It was Remembrance Sunday yesterday and there were many moving ceremonies all over the country.
When I played (half a century ago) our annual fixture against Aldershot Services was always on the Saturday of the Remembrance weekend.
On alternative years we played at their ground (in Aldershot, obviously) – this was always a treat as their ground was superb – like playing on a snooker table (I’m patently guessing as we never had a table that big at Askeans).
More importantly the beer was heavily subsidised and the food first class.
The only downside was that because of the special weekend there were a lot of regiments back home for the Remembrance services. This meant that they had a lot more players available to play against us. This often included blokes who had turned out for the Army and first class clubs – mostly we won because they were not used to playing together, but it was always a hard match.
I remember one match (at home) whilst waiting for them to arrive I was in the bar with Ben. Their coach drove up and they wandered into the bar before heading to the changing rooms.
One of them was this enormous Fijian and I commented to Ben that I was bloody glad he was either a second row or number 8 and that I intended to avoid getting anywhere near him on the pitch.
Imagine my delight when he jogged out wearing the number 12 on his back. Oh Joy.
I don’t remember a lot of that match – it is quite possible that I was concussed after my first (failed) tackle.