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Middlesex RugbyRWC Volunteer Award Nominees : Middlesex Rugby

RWC Volunteer Award Nominees

Unsung Hero

That special volunteer without whom your club, or section of your club, just wouldn’t operate. Whether it’s managing the under 7s, making the teas, washing the kit, marking the pitches or cleaning and maintaining the clubhouse, this is your chance to recognise your club’s unsung hero.

The nominees were:

Richard Pooley, Ickenham

A player and commitee member of Ickenham RFC for nearly 40 years, Richard (Dick) has overseen the club’s transition from Saint Nicholas Old Boys RFC to Ickenham RFC. His dedication and passion for the club and the game of rugby in general is unwavering. For 50 years the club has been a nomadic one, and over that time, Dick has found facilities for the club at Ickenham Cricket Club and Brunel University.

But his determination to find the club a permanent home has paid off, and finally after his efforts to secure a farmers field on the outskirts of Ickenham took him as far afield as Canada, he has gained agreement for the land to be used as Ickenham RFC’s first permanent home in their 50 year history on a long term lease for a peppercorn rent.

Dick is present at many a meeting in his own time for the benefit of the club and the county and he continues his work for the club in the background without real recognition and no reward.

Angus Thompson, Staines

Angus has gone above and beyond the call of duty, driving the club sports therapist to away games along with massage tables and first aid kit. As kit manager, he takes all the playing kit to the cleaners and cleans all water bottles after every training session and game and provides support to all the players.

He helps write up medical notes, takes players to hospital and frequently gives up his Saturday evenings to stay with the players in hospital until relatives arrive. Angus has been an absolute necessity to the club during the season.

Antony Chadwick, Haringey Rhinos

Tony is one of the Rhinos linchpin and as the club’s Honorary Secretary has the unenviable job of organising committee meetings, rounding up the committee and then making sure everyone does what they say they’re going to do.

Tony is the first person anyone calls with a query on game day and is the first person to jump in his car and head to Sainsbury’s when the beer runs out! He’s even been known to wash the kit from time to time.

He has built a great relationship with a local pub, who now sponsor the team, provide food on match days and provide facilities for club dinners. He has also passed a number of coaching qualifications and regularly coaches our minis. He is a great supporter of the whole club and his commitment and dedication deserve recognition.

Gavin O’Shea & David Bird, Hackney

These two terrific volunteers have been heavily involved with the Hackney U17 squad. They have been crucial to the organisation and operation of the previous two tours and are currently organising this year’s tour to Italy. They help out with the team training and matches, have had a significant influence on keeping the team together through the last couple of seasons and they will, hopefully, help with the transition to adult sport. Importantly, they have also been excellent role models for the boys, not least with tour kitchen duties.

Mary Impey, Hackney

Mary has done a huge amount of work with Petchey Academy and linking Hackney with other clubs to initiate rugby activity for girls in East London. She has been engaged with the 16 – 24 age group to bring players back to the sport. She is currently the club safeguarding officer and is always looking to bring in new volunteers to the club and look for new ways forward to help with the development of the club and the sport.

Caolan Cotter, London Nigerians

Caolan has taken on a role within his club that few would take up. He has stepped in when the club was experiencing great difficulties on and off the field and has worked hard to recruit new volunteers and players to help revive London Nigerians to the point where the club can now develop and move forward.

Robin Greenwood, Pinner

Robin has been the ‘glue’ at Pinner this season. When things were not looking good both on and off the pitch in terms of numbers and facilities, he has worked hard to rally club members and has driven their facilities projects including Nat West Rugby Force.

Eugene Yost, Saracens Amateurs

Eugene has for a long time been the driving force with regards to all the projects in the club, particularly during the long period of uncertainty when plans were being make for integration in the Professional club.

Chris Jepson, Pinner

Chris, who is a teacher, has been instrumental in getting students to the two local clubs, having pulled his boots on and completed a league winning season with Pinner RFC.

Aled Lewis, Old Actonians

Alan has effectively built the club website and social media and IT infrastructure for the club to recruit 40 new players thoughout the season.

Justin Fitzsimmons, Wasps FC

Justin has been integral in helping to establish the new XV ‘Fat Dads’ team at Wasps, as well as spearheading touch rugby for the same players on a Thursday. He is now unable to play since battling back from a nasty illness that almost left the club without him.

