph. He signed the mat and then invited me to sit by him. He talked me through the legendary try.

I also have a beermats signed by All Black greats Don Clarke and Brian Lahore who visited the club I played for in North London. (Pinner).

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
We record all IP addresses on the Sportnetwork message boards which may be required by the authorities in case of defamatory or abusive comment. We seek to monitor the Message Boards at regular intervals. We do not associate Sportnetwork with any of the comments and do not take responsibility for any statements or opinions expressed on the Message Boards. If you have any cause for concern over any material posted here please let us know as soon as possible by e-mailing abuse@sportnetwork.net
 

Newcastle Falcons Poll

Is this a poll

See results > Submit >>