The Extras

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The Extras

Another one from Butch – the EX A in late 60’s at Havant apparently!
I was at school with DK, Bob Miller and Bill Richards – Kev’s brother Terry Murphy is also in there.

I’m guessing that whoever Lou was – he’d only just joined (possibly the previous evening) as he’s wearing his school rugby shirt

Butch got the photo courtesy of Mickey Pearse (not the one in ‘Only Fools’ !)
Butch’s commentary is below –

From: Ian Campbell
Sent: 30 October 2013 22:11
To: davidshute@outlook.com
Subject: Photo number 2

Hi Dave, again,

This second photo was sent to me by Micky Pearse – he being the bloke that used to spend hours and hours in the boiler room at the club making sure that the plunge bath was, if not full, but half filled with luke warm water on a Saturday afternoon.

The photo is of the Extra A in the mid ’60’s. Alan Robson – ex Dulwich College – ended up driving Routemasters out of New Cross bus garage, was Cliff Hugget a teacher at Askes?, Mick looks like Peter Kaye the comedian and Bob Crawford was one of the funniest blokes around at the time.

As you can see, I asked him to pursue the Platypus mystery, so we’ll see what comes about.

Hope these add to your memories, and keep it up (blog as well!)

Butch

My thanks to Butch and Mick for their efforts – not just now but all those years ago on the pitch too!

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Memory Loss

Some communications from Kev and Lunny reproduced below underline the fact that we played far too many games where we were shoed in the head with the consequent loss of feeling and memory. Although to be honest both of these blokes were usually dishing out said retribution rather than (like myself) being on the receiving end!

Both incidents they mention have already been recorded here in earlier posts – as my follow up e-mail confirms!

Of course it might well be the case that neither of them could be arsed to read this stuff and so didn’t realise – can’t blame them to be honest!

From: acottkevin
Subject: Re: Blog update!

Someone should write up the saga of Lockyers stag night when many were incarcerated in Bow St station!

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

 

From: acottkevin Subject: Re: Blog update!

Homewood lost his driving licence BEFORE he had even past his test! Paddy was his cheeky self and caved in when the police removed his fingernails with pliers and I pleaded the 5th and was told “u must have previous soon as you know the score!” The friendly Mr Lunn tried to suggest we should be let off!

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

 

From: Ian Lunn

Subject: RE: Blog update!

Re Kevins latest. Then again perhaps not. I was at court that morning in my previous life as a policeman. I thought that it was a strange place to have an Askean Social.

Cheers Ian.

Sent from my Windows Phone 

From: David Shute [mailto:davidshute@outlook.com]
Sent: 31 October 2013 09:53
To: acottkevin, Ian Lunn


Subject: Re: Blog update!

Kev and Ian hi

I think you’ll find all those incidents – Boney’s licence to kill and Locks stag night are already featured!

Boney in one of the posts about ‘runners’ (there are several posts since these were a regular pastime!) and Locks adventure at Bow St is under the ‘stag nights’ entry! This includes the curry house window and your discussion with the clock in our spare room Kev!

Will add these e-mails along with some great old team pics from Butch and Mickey Pearse later today.

Keep stories and photos coming guys please – saves me having to think of more (printable) material for the blog!

Shutey

www.rugbyoldbloke.wordpress.com

@rugbyoldbloke

Hope to add more stuff later guys!

More Unusual Suspects

Butch sent me a couple of photos – the first is below and features the first Dukes side – it became a ‘named’ team after it was the resting(?) place for many of the former 1st XV  – they initially played as the Ex A – but beat up so many of their opponents by embarrassingly high scores that the club removed them from those fixtures and got them their own – not that it stopped them winning nearly every game by a cricket score – including knocking several of their opposite numbers for 6 (literally).

They had to be moved sideways anyway since the players also refused to be promoted to the A XV as they wanted to stay with their mates and fight together!

Butch’s commentary –

From: “Ian Campbell”
Date: 30 October 2013 21:37:27 GMT
To: <davidshute@outlook.com>
Subject: Photos
Reply-To: “Ian Campbell”

Hi Dave,

Further to your latest email, I dug around in the old files – sad like you, I know – and found this old photo.

