Magic Moments

No matter what time of day, whenever a memory, anecdote or other tale of daring-do springs to mind, send us your magic moments via the Contact Us page. 

Some rough idea of date, place and people involved will help the HOBs to picture the scene!

Ed.


Spratty Remembered

My brother Peter sadly passed away last December which you have recognised on the HOBS who have passed on, however he still appears with missing details on you HOBS in touch.  Unless you have a medium you probably won't get these from Spratty but may like to update his details. 
He does have two pictures in the Remembering Didcot book, one of which I think should be on this website - unless he was playing for Didcot at the time in which case ignore this comment!

My bro was a stalwart, stood up for me when I needed it and never judged any bad behaviour as I was ten years his junior - but he, and Paul (the older brother) taught me about teasing. playing ball and interceptions that I don't think the world of netball was expecting from a five footer. 
I miss and love him dearly - he wasn't one to call every week, but when we did chat he showed that he cared about me and mine just as I did him and his familia.

Just one other thing, could you update Paul's details too - he lives in Sandford, Somerset now not Yatton.  I don't know his playing years for Harwell but will ask him to update at some point.

Take care, 
Ann Heath (nee Edwards)
 

"Ref, Ref!"

While the single guys on the team (1950's) were on time for home games and eager to go, Olly Plail was invariably late for the start. Olly had a young family and "the game'" was probably not his first priority, but his plaintive cry from the touchline "Ref!" "Ref!" as he tried to get Bill Crompton's attention was a feature of Saturday afternoons and, for some reason, it amused Derek Ricketts and I immensely. Many years would pass and in 1966, on one of our visits back to the UK from the US, I decided to look up Derek. He lived in one of the small villages in the Lambourne area and we found him - it was a Saturday - puttering about in his front garden, his back toward us. I called out "Ref, Ref" and  watched as he straightened up, obviously startled. There was only one person on the planet who would try to get his attention in that way, and his face was split by a huge grin as he turned to greet us. We had a lovely afternoon sharing memories with him and Sylvia and later he took us to visit with John Morrison and his wife who lived near by. We kept in touch for a while but then the contact withered. I have often wondered what happened to our old friend Derek. If anyone has any knowledge of him I would appreciate hearing from them. 

Date: 1950's ¦ Venue: Harwell¦ Submitted By: Hamish Small

A "Well Oiled" Machine!

Bicester in the Oxfordshire Cup....we convened at The Crispin and headed up the A34 for a pre-arranged team meeting at The Acorn opposite the ground. While we were in there we grabbed a quick pint (or it may have been more) when someone looked out the window to see Bicester going through their moves like a well oiled machine...better get our game heads on we thought...Sup up and get sorted for a warm-up....During which our captain, the legend that is Huw Waters decided on some scrummaging practice using the scrum machine..."You backs stand on it to increase the resistance" was the order..."Ready....Ready....Heave..." came the call.. the scrum machine....didn't move a millimetre...Jim Douglas and Douggie Bosley "popped up" don't know if that was the scrummaging force or their lumbar discs...anyway...caused much mirth among the pretty boys...

To the game....Bicester kick off...One of the ugly boys catches the kick-off drives forward, Bicester drive over the top...penalty Harwell on the halfway line (I'll be modest)...anyway, captain says "Have a go" and lo and behold she sails over...Harwell 3, Bicester 0....What followed, as full-back, can only be described as my version of "The Longest Day"...I felt like King Canute trying to hold back the tide as wave after wave of Black, Orange and White washed over us...Final Score Bicester 100 and something, Harwell 3...we must have really wound them up...!!

Still makes me chuckle, even after all this time.....Happy Days....!!!
Date: 1990's ¦ Venue: Harwell¦ Submitted By: Martin Whitelock


Crocodile Tears .... of laughter?

Great Yarmouth tour - 'borrowing' the crocodile, being threatened with a knife... I forget the rest.

Portugal tour - thrashing by President's XV... as documented by others

Dad Arnold, Andy Langman, Nick Millet, Rich Radcliffe, Paul Browning - so many others, all 'stand-up' guys!
Date: 1980's ¦ Venue: Harwell¦ Submitted By: Duncan McMillan


Second Team Superman?