Ian Leggett, Twickenham

During this 15 years at Twickenham, Ian has been instrumental in developing and improving all things medical in the club. He is a key part of ensuring that there is a physio cover available for all senior matches, home and away, and for training sessions. He also ensures that the required medical coverage is in place on Sundays for minis and juniors.

He also ensures that there are enough First Aiders for each age group throughout the Club, organising their training and ensuring that they have sufficient supplies. Additionally, this season, he has led on the introduction of the HIA (head injury assessment) across the Club.

He has helped raise additional funds for the medical area ensuring that the physio/medical room is kitted out to a high standard and providing a defibrillator for the club.

Mae Fisher, Twickenham

Mae joined TRFC in 2002 along with her son and became the Manager for her son’s team from U12s, helping to steer them into Middlesex and Herts Div 1. She started managing the third team in 2010, and played an integral role in their promotion three seasons in a row. She has recently taken on managing the first team.

Mae has organised the club’s annual charity match for several seasons, culminating in last season’s very successful day when all three senior teams played along with junior and mini age groups to raise funds for the Macmillan Charity.

Shane Donaldson, Chiswick

As club captain, Shane was always the first person at the club who would willingly take on the organising new kit purchases, distributing kit, coaching players, reinstating post training food, organising events at the club and supporting the club in anyway he could.

He is now the front five coach for the first and second XV and is nurturing a number of new players into the Chiswick fold. He has also worked with a university side to develop the pack players.

Shane has never sought recognition for the work that he has done for Chiswick RFC he genuinely does it for the love of the sport, the players and the club for which he played for many years until injury ended his playing career.

Bernadette Weeks, Ealing Trailfinders

Bernadette manages the club shop, working very hard all season. The shop provides significant revenue for the club and without her hard work, the club would not be able to do the things it does. She is responsible for stock control, ordering kit, cash management and organising the volunteers who run the shop at weekends when it is open. She also organises setting up the mobile shop on matchdays. A really committed volunteer, with great responsibility who’s hard work behind the scenes is rarely seen and appreciated by the members in general.

Geoff Ottley, Finchley

Without the work that Geoff does at Finchley, the club would not run. Geoff can often be found during the week watering the pitch, cleaning the changing rooms and cleaning the bar after a messy Saturday night.

Finchley wouldn’t survive without Geoff in the background keeping the day to day activities going simply because of his love of the club.

Terry Walters, Feltham

As clubhouse manager, Terry Walters stepped up to the mark after Feltham’s clubhouse and changing rooms fires, adding the role of maintenance manager to his duties. In season 2012-13 he began to spend his Sunday mornings as driver and kit man for the youth team and his Saturday afternoons running the line for the 1st XV.

In 2013-14, he added the role of Social Secretary to his multiple duties, putting his communication skills to use and made an immediate impact by re-launching the club’s Christmas Party, New Year’s Eve celebrations and bringing back the Summer Ball which had not been seen at FRFC for at least 20 years. Later that year, he added the Annual Club Dinner to his CV. He acts as doorman at his own events and can often be seen helping out behind the bar.

He has now taken on the club Fixtures Secretary role and is their League Contact for next season.

This would be a remarkable story of commitment and dedication by itself but what is even more commendable is that he is also in remission from cancer and has had major knee surgery this year also.

Shaun Keen, Feltham

We have not had a Team Manager for many years at Feltham and for many years Shaun was our club photographer taking action shots at games as well as formal photographs at club functions. Shaun entered wholeheartedly into the role and attended every game of the season in order to reduce the workload of the 1st team captain whilst carving a niche for himself with the responsibilities that he undertook.

This included mundane tasks such as ensuring that the kit arrives for away matches and that post protectors and corner posts and flags get on the pitch but someone has to do it and Shaun did it without question.

He has now taken a step up within the club and is to become membership secretary as well.

It is the unheralded, unfashionable and unglamorous work that no one notices, but which soon causes untold difficulties when not done, that make volunteers like Shaun so vital to the running of the game.

Outstanding young volunteer of the year

This award recognises and celebrates a young person (under 23 years of age) who has had a positive influence on their club by encouraging more people to participate in rugby, either through playing or becoming involved in activities at their club.

The nominees were:

Cameron Taylor, Ruislip

Cameron is a fine example of a young volunteer who has been very active as one of his club’s Young Rugby Ambassadors (YRA), introducing events with the aim of bringing returning 16 – 24 years olds back in the game, presenting his ideas to the club committee and attending Middlesex meetings. Since becoming a YRA his confidence and presentation skills have improved significantly. He was part of the group that set up the Middlesex YRA Facebook page and has been a leading example to other YRAs within the County.

