Message from OWRFC Chairman

Well that’s just about it for Season 21-22….and what a season it’s been! Before I go on can I say thank you, thank you to each and every one of you that has played a part in Oadby Wyggestonian Rugby. Firstly, thanks to all the players, Minis/Midis, Juniors, Colts and the Seniors; to all the Coaches, Team Managers, First Aiders, Parents, Carers, and Grandparents.

Thank you to all who have stood on the pitch-side and been there to support “The Wyggs” whether on a Saturday for a senior game or a Sunday for a mini/mid, junior or our Women’s team.
Thank you to our Sponsors, without your support we would struggle to do what we do. Finally, Thank you for your help, if you picked up some litter, returned a glass, swept a changing room, pulled a pint, had a seat on Committee, had an admin role, and if I’ve missed you out of this list – thank you too.

It has been a fantastic final month for the club. We hosted 3 touring teams Dartfordians seniors and Yarnbury brought their Under 14’s and Colts. Both clubs were extremely complimentary with regard to our set up and generous hospitality and said they are keen to return.

We hosted the Junior Cup Finals which were a huge success and shone a light on life at “The Wyggs”. We had our inter club 7’s tournament and played our first Women’s fixture against Market Harborough, where we took the spoils 41-19. We look forward to the next Women’s fixture on Sunday May15th at Oval Park. Please come down and support the team – I know it is appreciated.

Sunday the 8th of May saw the club host all age groups from under 6’s through to under 16’s and the Girls team for the annual Club Presentation Day. Once again the weather Gods were kind and bathed us in glorious sunshine all day. It was fantastic to see The Cub come together to celebrate the success of each age group at the finale of the season. As always the BBQ went down well which was evident by the distinct lack of leftover food at the end of the day. The inflatables were deemed to be a success judging by the amount of use they had and they definitely kept the kids entertained between presentations.

It was great to see so many children, all with broad smiles on their faces – the very same expression that was on all of the proud coaches, parents, carers and grandparents. As well as the multitude of certificates, trophies, and awards given to the children Paul Inchley was awarded “The coach of Season” for his ceaseless efforts to recruit new players to the club, congratulations, and well deserved Paul.

Thank you to each of you who came along and made the day so enjoyable and finally a huge “THANK YOU” to everyone who pitched in helping on the day and to the back room staff for all the planning and organising that went on behind the scenes to make the day such a success.

Finally, it would be great to see you at social touch Rugby on Tuesdays 7pm (for all ages) and Thursdays 7pm (senior players) which starts on the 7th June – everyone is welcome. The Bar will be open every Tuesday and Thursday with a BBQ on alternate Tuesdays.

I hope you all have a fantastic summer.

Sarah Horner
OWRFC Chairman

Tribute to Ben Jefferson

The Oadby Wyggs are deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of one their own, Ben Jefferson.

Ben was a true “Wygg”, having joined the club at under 7’s with his father Duncan who coached the age group through to U16’s. Ben played throughout the junior section and two years of Colts rugby. Having made the step into the senior section in 2018, Ben was a stellar player for the Wyggs.

During the 2018/19 season, Ben was the Second XV’s player of the year scoring 10 tries and coming out as top point scorer in a season which saw the 2s go 14 games unbeaten. His form saw him handed his First XV debut in what became the final game of the season due to COVID’s interruption to fixtures.

His contributions on the pitch were invaluable to every side he played in, including those on the fields of Derby University.

Despite his talents on the field, Ben will most fondly be remembered by many at the Wyggs for his contributions off the pitch. Always the life of the clubhouse and with beaming smile, he was a kind soul who sought to bring laughter to all around him. He will be sorely missed by the Wyggs.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this tragic time.

An historic day as OWRFC Women’s team play their inaugural match

What a day at the club!!!

What started back in February, culminated in making history on Sunday May 8th, as 24 ladies took to the field in the first ever Ladies game. A crowd of about 300 were in attendance to watch history unfold on a glorious late spring afternoon.