 

You will see that it was sent by Derek Jones in 2001 – remember him, he was the biggest 2nd row we ever had at 6′ 3″ and wouldn’t even make a scrum half now!?  Derek moved to New Zealand about 25 years ago and we still keep in touch with him as we visited him and his family back in 2000.

He heads this photo “The Infamous O.A. Extra A XV” and I’m sure you’ll see a few faces that have appeared in your blog to date. I would take issue with the title as I believe that it was a photo of one of – if not the first – photos of the Dukes. As I remember it, the Dukes were formed by Jeff Woollen who was introduced to the club by Graham Terry back in the mid ’70’s. He was the first who came up with the idea of each team member having a T-shirt with your name emblazoned on the back across the shoulders – very American Football.

Looking at the players, I recall us not losing a game for two seasons – a bit like the current Kiwis!! and a much nicer comment is the fact that – as far as I know – they’re all still alive!! 

So, hope this adds to your blog of memories of Askean Rugby.

Keep smiling,

Ian (Butch)

Another follows

Sadly his comment about them all being still with us – I think its Brian Orford in the front row – who sadly passed earlier this year

The First Dukes?

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The First Dukes?

Butch has sent me a couple of photos and a commentary on them!
This may well be the first ever Duke’s side – with names underneath – I’m going to post Butch’s e-mail after this (or before if you’ve already read it!).
I think the ? in the front row (between Benny’s brother Chris and Butch) is actually Brian Orford who is sadly no longer with us (see the post ‘Saying Goodbye to Good Friends’ which already includes far too many mates I played with over the years)

More Fund and Games

Woke up to find a great e-mail from Ian Campbell this morning.

I didn’t do justice to the amount that the club gained from the Jumble Sales in my post yesterday – Butch has given us the benefit of his experiences in sorting out the weed for the chavs.

He also recalls the dawn of enlightenment when the club realised that it was more important to be able to tackle and pass (Butch could do both) than to have been taught Latin by Nero Thomas. He played for the 1st XV before we went officially open – a pioneer of good things to happen at Askeans!

Here’s his memories of the Jumble sales –

—–Original Message—–
From: Ian Campbell
Sent: 29 October 2013 22:43
To: David Shute
Subject: Fund Raising

Hi Dave,

Your daily blog continues to bring back great memories of the good old days of both the OA’s and Askeans back in the early 70’s.

As you may remember, I was one of the very first players that was asked to play for the 1st XV being a non – OA. It happened one Friday afternoon when I was a very young Building Management Trainee with Costain Construction, working on a large construction site in St. Martins Lane in London. A phone call came through to the site and it was a “Mr. Smith” who wanted to speak to me. It was, of course, Graham Smith the 1st XV Captain, asking if I could be at Kidbrooke at 9am the following morning to go to Lydney as most of the other 1st’s were either injured or cried off!

I went, played, got beaten up, got pissed – I remember I was about 23-24 – and was very proud the following week that I had been promoted to the 1st’s.

Anyway, the main reason for responding is your last “Fund Raising” blogs where you mentioned Jumble Sales.

In the mid 70’s, I took over the office of “Chairman of the Social and Fund Raising Committee” from Chas. We had, as you say, Gentlemen’s Smoking Concerts, Disco’s but the best fun was the Jumble Sales.

We ( Beryl, Lol Weller, Biggsy, Derek Jones, Mick Pearse and others) would distribute flyers in all the houses in the streets around Kidbrooke on the  Monday night before the Sunday (the day of the sale) saying we would collect any jumble the following Thursday/Friday. We never refused anything! and we stashed it all in the 3rd’s away changing room – when there wasn’t a game for the 3’rds that week- until the Sunday morning.

Saturday evening and Sunday morning was spent sorting out the pile of shit that we had collected the previous week comprising anything between old washing machines to first editions of Tracy Emin!

Anyway, 2 o’clock Sunday afternoon, and all the old female “let’s get something for nothing’s” old ladies from the Ferrier Estate pushed their way through the doors and crushed the tables in their need to get in first.

My favourite memory from the Jumble Sales was two-fold:

First when Thelma, Chas’s wife, was on ” shoes”. We had collected many old pairs of old worn out shoes which Thelma had laid out so precisely in different sizes and colours. An old dear came up to Thelma during the afternoon and as said “…. love the style and colour, dear. But have you got them in a size 10….!!!”