Joe Thomson, Staines

Joe is one of seven Young Rugby Ambassadors at Staines RFC. During the season they have put in place a number of new initiatives which attracted a lot of media attention and made a significant impact on recruitment.

The use of social networking via Facebook and Twitter progressed to filming on the YouTube channel which involved player and official interviews. Staines went on to produce their own App to assist in club development. The resulting attention led to the recruitment of 26 new players of which 18 fell in the RFU focus 16 – 24 category.

Their work was recognised by the RFU and resulted in Staines winning “The Win Catt award” which provided a free coaching session with Mike Catt for all Staines Youth and Senior players. The session was filmed on national TV and brought much attention to Staines.

As the season progressed, the club saw a 70% increase in youth teams through the “All Schools” Programme. Although this recruitment was not directly as a result of the work put in by the YRAs, their ongoing social networking and motivational drive, played a great part in the retention of all the new players.

Joe was at the forefront of leading the YRAs and despite going through an important exam year, still managed to attend Scrum Factory and Rugby Ready courses and achieved ELRA 1 & 2.

These accreditations have been put to a positive use by assisting coaching with Staines U12s, running touch each week for the Senior XV, refereeing at a Sri Lankan 10s festival and refereeing at England schools development tournament for girls at Wasps while supporting RFU staff in their delivery.

Joe also helps to referee games at his school when not playing club rugby, Joe has also been involved in leaflet distribution for the RFU Injured Players Foundation.

As an RFU Young Rugby Ambassador, Joe has shown great leadership skills with the other YRAs, senior players, officials and bembers of the club. His innovative approach has grown the game at Staines which benefits the county and the game in general.

A further project which Joe is involved with is the development of a media suite to assist youth players in further developing social media skills which will sustain the playing membership at Staines far beyond World Cup 2015.

Coach of the year

This award recognises a coach that has supported the growth of the game with unwavering enthusiasm by living the core values of the game throughout the year. They are directly responsible for keeping people engaged and enthused in our game.

The nominees were:

Andy Flavin, West London

Andy has been a long term member of both Old Gaytonians and West London, over the last few years he has cut his teeth as a coach, progressing through his coaching badges as he goes.

The outcome is that the club has progressed from a downward slide and very little training into a club on the up having won the inaugural Herts/Middx 2 Shield last season.

Alison Donnelly, Teddington

Alison has focussed on recruitment at Teddington and her hard work has resulted in the club establishing a Teddington Development womens team, which took part in and won the Griffin Cup in their first season. Through her work with ScrumQueens website, she also promotes the women & girls game in general.

Clive See, Twickenham

Clive has been coaching at Twickenham for arond 15 years, from Minis through Juniors and on to Seniors. Having taken the 1st XV through two successive promotions, he succeeded last season in keeping the club at Level 6, in London 1 South, against what seemed at times impossible odds.

He has had to deal with problems of player unavailability and a young team finding its way at a new level. There were times in the season when the goal looked lost, and many would have given in, but his persistence, commitment and passion won through, and Twicenham has had a great climax to the season.

Clive’s commitment and leadership reaches right across not just the seniors, but the whole club.

Tom Sincock, London Cornish

In his four years with London Cornish, the 1st XV has moved up the league to finish this year in the play-off position where they eventually lost out to Medway. Tom is always instilling the core values of Teamwork, Respect (for each other, opposition and referees), Enjoyment (of the game he loves), Discipline and Sportsmanship.

Gareth Vaughan Jones, London Welsh Amateurs

Gareth has been an inspirational, enthusiastic coach of the London Welsh minis under 12s for the last give years. In that time he has taken on the chairmanship of London Welsh minis and developing the club at all age groups. He has also qualified as a referee in that time which he is passionate about. He does all this whilst being a father of four young children.

Referee of the year

This award recognises a referee that has supported the growth of the game with unwavering enthusiasm by living the core values of the game throughout the year. They are directly responsible for keeping people engaged and enthused in our game.

The nominees were:

Joe Russell, Ruislip

Joe is an active referee and is continually striving to develop his volunteering and refereeing experiences. He is always enthusiastic about refereeing at all festivals and tournaments when asked and uses his role as Club Young Rugby Ambassador to promote the sport and encourage others to get into refereeing.