I
t's going back a bit now but I have fond memories mainly playing for the seconds during 1977 -1979. I was only 17 at the time, an ASO at Harwell and coming from Wales was soon drafted in by my work colleague Peter McIntyre. I recall many a time, particularly on an away game entering into all sort of unusual activities to avoid being fined on the night. Memorable pranks which shape your character for rest of your life include a warm up with the 'whistle and the dummies' , hankies on the head and  the 'underpants over the trousers'. The latter prank is a great one, fine where there are 15 
of you all sporting this new fashion, but on a couple of occasions I found myself alone at the bar talking to a complete stranger whilst the rest of the team had slipped off to the next bar. I had a few games for the firsts - with a famous write up in an 
Oxford newspaper after a flood lit cup game, " the ball came out along the backs and Johns overran a likely scoring pass", my excuse was I played wing forward for the seconds and they stuck me out there to keep me out of trouble. ....those were the days. If Peter M is still around ?..drop me an email.
.
Date: 1970's ¦ Venue: Harwell¦ Submitted By: Gary Johns


Robby Remembered

I'm very sorry to hear of Robby Morgan's death. He was, along with Jack Cameron, a "larger than life" character in the club when I first started to play for Harwell (me in the 2nd XV and them in the !st XV).  I have fond memories of the first time I played with them in an AERE inter divisional Seven-a side competition. I learnt a lot that day! I may have a photo somewhere of the team that day which I will try to find and send with others to you.
Date: 1960's ¦ Venue: Harwell¦ Submitted By: Frank Freeman

Rob MacRae Finds Us!

Just catching up, saw John Cook's name,my old second row partner. Had some great times at the club. I moved to Devon in 85/86 and went and trained with Exeter for a few months. The old back played up for a while so I had 6 months off. Went back training then got invited up to bath for some training sessions. Like an idiot I turned it down, mainly because of my back, which I later had fused. Anyway I'll keep in touch ,got to drop my son off at the station. All the best, Rob.
Date: 1980's ¦ Venue: Harwell¦ Submitted By: Rob MacRae

John Dohhh!

I was playing in a game at Witney in which Paul Browning was playing and he received a knock, which left him with concussion.  For those of us who knew Paul at that time you will appreciate how difficult it was to know if he was concussed or not, but it was decided I should take him to Hospital after the game. I set off from Witney heading for the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford where I had been before regarding any injuries.

On the way Paul kept muttering 'I want to go to the John'. I thought he was wanting a pee and answered each time, 'hang on I'll get you there as soon as I can', which I did only to be told the accident unit was now at the JOHN Radcliffe Hospital which is what Paul was trying to tell me all the time.
Date: 1980's ¦ Venue: Witney¦ Submitted By: Dave Hammond

Happy Days

My days playing for AERE were very happy ones. I knew there was a club close to RAL, since during my Birmingham "Old Boy" days we used to play in the Oxfordshire 7s, which was quite a big tournament then. On the next pitch (at Banbury I think) I saw the AERE club in action, and said to my wife that coming to work at RAL would be OK, because I knew that there was a rugby club near by !
  "I might have guessed" was her reply...............
Date: 1963 ¦ Venue: Banbury¦ Submitted By: Jim Homer

Sandy Auchinvole RIP

Sandy once told me he could beat me any time by coming off both feet and out accelerating me. I challenged him to do it at training one night and he ran right over the top of me. Picking myself up I asked him about the fancy footwork and acceleration and he said he was saving it for a special occasion!
Date: 1970's ¦ Venue: Harwell ¦ Submitted By: Lester Ferguson

Hot, Off The Press!

In the mid-50's, we had been playing in London, I think it might have been against the Saracens (obviously not the team they are now).  There used to be red evening newspaper boxes which said "Pay me and take one".  Someone on the bus home - I believe it to have been Hamish Small - said 'I feel cold'.  We stopped the bus, picked uped a whole newspaper box with all its papers, put it on the coach and took it to the back  of the coach.  We then rolled up all the newspapers,  put them back in the box, and then set them alight.  The coach driver was obviously not very happy; but at least Hamish said he felt a little warmer.  Eventually, after much protest, the fire was extinguished in the normal 'rugby players' way.
Date: 1950's ¦ Venue: Back Seat Of Bus, London ¦ Submitted By: Rob Morgan

Super Sub!

1987 - I travelled as a 1st team reserve to an away match at RAF Benson. The 1st team No.8, Larry Lewis, couldn't make it, so on I went! 5 mins into the game, we had our first scrummage, about 10m from their line. Now you must remember that I was a 3rd team player, and scrummaging was typically a "going backwards" sort of thing. Well, this one went forwards, and I was completely wrong footed - I had the ball at my feet, we were moving forwards at a great rate of knots and I just couldn't keep up! Sod it, I thought as I fell of the end of the scrum and heard the ref's whistle. Obviously I'd knocked on or something, but no, I actually fell on the ball and scored a pushover try!