The tone was set by Katie Danaher who after only joining in March made a thunderous tackle to excite the crowd. Fifteen minutes into the game, after a bit of back and forth, it was Hannah Monk who opened the scoring for the team. This definitely lifted the team as they then went on to get a second through the first ever women’s team captain Jo Cook. As a graduate from the Oadby Wyggs girls section, it was only fitting that she led the team out and got on the score sheet.

As the game went on the intensity went through the roof and the tackles flew in, some unbelievable effort from the ladies. A couple of Market Harborough tries put the pressure back on the Wyggs. However, after some hard work and excellent running Hannah Monk and Jade Shakespeare regained the lead into the last 20 minutes.

The final play of the game was a fantastic 60 metre run by Charlotte Gauja who sprinted clear of the defenders to finish under the posts, with Evie adding the final extra points of the day to wrap up a 41-19 victory!

What an unbelievable day and achievement for the club – to have 10 out of the 24 ladies having either not played before or been away from the game for numerous year it’s an incredible feat.

We look forward to see what the future holds for this team!!!

Mental Health First Aid Training – OWRFC and Advance Logistics Support

Last week we held a 🌟FREE🌟 Mental Health First Aid training for 5 wonderful people from Oadby Wyggestonian RFC

With mental health being close to their hearts we are happy to say we have positively aided this club and given them a better insight into mental health and they are now qualified to help someone in need!

This initiative is something we will be running again next season so if you too would like to become Mental Health First Aid trained, or think that someone in your business would benefit from this then please get in touch!

#mentalhealth #MHFA #mentalhealthtraining #MentalHealthAwareness #mentalhealthmatters #mentalhealthsupport

The Whistlers Trophy.

On the 22nd April, a number of people from the Club, attended the Annual Dinner for the Leicestershire Society of Rugby Union Referees. During the evening, which featured International referee Nigel Owens as guest speaker, the Referee’s Society announced Oadby Wyggs as the winners of the Whistlers trophy for a 3rd year in a row.

The winner of the trophy is voted for by the Referees based on the quality of a Clubs hospitality on and off the pitch and is a prestigious award among local rugby clubs. Paul Horner received the Trophy for the Club to rapturous applause from a strong Oadby Wyggs representation.

A delighted Paul Horner holding the Whistlers Trophy at the dinner..

And while on the subject of awards………

A huge congratulations to our very own Duncan Orange, who has been recognised by the RFU as a valued volunteer. He accepted the award on behalf of the bar team.

Duncan and the team have worked tirelessly for us over the past year, helping the Club navigate through the Covid pandemic and cooking up a storm on the BBQ.

Half Term Multi-Sport Camp

During the May/June half term the club are holding their 3rd Multi-Sport camp in the last 9 months. The previous two have been brilliant. Children aged 6-14 have come along, made new friends, learnt new sports skills and most of all had great fun outside, enjoying themselves!

The next one is on Tuesday 31st May and Wednesday 1st of June 2022 at oval park. Please see the below flyer for details on how to book, you don’t want to miss out on this one. With special guest Natalie Johnson, an international ladies footballer with Northern Ireland, as well as amazing spells at Leicester City, Sheffield United and Coventry City football clubs coming down it promises to be another successful, fun and exciting two day camp.

A quote from a parent sharing the information on social media stated “ The boys attended this sports camp last year and loved it.

If you could do with a couple of days cover over May half term, this could be the one.” Spaces are filling up fast so please get booked up asap!

Oadby Wyggs Annual Inter-club Sevens Tournament

After sadly missing a few years due to Covid, the Wyggs annual inter-club seven’s tournament resumed on Saturday 7th May and was another fantastic day at the club. Great rugby was on display from rapid, slick passing and side stepping from 17 year olds to experienced, skillful yet maybe not so rapid 40+ plus year olds, with everything in between.

It was fantastic to see the club come together, as well as guest players from other clubs to make the day a successful and enjoyable event. A massive shout out to everyone who came to watch, support and get involved in such a great event at the club. The sun was shining, we had a brilliant BBQ and a big crowd watching.

We had a kicking competition won by Alan Lunn, George Impey scored a bucket full of tries to win player of the tournament. Jack Radford from the under 15s as well as senior club legend Rob Alonso kindly took on the roles as referees during the day, doing a brilliant job. Four teams battled it out across the pool stages which lead to “The Whites” captained by Henry Cooke winning the shield final, making history, being the youngest captain to win the competition as well as oldest player!(sorry Fleetwood!)

