1970-1976: John Milton primary school, Battersea.
1976-1982: Wandsworth School – Represented the school at rugby, football and cricket excelling in none of the above!
1982 – Left school to make snooker tables.
1985 – Assistant Schoolkeeper South Thames College Putney.
1987 – Apprentice type setter (thank god for Mick Brown and the Old Dub connections).
1991 – Present day, I have been employed in the publishing world as a Senior Art Editor, working for various companies over the years.
I live near Epsom Downs with my wife Mandy. We are celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary this summer and have two young boys, Herbie (6) and Will (3).
The Old Wandsworthians
My earliest memories of the OW’s is sitting in Ian ‘slippery’ Maclean’s car, driving to an away game against Old Epsonians 4ths. We were running really late and the game was already under way. I can’t actually recall the game itself, but I do remember listening to Bob Champion winning the Grand National on the car’s radio. Google says that was 1981!
A year later, and thanks to Terry Mackie who was the school 1st XV coach at the time, we were introduced to John Totham and Gerry Johnson at a sevens competition. Gerry in his thick Welsh accent had the squad sit down and promptly announced that we were all playing for the Old Wandsworthians now. We more or less looked at each other and said alright then. Thus starting a memorable three seasons for not only the Colts involved, but also the club itself. This culminated in 1983, when we won the Surrey Cup. In 1984-85, senior rugby beckoned and I was promptly put into the first team at centre. Men against boys springs to mind as the rigours of Old Boy rugby hit home, especially the physical side of the game.
At this time a number of the OW’s colts represented Surrey at U18 & U21 level. Consequently, myself and Andy Carter were invited to play for Harlequins U21. We started the season at the Stoop but after a while both realised it wasn’t for us and rejoined the Dubs mid-way through the 1985-86 season. After two successful years under the leadership of Bob Andrews when we didn’t lose a home game (I think I’m correct in this fact?), I was elected 1st XV captain (1988-89). Luckily, I inherited a decent team from Bob and although the results weren’t as good as his, we still had a good season.
Lasting Memories on the Field
Running out for the Surrey Cup final to a touch line full of Dub supporters cheering the boys on, and of course winning the trophy. Playing for the OW’s in the Middlesex sevens prelims final against a young Martin Offiah of Rosslyn Park (I can tell you he had a number 7 on his back!). Travelling overnight from a tour in the South of France with Chris Drummond and Andy Carter to play sevens on the hallowed turf of Twickenham the next day, thanks to Dick Moody and the club who arranged everything. Martin Rushmer’s, short arm putting me in St.Thomas’ hospital for two days with a broken nose (all because I was too quick for him…only joking Rushie!). The mud at Claygate. Jack Saunders, last ditch tackle against Guy’s Hospital that won us a cup game against all the odds. I could go on and on, but these stick out for me at the time of writing.
Off the Field
The memorable senior and colts tours and consequent stories. Twenty Dubs watching England in the Five nations at Twickenham and having only three tickets between us. The great fancy dress parties at the club. Alan Bone’s Buzz Nights in the TV room. Those terrible curry pasties supplied by Dave ‘fingers’ O’Leary. The end-of-season dinners and of Buzz Nights in the TV room. The end-of-season dinners and of course the friendships that have been made. My final and favourite memory is of Lenny Reed passing wind in a Kings Road night club. and managing to attract the attention of two dolly birds who had there backs to him! What a boy…What a blow-off!!
I played regularly for the 1st XV and then the 2nd XV until 2006 when I finally decided to hang up my boots. The 2008-09 season will be my 28th and more importantly the clubs 80th. I have taken on the responsibility of coaching the next generation of OW’s with the help of club stalwarts Ian Plummer and Martin Walpole. Thanks to Mick Gover and our connections with Kings College, The new young breed of OW’s seem happy to carry on the great traditions of the club. Here’s to the next eighty years.