MC Tsang, Ealing Trailfinders

MC started refereeing in the minis over ten years ago, when his eldest son played for the U5s. Over the years, he has progressed through the age groups, refereeing at every opportunity and honed his skills through active CPD, courses and development to achieve London Society status. Always good humoured, respected by the players and embodies the flowing nature and spirit of the game. He also encourages others to become referees, helping to develop them within the club.

University Volunteers Award

This award will be presented to a student who’s hard work and consistent support, through the University Volunteer Scheme, has had a positive influence at either a club, an educational institute or within the County.

The nominees were:

Megan Threthewey, London School of Economics Womens RFC

Megan is a squad member of LSE WRFC and Social Secretary / Public Relations Officer. In this role she has really put LSE Rugby on the map for all the right reasons. The growing women’s section managed to start up a 2nd team squad through excellent recruitment driven by Meg. She also managed to raise the profile of LSE rugby & womens rugby in general through great PR putting LSE at the forefront of the #ThisGirlCan campaign.

LSE WRFC has trained with the England squad at HQ Twickenham and appeared in a RFU video promoting women’s rugby due to Meg’s hard work. They have also appeared in the ‘Pitch up & Play’ RFU campaign.

Meg has been in the 1st team squad for three seasons and in that time has been mostly a replacement but has always put the good of the team first. LSE WRFC had an excellent season and as coach one of the highlights was when Meg came off the bench to score her first ever try in the semi final of the BUCs Cup. She has achieved all this and much more in her final degree year at the London School of Economics.

Will Brown and Dave Green, KCL / Grasshoppers

Will and Dave are both at KCL and were part of the inaugural University Volunteer Scheme. They came to Grasshoppers wanting to get more involved with coaching a junior team and to gain both their coaching and refeering qualifications. Since joining they have helped last year’s U13 boys grow from 11 players to 24 players and were instrumental in guiding the boys to winning their league. They bring great enthusiasm to every training and games and have built a strong bond with the boys.

Vicky Stahle, UCL

Vicky has come through as part of the University Volunteer Scheme and took on the formation, development and running of the Student Merit Leagues.

Elliot Byfield, Leeds University

At times commuting from University in Leeds, Elliot supported the Middlesex Rugby office for a month, undertaking research and orgnisational projects for the marketing and Club 7s committees to help grow the game. He attended the College Mega fest at Grasshoppers RFC and Emerging Schools Festivals at Old Merchant Taylors school.

Prince Haastrup, University Volunteer Scheme

An aspiring physio who has attended RFU and Middlesex Rugby festivals to support first aid. He has also attended a number of the Women’s Middlesex Forum meetings to gain a better understanding of what is happening behind the scenes and give personal advice as to how clubs can secure volunteers and physio support.

Becky Piddlesdon, St Mary’s University

Becky has been coaching in schools and supporting festivals throughout the year, whilst also being a driving force behind the success of University team St Mary’s. Her influence has transitioned a number of University girls into the Teddington Development team.

RWC Legacy award

This award will be presented to an outstanding individual who has derived for their club significant benefit from having the World Cup on our own doorstep, by making game-changing contributions to their team, club, county or local community.

The nominees were:

Neville Manuel, Film Producer

Neville was approached to help with a social media project that Middlesex Rugby wanted to carry out to help its clubs derive maximum benefit from the World Cup. He has freely given his time and energy to take on filming and editing. His expertise and advice will hopefully help clubs use the social media film to aid with recruitment during the run up to the World Cup and beyond.

Damien Bouvier, Hackney

Damien has been one of the most engaged and enthusiastic Cup Champions. He has attended meetings and contributed well at meetings. He submitted a strong application for the Trophy Tour and was successful in the application, which will see the Webb Ellis Trophy at an event in Hackney in September to help promote the sport to disadvantaged youngsters. He has also arranged an under 23s game as part of the returning players / 16 – 24 age group as part of the Festival of Rugby.

Special recognition award

This award will be presented to a club member who has performed a task of outstanding quality or unusual importance to the club and which has had a major effect on the club’s success either on or off the field. The achievement should not be covered by any other award categories. Examples might include improved club management practices, saving money, raising funds, recruiting new members, organisation of an event or social activity, raising the profile of the club, team building or bonding activities.