All in all, another top day at the Wyggs. Looking forward to next year already!

Senior Players Final Social Of The Season

After a long tough season, the senior players enjoyed their final social of the 21/22 campaign with a Hawaiian themed party at the club. It was a brilliant night with live music from club favourite Daniel Giardiello. A great turnout from lots of members of the club lead to a memorable night and a fun way to end the playing season for the seniors.

Congratulations to Owlie Milner who was voted 1st XV Player’s Player of the Year, Chris Gray who was voted 2nd XV Player’s Player of the Year and Henry Cooke who also received an award ( but you’ll have to ask him what that was! )

It’s been a great social season for the lads and a massive thanks must go to Peter Geary who’s done a great job organising and planning the nights. On behalf of the Senior section, a massive, massive “Thank You” must also go to Sarah, Paul, Nikki, Duncan and all bar/catering staff for looking after us so well, allowing us to have great socials at the club and going that extra mile to make the club such a brilliant atmosphere off the pitch.

Looking forward to next season already (not pre-season though! ) and please keep a look out for social touch dates which will start soon at the club.

Many thanks to everyone involved in this amazing club for every and any contribution this season.

Sam Allardyce
Oadby Wyggs RFC

Under 14 Group 2021/22 Season Review

Leicester Lions Joint Playing Arrangement
A chance meeting on an early morning dog-walk between two Head Coaches late summer 2021 was the catalyst for a successful joint playing arrangement between two U14 age groups. Coaches, parents, clubs, and ultimately the players worked together to forge a successful partnership galvanised with a common work ethic which led to consistency of game time, ever-improving results, support for the U13 age group, and ultimately enjoyment of the game which would have been less likely if not for this fortuitous link-up!

Covid -19
Whilst Covid continued to cast a shadow, the club’s Safeguarding Team of Nicki & Duncan Orange took the threat seriously and communicated clearly to provide us with the highest level of safe playing environment, disruption kept to a minimum, and the standard set for other clubs in the region. Meanwhile Paul Horner’s impeccable hospitality kept the team nourished and the clubhouse atmosphere friendly, lively, and near-normal. We are grateful for all their work.

New Recruits
Whilst we were sad to see some players leave to other sports early in the season, we welcomed Alex Castledine and Reuben Peckett, strong additions to the squad ensuring competition for places across all positions remained high.

Results on the Pitch
Under the captaincy of Luca Santoro-White, and the watchful eye of the coaches, the newly-formed team initially struggled for cohesion early in the season. Some heavy losses were peppered with an odd victory but, after the Christmas break and with consistent weekly fixtures, the tide turned, the losing margins grew narrower and in the spring a winning streak was forged. Forwards and Backs scored in equal measure, Sam Hall kept the scoreboard ticking over with conversions, tackling and jackaling grew evermore urgent and a hunger to want ‘in on the action’ meant the finishers continued the good work up until the final whistle.

Life off the Pitch
Whilst the disruption brought about by Covid reduced the ability to plan with surety, Social Nights and a Team trip to Tigers vs Bears provided the social occasions for bonds forged on the pitch to strengthen off it.

Next Season the Joint Arrangement will continue and this predictability now allows Team Management and Coaching Staff to hit the ground running with a package of training and events that will ultimately lead to a stronger and more consistent team on the pitch.

Andy Sobek
U14 Team Manager

A Glorious day at the end of a great season for the Under 10s

It was a glorious day to celebrate the Under 10s fantastic season at this years presentation day on the 8th May. This year the team have continued to go from strength to strength, gathering more new players (we’re now up to 20 registered) and embracing the introduction of rucks, mauls and scrums. All of the players have been committed, supportive of their teammates and keen to improve. The presentation was a great opportunity to celebrate all of this and to say a huge thank you to all of the coaches, managers, parents and other volunteers involved in the squads activities, both on and off the pitch. Additionally, four players received special awards to recognise their success this year;

Clubperson of the year: Olivia Pagani
Olivia always plays with a smile on her face, gives her all in every match and training session and will always help out with setting out / packing up the kit and equipment.