The second best memory was at the same Jumble Sale, where Micky Pearse was given the responsibility of “Electrical Goods and TV’s”. We must have collected half a dozen old broken TV’s over the years and Mick’s job was to get them going on the Sunday morning. Mick, being a Mechanical Engineer, who knew a bit about electronics, got the TV’s working with a bag full of valves and some metal coat hangers and sold them for as much as £1 then! I remember one old dear coming back later that Sunday complaining the she couldn’t get BBC 2!!! and wanted her money back!!

Such was having a Rugby Club in locality of Kidbrooke!!

From memory, the Jumble Sales, at that time used to make something in the region of £150-£200 on the day ( a lot at that time), but, by the time we had bought all the helpers a few beers after the close on the Sunday afternoon, a great amount was contributed to the Funds of the Club.

Great memories.

Ian

Cheers for the memories Butch – and mentioning other great characters from way back when – Derek Jones, Mickey Pearse, Biggsy and Lol – plus Thelma and Beryl of course!Any other stories and/or photos from anyone reading this would be great.

They need to be in good taste – only so as to stand out from the rubbish I write obviously!

Fund Times

Before the game became commercial, rugby clubs had to find the cash to keep going each season.

There was only a certain amount you could charge the players and supporters – the rest had to come from a range of ever more contrived methods of fund raising.

This wasn’t true for all clubs of course, there were any number of posh outfits who had alicadoos who probably worked in the city and used expensive advisors to avoid paying tax which the rest of us couldn’t afford (the tax or the advisors). They could then afford to donate generously to their old boy ‘rugger’ club rather than help pay for the NHS (bitter and cynical, me?).

 Posh twats always refer to our great game as ‘rugger’ – I imagine this is because it rhymes with bugger and reminds them of their time boarding at public school!

True story – I once had an interview where the bloke looked at my CV and said “so you’re a rugger bugger then” – I didn’t get the job and have always felt rather relieved (no – not in that way!)

Unfortunately Askeans didn’t fall into this category (city sponsors not the buggering obviously) and so we had to find the money in a more practical way.

I can’t remember just how match the annual subscription was when I started – I think it was about £15 and £10 for students but I may be wrong. I know it doesn’t sound much now and that you were always given time to pay – much like criminal fines (this is from watching ‘The Bill’ not personal experience!).

Having said that I had just started work up in London for the princely sum of £16 a week.

“You were lucky – we lived in a cardboard box and only had gravel for breakfast in the morning”

“What every morning? – luxury!”

After the game one player (usually the youngest or most stupid – so lots of choice) was designated to collect the subs – again I forget how much but about £2 sounds about right. This covered the match fee, shirt washing (in top sides only), ref’s expenses and beer kitty.

Whilst the annual subs helped the running of the club the match collection didn’t go that far – about as far as the bar normally, as I remember, in order to fill the watering cans. A lot of refs generously waived their expenses and this was immediately donated straight into the plastic containers in the form of more beer.

I do recall when I had to collect the match fee (being consistently stupid) I always seemed to end up with little left after the cans had been filled several times – the residue was given to the captain and he never seemed too surprised that the money for the club had been wisely invested over the bar.

So, to keep up the facilities at Kidbrooke, the running of the bar and the ground (plus the less than expected contributions from the match fees) we had to raise a lot more dosh.

These were mostly the traditional methods – Christmas raffles, Smoking concerts, dances (or discos as we called them). I was persuaded (probably by the front row mafia) to run the Christmas raffle one year and used the promotions department at Brooke Bond to acquire some prizes at a substantial discount – a couple of them at 100% knock down! We made more than usual that festive season. This was further boosted on Christmas Eve at the club when I was again ‘persuaded’ to do a stint behind the bar – it was as you’d expect chaos but I came upon the bright idea (my only one ever) of only serving those who also bought raffle tickets. This did little for my already questionable popularity but certainly boosted the takings ahead of the prize draw!

The traditional jumble sales were held – I have no idea if they raised much except possibly hoots of derision  as many of my so called mates  thought it was the best place for me to add to my wardrobe (so Airdy wasn’t the first to point out my lack of sartorial elegance).