The nominees were:

Catherine Poynter, Twickenham

Catherine has bent over backwards for the Twickeham Under 15s. She has kept the team together, ensuring communications are going out so everyone knows what is going on, arranging transport to ensure that everyone can get to and from games. Without her hard work, the club wouldn’t have an U15 team.

Ken Macrea & Ged Elliot, Herts & Middlesex Junior Leagues

Ken and Ged have put in long service and dedication in their hard work on the Herts and Middlesex Junior Leagues to provide a structured format for Junior league competition.

The Trustees, Darussalam Mosque

Sahel and the other trustees have supported the work of the Middlesex Rugby RDO/CRC team in delivering rugby presentations and helping with engaging with the Muslim Community through rugby.

Richie Sixsmith, Hounslow Barracks

Richie has worked hard to use rugby to engage with families at the Barracks.

Stuart Howkins, Heston Community School

Stuart has helped introduce rugby into the school and has been a strong supporter of the All Schools programme. He regularly transports 11 students in his own time so they can train/play club rugby.

Alan Fraser, Cranford Community College

Alan has worked alongside the RDOs and CRCs in bringing All Schools to Cranford and has engaged his staff ensure that Cranford is one of the leading schools in the All Schools programme. More recently he has worked alongside Hounslow Local Authority to use rugby to engage with the local Muslim Community and Darussalam Mosque.

Cath Smith, Twickenham

Cath is one of the newer volunteers at Twickenham, attached to the U14 age group through her son, and has recently taken on two very important roles at the club.

Having become a member of the TRFC Development Task Group (DTG) in November 2013 she immediately volunteered to act as that group’s secretary and was commended on her approach and the way she set out the meeting minutes and outstanding action points by the club RDO, to whom the task group regularly reports. As with other DTG members she has additional and specific responsibility for three year one priority action points.

Following her success in that role, Cath was approached to take on the vitally important role of Safeguarding Officer. In her own time she has attended RFU seminars, briefings and safeguarding courses so as to have the requisite skills to perform the job to the level required.

Cath has undertaken all her duties in a very conscientious and committed manner against a backdrop of being a single parent and caring for two elderly and unwell parents.

Marcelle Hill and Andrew Morgan, Twickenham

During the 2014/15 season, the Twickenham mini section has increased its membership to over 200 players. The number of coaching staff, along with first aiders, has risen exponentially in the same period, with 36 coaches in action every Sunday morning. The club is ensuring that all these coaches are on the correct developmental pathway, with a number already Rugby Ready and Level One qualified. The Minis have been entered in 5 tournaments and the U12s have played in league warm up games.

This outstanding growth in introducing children to rugby and, as importantly, putting the structure in place to ensure their enjoyment of the game is down to the hard work of our mini chair, Marcelle Hill and the head coach of U9s, Andrew Morgan. They have created an open and inviting atmosphere within their section which makes it very easy for parents to step up and volunteer. Also we have two very committed young adult players who are part of the U12 coaching team. The club is committed to encouraging more of our senior players to become part of this successful mini coaching team.

Sean Brereton, Twickenham

Sean Brereton joined Twickenham in 2000 as mini parent and started playing for the 3rd team not long afterwards. He has continued through to the present day also turning out for the 2s and the 4s.

He was joint coach for his eldest son Ciaran’s team and when that team had to combine with London Scottish in order to survive, he started helping out as a secondary coach to his younger son Angus’ team at TRFC.

Sean started out coaching some of these young boys at U6 and has had the pleasure of playing with them once they graduated to senior rugby!

In 2004, Sean became the assistant Honorary Secretary and eventually Honorary Secretary in the 2006 / 2007 season. In that role he has improved the club’s relationships with the RFU and Middlesex and has worked hard to increase the club’s standing with both these bodies

Sean has also been a core member of the disciplinary committee has recently been awarded a Vice Presidency.

Christopher Moore, SODAM

The club wouldn’t exist without Moorsey’s commitment and love of the game. He plays the game right and always helps newcomers whole heartedly.

Dickon Moon, London Cornish

In his twelve years as Director of Rugby, Dickon Moon has developed the club into one that fields four senior sides. His recruitment of players policy is second to none and even this year he has attracted many new players, particularly forwards to the extent they now have several replacements for the second row. However, Dickon’s contribution to the club extends beyond his recruitment policy. He also arranges the cleaning of kit, puts out the flags and post protectors for every home game, liaisies with his opposite number and assists his coaches.