Most improved player: Leo Handley
Leo’s rugby just suddenly ‘clicked’ this season. His go forward play has been outstanding and he’s often the first player up in the defensive line.

Player’s Player of the Season: Ben Martin
Ben has proved himself to be a hugely popular figure within the team as well as a one-man bulldozer. He never puts less than 100% into his rugby and is without exception always the first player at training – often throwing a ball around for at least an hour before the coaches arrive!

Player of the Season: Harry Pratt
Harry is an unrelenting tackling dynamo of a player. He can’t be bargained with. He can’t be reasoned with. He does not feel pity or remorse and he. absolutely. will. not. stop. Much more than that though, Harry is an absolute pleasure to coach and always plays rugby the right way.

Well done to these players and to all U10s this year – looking forward to another successful season as U11s next year!

The Wyggs Social Scene

It is great to see a filled club house at Oadby Wyggs with people smiling and having a great time, that’s what as a club we try to promote!

The last Oadby Wyggs Social saw close to 100 people enjoy burgers made by the trio of The Chef Sticky brothers which were served by the very helpful hands of Mr Lunn. The night was a very successful and enjoyable occasion where we got to see head coach John Lowden doing his best Bon Jovi impression on the Karaoke, a beautiful duet by club captain Jack Elliot and Elliot Cant singing Adele and a bit more culture was introduced to the club house with Simon Arnold’s rendition of the Italian National Anthem ‘Il Canto Degli Italiani’!

Be sure not to miss out on the next social which is on the Saturday 23rd April, this night sees the return of the always popular Daniel Giardello! The theme for the night is totally Hawaiian so make sure you pull out your best outfits to impress! We will also be presenting our Player’s Player awards on that evening so make sure you all get down to the night as it’s open to anyone and everyone, see you all there on the 23rd April from 19:30!

– Pete, Social Secretary OWRFC

Under 9s Group Update

The current U9s have come on leaps and bounds since Christmas. With the later than usual introduction to contact, we were honestly a little dubious as to how well we were going to compete for the rest of the season.

A busy start to 2022 with many fixtures and few training sessions, moved the players to adapt and learn very quickly, which they did…. and then some! Proving they were more than capable in all the fixtures that followed.

Strong numbers at games/training shows how eager the kids are to develop their skills and be the very best they can. As always, we have to thank our parents for continually making this happen.

The recent County Festival showed the Wyggs U9s for what they really are. Fielding two teams that were well able to hold their own against many strong sides. The players displayed great team spirit and sportsmanship during the day and it was great to see them constantly supporting each other both on and off the pitch.

Some of the Under 9s have also featured in other roles at Oval park lately. For the last two home games, they have joined forces with some of the other mini age groups to support the 1st XV, firstly welcoming the teams onto the pitch by flying the Wyggs flags and then carrying on to important ball boys/girls duties. They thoroughly enjoyed the days and were even invited into the post team huddles!

The team have done an outstanding job representing Oadby Wyggs this season and we are proud and excited to watch the players progress into their rugby journey.

– Liam Coleman, Under 9s Coach

Under 13 Group Update

Great News! The Under 13 age group have been uplifted by the arrival of new coaches, Ryan Hammond who currently coaches the Colts team, and several of the Colts players themselves. This arrangement, which is planned to continue into next season, provides fresh optimism for the retention of the age group moving forward, and I should like to warmly thank Ryan and the Colts on behalf of the Age Group’s parents and players, for volunteering to ‘take the coaching reins’! It was also encouraging to see some of the Under 13s volunteer as ball boys/corner flag organisers, for the Colts home match against Coalville recently.

On the pitch, the long standing training relationship with the Under 14s Coaching Team has started to pay dividends! The highlight was an outstanding performance several weeks ago at Stoneygate. It finished 9-9, and there was a great team spirit throughout. Our scrummaging was excellent in which we were very dominant, and we also demonstrated more confidence to carry than what we had done previously. Arriving quicker at the rucks and not being afraid to get a bit physical, were also significant highlights. Considering the same team completely dominated us back in October, and taking into account the schools that many of the Stoneygate boys attend, this was a remarkable turnaround, one of our surprise performances of the season, and demonstrates the progress we have made in the last several months.

