History Makers – The Golden Age Of 7’s

A Special Message From Trustee Dick Moody

Having helped publish Twenty-Five issues of the Old Wandsworthians Memorial Trust Newsletter it is time for me pull the plug on my P/C and hand over to ‘new blood’. The Trust has spoken with a great former rugby player and clubman, who has agreed to fill my boots! I would personally like to thank the Arch (Andy Archer) for offering to help with this role.

Many off you may know that I was 80 years old in October 2019 and hope to dine at several more Dave Pollard Memorial Lunches (Old Lags to some). Whilst editing the Newsletter I have had access to many ‘stories’ and I believe the future of our community is safe in hands of the Trustees. The Dave Pollard Memorial Lunch is evidence of the unique ‘gathering’ power of former students of Wandsworth Grammar and then the Comprehensive School in Sutherland Grove. Hopefully we will continue to support awards for future generations from St Cecilia’s and the revitalisation of the Wandsworthians Rugby Club.

If I look back in time my fading memories record, a game of rugby between the School 1st XV and the Old Wandsworthians RFC in Old Deer Park and thought that the after-match pint was a great idea. Four years later when I returned home from Swansea (via QMC, London); Putney High Street and my Triumph motorbike were vital to my leisure hours until the purchase of a regular coffee introduced me to Ron Haywood and the family coffee-bar. Ron also introduced me to the ‘Management’ of the Old Wandsworthians and Tony Watts introduced me to his Sunday Morning ‘slave gang’ when we moved to Claygate – which was often as wet as a day on the Somme.

Dave Millen in full flow.

One of my first games for the Dubs was at the Old Surbitonians’ ground on a beautiful day playing in a Sevens Competition on a firm pitch. Sevens became my favorite sport and The OWRFC was really good at it. The Club had a number of very good players at that time and the Memorial Ground in Claygate hosted the London Old Boy Seven-A-Side Competition for many seasons from 1965. I have several pewter jugs and one glass mug from the times when the Old Dubs won the Police Sevens Competition, at Imber Court. A glass jug as the final ‘prize’ – was a hint that we would not be invited again?

In the mid-sixties I played seven-aside rugby with the likes of Peter Dutch, Dave Snare, Tony Berry, Stuart England, Mike Burris, Roger Mance, David Millen to name a few. A great period of sevens rugby for us all.

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