Luca Vaninni, Chiswick

Luca Vaninni has just finished his third season as First XV Captain, leading the players during possibly the most successful period in the clubs history, leading Chiswick to Middlesex Cup victory and also to promotion to London 1.

He is a hugely liked and respected man around the club, both on and off the field. He is willing to help in every aspect of club life from organising equipment on match days to taking a turn behind the bar after the game. Always the first man on the training paddock and often the last man off. He has lead from the front on the field genuinely putting his body on the line.

After his time as First XV Captain he is now evaluating his future at the club and is looking at how he can help the club move forward at Committee level.

Lyndon Walters, Hammersmith & Fulham

Lyndon is the club’s long standing fixture secretary (he has previously been the Club’s player of the year (twice) and first XV captain). The fixture secretary role has expanded over the years to cover five/six senior sides, a Vets XV and the rapidly expanding Youth Section as well as overseeing the thriving Ladies Section. The role includes arranging fixtures, organising referees, booking the facilities and arranging the catering. In addition Lyndon coaches the lower age groups on a Sunday morning, organises the Sunday catering (including provisioning and volunteers), arrives early to set up each Sunday and stays until the bitter end to ensure that everything is safely put away; he is frequently the last to leave. He has never turned down a request for his help.

Barry Kingsland, Ealing Trailfinders

Approximately two years ago, the decision was taken for the youth section of the club to go on a major rugby tour outside Europe. South Africa was the chosen country, the previous one being Argentina more than five years previously. As the parent of an U16 player, Barry volunteered to take on the role of tour organiser. For the past two years he has, almost single handed, organised the tour, liaised with the tour company, agreed iteniaries on the tourists behalf, drummed up support and managed the payments. No mean feat and without Barry’s hard work and commitment, the tour would not have been the undoubted success it was. Some members would say that without Barry’s enthusiasm, the tour wouldn’t have happened at all.

David Gershlick, Hendon/Middlesex Rugby

David has dedicated his life to grassroots rugby, both at his club, Hendon, and as a Middlesex Rugby Committee member. At Hendon he was 4th XV captain for ten years and has been president for over 20 years. He has been the driving force behind keeping the club going when it went through difficult periods.

He was one of the founders of the original Fullers Merit Table which gave grassroots clubs their first taste of competitive rugby, and when the Leagues were subsequently introduced, David was a league secretary for donkey’s years.

As a Middlesex committee man, David has served on a number of committees including Playing and Comptitions, and was chairman of the Marketing Committee until this season. He has been chairman of the Club 7s committee since it’s conception in 2001, when he introduced a new format to keep Middlesex 7s alive at grassroots level.

He has grown the Middlesex Club 7s from a fledgling competition when he first conceived it as a grass roots tournament to run alongside the Charity 7s to the point where it now offers rugby at all levels for all sections of the game and attracts 60 or more clubs every season, competing in ten competitons across seven pitches on one day.

His enthusiasm for the event and for providing meaningful, competitive rugby for people at all levels of the game, have ensured that the competition has grown year on year to become Middlesex’s Jewel in the Crown event, generating substantial advertising and sponsorship income.

His expertise in the 7s format let to him helping the RFU establish their inaugural Pan-London 7s this season.

Kevin Devereux, Feltham

After fire destroyed the clubhouse and changing rooms at Feltham, Kevin volunteered to help and became integral to the successful rebuilding of the clubhouse. He spent untold hours ensuring that our insurance claims were handled in a professional manner to ensure that our clubhouse could be re-built.

He took on a major role in the club’s negotiations with the LB of Hounslow on the re-building of the changing rooms to a 21st century RFU approved standard. At the same time he has facilitated and controlled the set up of the new club website which has helped to attract new players and he has taken responsibility for promoting the use of our clubhouse by the local community which has increased our commercial viability.

Lifetime achievement award

This award celebrates a club member who has dedicated his or her life to the club and made a major impact on the club’s success over a sustained period. Their unstinting contribution should go above and beyond the everyday and be of long and lasting benefit to the club.

The nominees were:

Micky Harber, Hendon

Micky has been at Hendon all his life. He played and captained the first team throughout the 80s and 90s. After retiring he became director of rugby.

Week in week out for six days a week he commited himself to ensuring a 1st team, and often during the latter years a 2nd team too, turned out in Hendon colours. He masterminded recruitment drives at the club, building and renovation days, securing new coaches, new sponsors, new watering holes, transport for match days and all while often putting the club before his family.