Given the above, this is a great time to join the Age group. As we are in the final stages of the season, any new joiners this season will not be charged. Also taking into account, football commitments are winding down for the season, I would encourage anyone who knows of Year 8 boys who might be interested in coming down for a taster session, to contact me on 07870 945702.

– Paul Inchley, Under 13s Team Manager

Under 14 Group Update

The combined Wyggs-Lions Under 14 squad continues to go from strength to strength with significant wins over opposition who have previously convincingly beaten us. First to fall were Melton who in the 3rd meeting of the season were out played by a committed and focused Wyggs-Lions Under 14s team. Melton’s usual physicality was met in equal measure by the forwards, who are fast developing a reputation to be feared around the county, meaning the game came down to the finishing of the backs. In the final few minutes of a tight game Healey Heritage scored the decisive try to prompt huge celebration from the large home crowd and the team alike.

A controversial defeat against Broad Street in an entertaining match was quickly followed by a difficult test against a strong Oundle team, and whilst victory eluded the boys some important lessons were learnt. These were put to great use the following week with an impressive victory over Newark, who had soundly beaten us at the start of the season. Determined tackling and clever game management at the end of a close game saw the Wyggs boys come out with a slender 20-17 victory. The celebrations at the end by the team showing just how hard they had fought and wanted the result they deserved. The win was celebrated with the players biggest fans, their Mums, to also mark their appreciation for Mother’s day!

Finally came a fixture against Mellish, and after observing the two minutes applause for Simon Cole and Maddy Lawrence the boys gave the most complete performance of the season. Out of sight by half time the team requested that the Ref was overly harsh with the lads play to make sure the game stayed interesting for both sides. The focused refereeing spurred the boys on to play even better and fully deserved the scores they achieved under such scrutiny. 10 tries scored by 8 different players from both the back and forwards demonstrated the range of skills and ability the team now have.

There have been several occasions this season where we have been on the wrong end of results like this, with no hint of sportsmanship shown by the opposition. Not the Wyggs-Lions boys though, they asked for the ref to make the game tougher for them and at the final whistle paid tribute to the beleaguered opposition, the lads champagne rugby on the day only being out shone by their maturity and class off of the pitch, a gesture noted and greatly appreciated by the opposition and referee and something both clubs should be massively proud of.

The continued competition for places and selection policy of the coaches has continued to push the team to new heights. Fitter, faster and more focused than ever the squad made up of the Wyggs and Lions Under 14s, continues to go from strength to strength and they have a real opportunity to push on to become a force to be reckoned with on the local scene. Fantastic efforts from all squad members to support not only their team but the Under 13 squad too, has seen a great unity formed across the 3 teams. The emergence of a group of leaders has really impressed the coaching team and the challenge to go unbeaten to the end of the season has been set by the boys themselves and they continue to work hard towards this goal!

None of this of course, would be possible without the amazing support of both parent groups who have been invaluable in promoting ‘one team’ and helping forge such strong bonds across the two clubs.

– Matt White Under 14s Coach

Under 15s/16s Group Update

Can’t believe we’re into the last month of the season already, it’s flown by! And what a roller coaster it’s been too!

During March the Under 15/16’s continued their theme of playing some really good teams out of the county to test our metal, and probably bit off a bit more than we could chew with Bromsgrove losing 5-45. We soon bounced back in the next couple of weeks winning at Derby 54-0, and Vipers 34-5. This was followed by a narrow loss to Forest 28-35 where some exceptional rugby was played by both teams, although very frustrating as we were 21-5 up at half time!

It’s been a real challenge getting fixtures every week due to opposition teams pulling out last minute because of injuries and illness! This leaves us having to panic call around to try and fill the fixture, or Paul Ashberry (fixtures secretary) managing to pull a rabbit out of the hat! Tip for younger age groups, get the numbers of your opposition coaches (even if you don’t like them!) as you will need them in the future to fill fixtures!