I’ve already covered (although the nubile nurses weren’t) the dances in an earlier post – again I suspect it was the bar takings rather than the door that was the most lucrative (especially as Mini and Mark B gave free tickets to anything in a skirt – Jocks excluded obviously).

Chunky also installed jackpot fruit machines in the bars and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if these weren’t the biggest source of income that the club ever enjoyed (whilst the punters didn’t as for some reason they rarely appeared to pay out much).

One of the more innovative ideas was the installation of a couple of squash courts – to increase club membership and the bar takings on orange squash (funny lot racket players).

There was a wall in front of the courts and many of us sponsored a brick (what were we thinking) which our names were carved into.

 I think the idea was to eventually pay back this sponsorship but since the bastards at the OA association flogged the ground from under the rugby club I imagine that Charlton Park (who bought it on the cheap) are unlikely to offer me a refund. Maybe I’ll just ask for my fucking brick back – if we all did that the whole building might collapse and that would be worth the price of the brick in the first place!

At one time I think one of the courts was converted into a gym for the players – I can’t confirm this since I obviously avoided going anywhere near it just in case it was true!

On at least two occasions we held Donkey Derbies at the ground and these attracted a fairly decent crowd and I guess some fair contributions from our traveller friends who brought in stalls where the prizes were only marginally more frequent than the fruit machines in the bar. It was sometimes hard to tell who the real donkeys were!

We did of course benefit from some very generous benefactors to the club – mostly these were guys who ran their own successful businesses and added to the income to help fund away trips and ground improvements. The club will always be grateful to guys like Chunky, Graham, Graham Briggs and Jeff Woollen – I’m sure there were many others too – and I apologise for leaving anyone out.

There were rumours that some funds also went the way of attracting playing talent but I’m sure this was a malicious suggestion by one of our rivals.

At some point sponsorship came in and local companies would have their names emblazoned on the team strip so that the few sods (and their dogs) who had nothing better to do on a Saturday afternoon would rush out to buy an electric cocktail shaker or some extra building supplies.

I always thought that our 7s team should have been sponsored by Winalot!

There was some income from car parking, selling programmes and advertising in said programmes but I’m not sure it came to a great deal.

I can’t leave the subject of fund raising without mentioning the brilliant innovation of after match raffles. I know it doesn’t sound all that revolutionary but the way we did it was I can assure you.

I think it might possibly have started when Chunky was captain – after the game the 1st XV would be charged with selling raffle tickets to as many people as possible – but concentrating on the opposition, their supporters and the ref.

It was something like 20p each or 6 for a strip for a £1  – sometimes we’d make a special offer of maybe 20 tickets for a £1 or even 30 if someone was being reluctant to purchase.

You see it really didn’t matter because there were no prizes!

When they inevitably left the clubhouse and asked if the raffle had been drawn we’d tell them not yet and get them to leave their telephone numbers – and let’s be fair the more naïve ones  could still be waiting for that call even now! I think I may have already mentioned this wheeze in an earlier post – but it certainly merits repetition!

 

The only cost to us was a big pile of ticket books (I suspect even these came free from Carousel) and the rest went to boost the tour fund.

All rugby clubs below the Premiership need lots of support from the members and to find ways of raising cash (preferably legally or close to it) – Askeans were pretty successful in my time.

In fact I’m rather surprised we didn’t take the non-prize raffle to the Dragon’s Den – it was certainly an idea that had a very healthy profit margin and might even have put a smile on the face of that miserable bunch!

 

 

 

 

England Expects

The autumn tests kick-off on Saturday when England entertain the Wallabies at Twickenham – and let’s hope it’s not the Aussie backs doing the entertaining!

In the first of three consecutive games we will see just where England are with less than a couple of years to the World Cup.

It will be a big disappointment if we don’t win the first two matches and then give the All Blacks a hard time on the 16th November

I wrote the following piece for my Australian column at the weekend – before the injury news about David Wilson and Dylan Hartley was announced – as you’ll see I have them both in my starting side!

A Big Test

The game at Twickenham on Saturday is a big test in every sense of the word.

By late afternoon we will have some idea of where the two teams are less than two years out from the World Cup.

By now both head coaches should have a pretty good idea of at least the spine of the team that will line up when the competition begins. At the moment there are still questions to be answered in both camps.