After many many years of voluntary service, Micky has decided to take a step back from club duties, but his physical and vocal presence wil be sorely missed.

Eirwyn Williams, London Welsh Amateurs

Em has been an inspiration at London Welsh and has run the Occasionals team since the 1960s. This team has since become London Welsh Amateur and whilst Em, who is now in his 80s, takes a less active role in its running, he still turns up at virtually every game and dinner for the team, ferrying players and helping out. It is doubftul there would be an Amateur club without his inspiration in the early 2000s.

Matthew Childs, London Welsh Occies

Having played every single season since 1983, Matthew (Jawsy) passed the remarkable milestone of having played over 700 games for London Welsh in various teams, including one in a club 1st team friendly against the Royal Navy. 32 years on, he’s still ready to head into battle on a Saturday for the Occasionals or the Dragons, often playing against opposition younger than his son Will.

Bob Lawless, Staines / Middlesex Rugby

Bob has dedicated his life to rugby, both at his club, Staines and in his role Middlesex director of rugby. He is the first one to arrive at every Team Middlesex training session and the last one to leave, and he will have sorted every kit bag for several age groups (balls, bibs, bottles etc) and jerseys for match days.

Bob’s passion for driving the development of young aspiring players is inspirational. He has been solely responsible for the success of the Middlesex Development Course kicking off in Regents Park, giving the opportunity for players from state schools and all demographic backgrounds to have the opportunity to receive high quality coaching.

In addition to this Bob has driven and supported the county development courses at Staines & Teddington RFC (London Welsh in October), which have been a huge success.

Bob was instrumental in organising a tour party to Sweden early this year, taking the Team Middlesex U16’s to Sweden, the first time that a Middlesex squad had toured overseas for many years. The feedback from the boys and parents alike has been phenomenal.

John Rigby, West London

Before the merger of the three clubs that formed West London, John was a leading member of Old Gaytonians RFC. Since the clubs became one he has been instrumental in the running of the club, website, discipline and general committee work.

Simon Shutler, Southgate

Simon has been a Southgate member for over 30 years. Firstly as a player then after a back injury prevented him from playing he took up refereeing and coaching. He is also the club’s first aid member. THe is still active within the club coaching and first aiding. He is also a very valued committee member.

Jim Peters, Twickenham

Jim joined the TRFC in 1975 when his sons started to play. In the early 1980s he coached the U9s, following this age group until they reached U14s, and organised tours to France, which the same squad since revisited as Vets.

He played with the TRFC senior sides the Bulldogs and the Golden Oldies and went to play for and manage the 5th XV for several seasons.

He was, for a number of years, the club’s most qualified referee. He regularly refereed the junior teams on Sunday mornings until only a few seasons ago, and still runs touch for the 1st XV at home and away games.

Jim became club president in 2004/05 season and was instrumental in pushing through the rebuild of the club house, ensuring a pictorial history of the club and its teams are proudly hung on its walls. He supported the accreditation process for the Whole Club Seal of Approval, only the second Middlesex club to gain accreditation, and was part of the team which accepted the award at an International game at Twickenham.

As organiser of the club annual dinner, Jim has enticed some well known rugby figures, including Andy Ripley, to be guest speakers. He hosts President’s Lunches before senior home games and encourages friendly banter between the supporters of both sides! He has regularly supported end of season events run by junior age groups.

When needed Jim will push home rugby’s core values, passing on the ethos of being a supporter and actively encourages whole club support for senior games and mini and junior festivals.

He is a passionate Twickenham man through and through, and has written a book entitled ‘Before The Stadium’, about the history of rugby in Twickenham and TRFC.

Mike Herring, London Cornish

As a club London Cornish does not keep many people after their playing days, usually because they return home to Cornwall. Mike joined the club in 1968 and has stayed ever since. He was captain of the thirds and the fourths but also spent almost twenty years as president and chairman. During the last seven years he has persuaded many of the old boys to come back in support of the club at his legendary President’s lunches.

David Goodenough, Chiswick

David “Goose” Goodenough gave much of his playing career to Chiswick RFC, from junior level through seniors to first team captain to Chairman and President of the club, representing Chiswick at all levels of rugby including at Middlesex.

He has always been a larger than life personality around the club and is always available and willing to offer a piece of advice to any of the players, coaches and even the referees, with a warm arm around the shoulder and a gentle or even stern word as needed.

During his working life he brought a great deal of sponsorship to the club, which has continued into his retirement. In his retirement he could often be found at the club undertaking odd jobs and making sure the club was in order.