I guess the other success story for us this year has been the recruitment of six Under 15 players and two Under 16s who have integrated extremely well and enhanced our team. We also have four more Under 15s currently training with us who we hope will join up! Parents and players being the best recruiters!

We were initially concerned about the Under16s joining us this year, but as we got through the season it became apparent a lot of other teams were doing the same too to keep going. So a healthy chat with the opposition coaches in the week building up to the match dispelled any concerns. I feel it necessary to mention the four Under 16’s who have been totally committed to the cause throughout this season and proved themselves to be great players and clubmen, Tim, Jude, Solly and Jonty, you will go great in the colts next year.

– Jason Stanbridge – Coach

Oadby Wyggs Colts Team update

March has been a busy month for Wyggs Colts. In what has become a consistent trend, the squad numbers have continued to grow with players returning to the Wyggs fold from their junior days. We have also seen Jonty Brotherton and Solly Diamond graduate to the Colts set up from the Under 16s. This is all testament to the culture and tight bond that the players have created, something that we as coaches are exceptionally proud of.

As the Leicestershire league entered its final weeks, we saw some outstanding performances. Whilst we were on the wrong side of a 22-21 score line away at Lutterworth, it showed how far the squad has come this season. The same fixture saw a 45-12 win for the hosts back in November.

We rounded the month off with a tour to Matlock. As is the norm, the rugby came second to traditional tour activities. The boys represented their club, parents, coaches, and County with aplomb. They certainly have the making of very good tourists as they enter their Senior rugby careers…..

One final piece of news is one that I take great pride in and typifies the “One Club” ethos at Oadby Wyggs. I and 5 members of the Colts playing squad have partnered with the current Under 13’s age group to provide coaching and player mentoring. Our most recent weekend of fixtures saw a number of Under 13’s providing matchday support for the Colts on the Saturday. Setting the pitch up pre-match and as ball boys. This was reciprocated by the Colts providing matchday coaching and support on the Sunday.

We are now in the final run in of what has been a hugely successful season on many fronts. On behalf of the coaching team, thank you to everyone that has supported us along the way.

– Ryan, Chris, David and Clare, Colts Coaching Team

OWRFC 2nd XV Update

In an extremely challenging season for the majority of grass roots rugby clubs, like many others, Wyggs have been forced to cry off some 2nd and 3rd team games, due to player numbers.

March was a month of mixed fortunes, starting the month playing at Lutterworth in the County Cup Final. Twenty available players travelled, the side consisting of a mixture of 2nd and 3rd team players including a couple of debutants. The Lutterworth side, with a big pack and a good backline, went on the attack from minute one, scoring some early first half tries, putting Wyggs on the back foot. Despite some positive phases of play for the Wyggs bagging a couple of second half converted tries, we lost 45-14.

Oundle 2nd XV travelled over to Wyggs the following week, for a crucial Leicestershire Merit A league game with both sides fighting to stay in the league. Wyggs with some big strong runners in the pack, a dynamic backline and a solid team performance, managed to bounce back from the previous week’s defeat, to come away with a 26-12 win and some much-needed league points.

My favourite match this month, having captained the 2nd team for several years, was against our nemesis opposition Sutton Bonnington Students, who we’d never beaten and to who we lost the league by a single point in the last season pre-Covid. Top of the league, having won 14 from 14, they made the journey full of confidence to bottom of the league Wyggs 2nds. We fielded our strongest team of the season, which included two ex-Colts players in their first senior season and two former Junior Section players now in their twenty seventh senior season!! Wyggs dominated upfront in the pack and gained lots of ground through great tactical kicking and strong line breaks, putting the opposition under constant pressure. The second half saw Wyggs take their foot off the gas, allowing a young, fit Sutton Bonnington back into the game and a 29-28 lead to Wyggs to set up a tense finale! Wyggs brought some rested legs back off the bench, impacting the game and winning back dominant field position. With 6 minutes to go, Wyggs won a penalty just short of the opposition 10-metre line and opted to take the 3 points. In the final minutes, Wyggs broke the Sutton Bonnington defence to score a try, registering a 37-28 Wyggs victory!