England’s last proper game was the heavy defeat to Wales in what was supposed to be a Grand Slam decider – I don’t count the summer tour when our seconds beat the Pumas 3rd XV.

Was the demolition by Wales simply a blip as some have claimed or did it instead show that the side have a long way to go to be serious contenders – even to emerge from the group of death?

For Australia – well, they arrive on the back of a welcome and impressive win in Argentina and a positive performance in the last Bledisloe Cup game where they held up well against the best team in the world at the ‘House of Pain’.

Both sides need the win badly – and whoever triumphs will gain a considerable psychological advantage as we race towards 2015.

There are big players missing through injury on both sides but that is the reality of today’s game and all teams are likely to have to cope with missing ‘stars’ before and during the World Cup – get used to it!

For England it is a must win game – they have to rebuild Clive Woodward’s ‘Fortress Twickenham’ and to maintain that sense of invulnerability for the next two years and one month.

Australia are starting to find some form – Will Genia and Quade Cooper are gelling at the right time and are starting to unleash their formidable resources out wide. Israel Folau is showing the full potential that we first saw against the Lions. Up front they still remain vulnerable in the front row but behind Horwill, Mowen and Hooper are a real handful.

Michael Hooper has recently picked up the prestigious John Eales Medal – if David Pocock had not been injured he might have only been warming the bench!

What Stuart Lancaster would give to have those sort of resources at number 7.

Before I predict the outcome here’s my choice for the England line up on Saturday – we already know that this will not be the actual team from noises coming out of the camp – but it is who I would go with!

 

  1. Mako Vunipola
  2. Dylan Hartley
  3. David Wilson
  4. Courtney Lawes
  5. Dave Attwood
  6. Tom Wood (Captain)
  7. Matt Kvesic
  8. Billy Vunipola
  9. Ben Youngs
  10. Owen Farrell
  11. Chris Ashton
  12. Billy Twelvetrees
  13. Luther Burrell
  14. Marlon Yarde
  15. Mike Brown

Obviously Chris Robshaw will actually play since he has been made captain for at least the autumn.

I was also a bit hesitant about Owen Farrell and his ability to set the line alight – however he gets the nod since his aggressive tackling will, no doubt, be used to try and unsettle Quade Cooper. We are also likely to need his reliability with the boot to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

I have nothing against Robshaw but feel when up against the talents of Hooper he will come up short at the breakdown. I’ve chosen Attwood to partner Lawes because of his aggression in the loose which will be needed to slow down the ball for the electric Wallaby backs.

It was close run thing and Joe Launchbury almost crept in ahead of him but loses out because I prefer nasty locks and someone who can stand up to James Horwill. For my money Geoff Parling is falling into a Steve Borthwick situation – lauded for his line out control but lacking in dominance elsewhere. Admittedly he was excellent with the Lions but I want to see more of his aggressive side before I put him ahead of the other three second rows.

 In the centre Billy Twelvetrees just gets the nod ahead of Henry Trinder since it would be dangerous to field two new caps against Australia – maybe he’ll come on or get his chance versus the Pumas.

In the absence of Corbisiero, Mako has to start rather than be an impact from the bench and for that reason I want the powerful David Wilson on the other side of the scrum. For similar reasons I’d have Hartley getting in amongst the front row before Tom Youngs explodes from the bench. The wings, numbers 6 and 8 and Mike Brown are shoe –ins for me.

As I said earlier I know that this will not be the team on the day and I look forward to the announcement later in the week to see how many of my choices actually make the starting line-up or even the bench.

I am not sure of the outcome and since Australia are my second team (courtesy of my Aussie granddaughter and naturalised son) I stand to win anyway.

Obviously that’s not (entirely) true and on Saturday I will be cheering loudly for England – only after will my support switch to the Aussies for the rest of their tour matches.

If the England pack can gain the ascendancy and Robshaw can get anywhere near Hooper than I think we will starve the Wallaby backs and squeeze out a result.

Roll on Saturday – I can’t wait – our apologies to all the Aussies who will have to stay up late to watch the game!

If we are missing my preferred front row of Corbisiero (definitely out), Dylan Hartley and David Wilson (both potentially side-lined I am far less confident about Saturday’s outcome – but then what do I know?