Everyone thought I'd meant to do it, but it's about time the truth was out. Oh by the way, 10mins later it happened a second time in exactly the same way - lightning does strike twice!
Date: 1987 ¦ Venue: RAF Benson¦ Submitted By: Paul Browning

Late Tackle?

Joe Corrigan and I played at the same time for Harwell 1969-72 (he now lives in Stanford in the Vale) and we left to found Grove RFC in 1972. We had some memorable times at Harwell playing with some real characters (Griff Griffiths, Frank Freeman, Carl Woods etc) and managed to play in the sides that defeated Aldermaston in the Annual grunt and grudge match and also won the Plate in the Abingdon 7's. 

Among many memories for me was the cup of tea following the game in the old changing rooms. Joe and I were unused to this ritual and sat on the benches to drink whilst an unwary prop whose name I forget wandered around naked and muddy holding forth on his match heroics. He lingered too long in front of Joe talking over the benches to another player and left his unimpressive wedding tackle dangling above Joe's tea. Raising his cup to the appropriate height Joe managed a leap from said prop that none of us had witnessed during the match who on his descent managed to place his complete bottom set back in Joe's tea. 

I'll never forget those screams!! I can't remember if he ever played for Harwell again but I'm sure someone will remember this incident. Joe can and he never finished drinking the tea for some reason!.
Date: 1969 ¦ Venue: HArwell¦ Submitted By: John Fisher

This One Will Run Forever ...

This is sort of an oblique rugby story but it concerns a Harwell Old Boy, Rob Morgan, who was also a fine middle distance runner as well as a rugby player. We called him Robbie in those days and one May morning in 1954 Robbie bumped into me and said "Hamish, how about going to Oxford this afternoon, the 3A's are running against Oxford". For whatever long forgotten reason I declined. If Robbie went to Oxford that afternoon - and I believe he did - then he saw, and I did not see, Roger Bannister break the four-minute-mile barrier.
Date: 1954 ¦ Venue: Oxford ¦ Submitted By: Hamish Small

WIn, Lose or Thai

Came down from cumbria ukaea in 1963.Enjoyed playing for Harwell.
Magic moments:
  • cup matches against Aldermaston
  • Beer barrel sevens
  • abingdon sevens ,plate winner 
  • Inter department sevens
  • Playing against the French atomic
Date: 1960-70's ¦ Venue: Various¦ Submitted By: Ray Coulthard (Ray now lives in Thailand)

Night Fever!

Sarah Siddons disco in Cheltenham in 1969 after paying the CS team. Wouldn't let me in (I was 17) because I was wearing denim jeans.  Brian Arnold, the skipper commanded, "OK Wayne take 'em off".  I think we went somewhere else!
Date: 1969 ¦ Venue: Cheltenham¦ Submitted By: Wayne Bickerdyke

More From Canada

Regarding T.F.Williams name, I remember him as Frank. We met up again in the USA as well as with John Kirkbride. After Harwell I played in Canada for Deep River (Chalk River) with our competitors at Petawawa Army base nearby and at Ottawa and Montreal with occasional trips to Boston and New York for Sevens tournaments.
I now reside at the home of Canadian Rugby in Victoria and also in Phoenix, Arizona, where only cricket is played and mostly by Indian ex-pats.
Date: 1950's ¦ Venue: Across The Pond¦ Submitted By: John Leng

Out Of Touch Judge!

It could have been an Agatha Christie mystery .... The Case Of The Disappearing Touch judge - 1987 : I was running the touch during a cup game against local rivals, Didcot. The 1st's  were 9-6 up with 10mins to go, and camped on our own 22 in desperate defence.  I couldn't stand the tension and went home for a cup of tea - Where's the touch judge gone then? - I am forever reminded of this lack of moral courage!
Date: 1987 ¦ Venue: Various ¦ Submitted By: Paul Browning

It's Behind You! - Oh No It's Not!