The last week in March saw a number of Wyggs players and coaches come down with Covid and we also had a number of injuries, so as a precaution all senior games had to be cancelled or postponed.
Wyggs 2nd Team are not out of the woods yet in terms of their league position, but we’re pushing for a strong finish to the season, to try and secure our position in the current league.

– John Gallagher, 2nd XV Captain

OWRFC 2nd XV post match celebrations after beating their nemesis team, the previously unbeaten Sutton Bonnington Students

From the Chair

It’s been a cracking month at the club with the first real signs that we may well be heading to something that looks a lot more like pre Covid “normal”. Despite a dreadful week when the club ground to a halt due to the number of Covid cases (myself and Paul included) it’s fantastic to post some positive news.

We had 2 great social events at the Club – Chef Sticky night was a tremendous success, James “Brooksy” Brookes and his team pulled off a great night and once again the food was amazing. Chef Sticky night sold out so, my advice would be get in early for the next one as demand is going to be even higher.

Next we had the sponsors day, it was well attended and the majority of sponsors came along and enjoyed the Wyggs hospitality. It goes without saying that the investment our Sponsors have made in the Club has been invaluable. We owe them an immense debt of gratitude, as without them things would look a lot different at Oadby Wyggs. We Thank you all!!

It was good to see Joseph Morris Butchers in attendance sampling their own produce, several people tracked them down to congratulate them on the quality of their produce. With the Colts coming so close and the First XV bagging a cracking victory it felt like a good old fashioned “rugby day”  the sort of day that Saturdays were made for. The day carried on into the evening and it was fantastic to to see a number of mini and Junior parents in the Clubhouse until the very end.

It goes without saying I couldn’t have done this without the help and support from Paul, Duncan and Nicki.
The feed back has been excellent and I genuinely can’t wait for the next one………
Thank you all
#COYW

– Sarah Horner

Memories of Simon

My first memory of meeting Simon was when our paths crossed at Butlins, Minehead, when our junior teams were on tour. He was enjoying a well-earned pint and we chatted for several minutes, commenting on the fact that neither of us knew that we were both touring at the same place. We had, of course, said hello on the training pitch many times before that, as his team was the age group above my team.

But I came to get to know Simon more closely when my son Eliot moved up into Colts in 2018, joining his team as a joint Colts age group. He was part of the wider coaching team and what a year they had, winning everything in their path, but more importantly cementing many long lasting friendships. His job commitments often kept him away from the rugby, but he was always on the end of a phone wanting to know a blow by blow match report. Knowing that Simon was an English scholar, I was acutely aware of my grammar and spelling in the messages that I sent to him (and I hope this piece lives up to the correct English standards too!)

In 2019 when his son Ben finished in Colts, he hung up his coaching and refereeing whistle, only to be asked to step in temporarily to help with coaching the girl’s team, which had been started at Wyggs the previous season. Fast forward 3 years and of course he was still coaching the team with the same commitment and enthusiasm that he had shown throughout his many years at the club. He has championed the girls within the club and more widely at the Women’s and Girl’s forum and with other girls’ teams across the county.

Many of our girls would not be playing rugby if it wasn’t for the encouragement given by Simon. He made sure that every girl felt important and supported to “give it a go,” “try their hardest” and to “be the best that they could be.” Phrases like “he is the reason I play rugby” and “grateful for all the encouragement and effort he put into helping me grow as a rugby player,” show just how much he meant to all of the girls in the team and how his influence will live on in the hearts of so many of them.His loss is felt deeply within the team as a whole but also individually by all of the girls, by me as team manager and by Jack as coach.

On a personal note I am so happy that I was able to get to know Simon, if only for a few years. I will miss our chats both on and off the pitch as he was so knowledgeable about so many topics. More recently we shared our experiences of the Covid pandemic from his perspective in the police force and mine working in the NHS.

Simon was a down to earth and totally genuine person. He was fiercely loyal and completely passionate about rugby, especially our beloved Oadby Wyggs. A true gentleman through and through, he touched so many lives in the rugby community and made a real difference to the boys and girls who were coached by him.

I feel honoured to have shared in his life and to have called him my friend.

– Clare Morris, Girls Team Manager & Colts Team Manager