Terry Alleyne, Hammersmith & Fulham

Terry joined the club in its first year (1978) and has been club chairman since 1988. He had previously been First XV Captain and Club Captain. He was instrumental in the formation of the club’s youth section and ladies section in 2003 and has overseen the clubs’ expansion to five senior men’s teams all playing in competition.

Terry is now also chairman of the youth section which now has 350 players, coach of the Under 17s and sells the club stash. He does, as he has for many years, all of the jobs that nobody else wants to do or even thinks of doing, which frequently sees him putting out post protectors at 8.00am on a Sunday morning and putting the kit away once everyone has left. He is the glue that holds the club together.

Dick Clack, Old Merchant Taylors’

Dick Clack’s involvement with OMTs began in 1959. He made 173 appearances for the 1st XV over a 20 year period when OMTs had a fixture list that included Bath, Gloucester and Northampton. He was top try scorer in in the 1969/70 and 1973/74 seasons. When not playing for the 1st XV he played for OMT Lambs (2nd XV) and several other sides in the Club. Subsequently Dick was the team manager and touch judge for the Lambs 2nd XV making the occasional appearance when the side was short. Before League and Merit Table rugby was established Dick also organised the Lambs Cup for local 2nd XVs.

This season Dick is standing down as Chairman of OMTFC after ten years. Dick stepped up at a time when OMTs did not have a chairman and took on a significant role to ensure that the rugby club came through the difficult period of transition in moving to our new home at Merchant Taylors’ School. After four years at our new ground, the club has embraced the change with the establishment of strong links to Merchant Taylors’ School and the recruitment of new players such that we have enjoyed promotion in the League and have grown from one to three regular sides.

In typical fashion Dick plans to remain on the committee and represent OMTs on the NW Group.

Tony Winslade, Old Isleworthians

Tony Winslade has served OIRFC for 40 years firstly as a captain when he initiated the club database (then paper) which remains in use today. He was elevated to chairman for some years, then president for many more, where he succesfully started the VP lunch ensuring past members remained in touch with the club and visited to support.

He is currently membership/registration secretary where he maintains that database (now electronic) which has now grown to include many many players who remain in touch only because of his diligence. He has been responsible for the successful 25th, 30th, 40th and big 50th anniversary celebrations along with annual ‘past players’ days. He also manages all club communications and produces the weekly newsletter. His diligence as membership secretary has improved the collection of OI subscriptions by thousands per season, and raised over £25,000 capital via the life membership scheme.

He was a driving force behind the club’s big overseas tours, and holds the club record for being on 70 OI tours. Having played for the club for 40 seasons, he retired at the age of 65, but his involvement with the club and its players has not diminished.

George Loureda, Finchley

George has dedicated a large part of his life to Finchley from the days when his son came up to play for Finchley through to the present day where he is the club’s chairman.

George is a linchpin of Finchley and can still be found at the club every Sunday morning running the mini and youth rugby. This section of the club continues to be a huge success for Finchley and this in large part is down to the work done by George Loureda.

As well as George’s efforts on Sundays he also commits himself to watching the senior teams play on Saturdays, providing any assistance he can on the day.

Everything George does for Finchley he approaches in a professional and thoughtful manner with no stone left unturned. This means that all of the club administration and otherwise forgotten tasks e.g. clubhouse repairs, pitch maintenance and beer stocks are never forgotten.

Ed Buxton, Finchley

Ed is the treasurer at Finchley, ensuring the club stays in the black and that all aspects of the clubs finances are dealt with in a timely and comprehensive fashion, but his work for the club extends well beyond its bank account.

Ed can often be found at the club throughout the week watering the pitch or draining it in the winter, sorting out the cellar ready for the weekend and ensuring that all club members have access to the great facilities that his hard work has brought to the club.

Not only does Ed organise and manage the club facilities he also lends a hand with cooking the after match meals on Saturday and helping run the mini and youth rugby on Sundays.

Peter Hobson, Grasshoppers

Pete Hobson “Hobbo” has played a significant part in building Grasshoppers to what it is today. Pete, supported by wife Val has worked tirelessly to develop the playing side of the club. Pete was the club’s first coach in the mid 70’s after a distinguished playing career as a prop. He then became club captain in the 90s and developed that role into director of rugby in 2005 when he led the club to promotion in 2008.

Middlesex Rugby