R is for Rugby

Think of it as a physical version of American Football.

Oddly Rugby hasn’t really come up whilst I have been doing this blog given that it plays such a large role in my life, and always has.

Born in East Hull there is the inevitable link to Hull Kingston Rovers and I remember going to watch them from a very early age.   You grow up in Hull and you’re either a Red and White or a Black and White, there is no sitting on the fence, and I was a red and white.

There was something really magical about trips to the games with my Dad and there was such a thrill when I would take the match day programme and try and get player autographs.  It’s nearly 35 years ago now but the memories of drinking bovril in the cold remain and there is still a real sense of just how important it was to me all those years ago.

We moved to South Africa in 1981 and rugby is a bit like religion over there, just more important.  I loved playing growing up and despite those huge Afrikaaners forever battering us it was there that I grew to love Rugby Union.  I am a Northern Transvaal fan at heart still and was fortunate enough to live there in 1995 when the Springboks won the world cup.  Talk about fever pitch, the country went berserk and it was truly an amazing thing to witness.

Now I get that it is not everyone’s cup of tea, and the rules can be confusing and there are two types which doesn’t help but there is just something about the game that I love.  Whether its the physical nature of the contest I love or the skill, speed and power I do not know, but something in the game just appeals to me.  It doesn’t matter what level it is played at I can just watch it because of the sheer pleasure it brings me.

There is a real community, honest and camaraderie about rugby too and it is that side of things I enjoy more and more as I get older.  I spend a lot of time doing work for the local club and both my boys play so most weekends are taken up in one form or another with something rugby related.

Hmm.  You know this might be the most bland and sensible thing I have ever written.  You know, that must show just how serious I take it.  I think I will stop right there because I feel very grown up suddenly and I seem to be an awful bore when I’m serious about something.