One of many Magic Moments occured while playing for the 3rds at Chipping Norton. The opposition hoisted a huge 'up and under' which full back Paul Browning raced forward to catch. In his enthusiasm, Paul slightly over ran the spot where the ball was coming down and therefore missed the ball landing behind him and on it's point. Due to it's landing the ball bounced up and back in the direction it came. As Paul turned through 180 degrees to go back for the ball, the ball was sailing back over his head. Paul was now faced with an expanse of pitch with no ball so continued to turn through a further 180 degrees to find the missing ball. In a completely unrepeatable turn of events, the ball had, once more, landed on it's point and, as Paul turned, was making it's way back over his head again! Paul was now facing all the other players who had stopped running towards him and were now in various stages of being convulsed with laughter, much to his confusion and chagrin as he still hadn't located the ball! Anyway, after another 180 degree turn the ball did come into view but I'm afraid I for one was laughing too much to remember how he coped with it. I'm sure that Chippy were more focused than the stalwarts of Harwell who probably left poor old Paul to deal with it on his own
Date: 1980's ¦ Venue: Chipping Norton¦ Submitted By: Gary daLuz Vieira

Black Outs?

The day I was watching the 3rd team at Gosford All Blacks when Simon Rootes who was playing for Harwell went over to the referee and said 'I think there is something wrong wth my Grandad' The ref immediately scanned the touchlines looking for some poor old bugger but then found the Harwell lock on the floor. You've guessed it, it was Brian Arnold who had concussion.
Date: 1970-90's ¦ Venue: Various¦ Submitted By: Dave Hammond

Magic Moments? They all were!

Every Saturday, in the back-row with either Frank Freeman, Steve Dixon, or John Fisher, and "Dad" Arnold trying to keep up with us. (Which the old phart usually  managed quite well)
Date: 1970's ¦ Venue: Several ¦ Submitted By: Keith Russell

Horse Play!

Harwell Horse was always the last prize in the raffle in my early days; you learnt to hide your raffle tickets when the last prize was due so that the opposition always won it!
Date: 1970's ¦ Venue: Several ¦ Submitted By: Alec Inns

Power Station Power House!

When I moved to the area to work at the Power Station a number of colleagues (Ted Lewis, Clive Smart, Basil England, Keith Russell etc) played for the club and I was encouraged to go along. That was the 1974-75 season and Mike Yates was captain of the 3rd XV. In those days the 1st & 2nd XV's got shirts, but if you played for the 3rd's you had to provide your own - so off I went to Shepherd & Woodward's in Oxford to purchase a blue and white hooped jersey. No fancy designs in those days.
 
The vast majority of my playing career was spent in the 3rd XV. Examination of the records shows only too well that the games won/lost and points scored/conceded balances were normally in considerable deficit. For a number of seasons we would correct this by giving ourselves a 30 point start. In the bar after the game a number of clubs had difficulty understanding us celebrating our 'win' when they had just beaten us, say, 28-0.
 
A couple of tour memories -
Channel Islands (Jersey I think). 'Morris' Cairns had been on the beer the night before and wasn't feeling too well during the game. At some point he was given the ball and set off as fast as he was able for the opposition's line. About to collapse he saw the line approach and flung himself over it, but looked particularly agrieved when the referee failed to award a try. He had 'scored' on the half way line.
Portugal. We watched a couple of the local Lisbon sides knock lumps out of each other in a game on a gravel pitch. The next day we turned up at the National Stadium to play a 'Lisbon Select XV' (we really should have smelled a rat) only to recognised some of the characters we had watched the day before. We were actually canon fodder for the Portuguese national squad. It was the only game in which I ever got thrown out of the front row, and I wasn't even awarded a penalty. Needless to say things didn't go too well, but with encouragement from 'H' Connolly on the sideline ('Come on Harwell you can still do it.') we kept going to the end. For the record we lost 134-0.
Question from new club member - 'How much does a tour cost?'. Reply from 'H' Connolly - 'About half a liver'.
 
A couple of 'Dad' Arnold stories -
Vickers Supermarine had new pitches provided by Honda when the new factory was built. We went over to play very soon after they were first used. There was almost no grass, the stones hadn't yet worked their way out, it was raining hard, was cold and was exposed. Normally 'Dad' never stopped running about but on this occasion he got dumped in a couple of puddles and was nearly hypothermic by the end.
One of the requirements of being in the 3rd XV was to be a 'utility' player - i.e. you played in any position the captain told you to. Before finding my niche in the front row the captain on one occcasion allocated me to fly-half. In my defence I must say that I never was a natural fly half - but you can only do your best. My game didn't go well (I never played there again) - missed passes, dropped passes, kicks straight to the opposition etc, etc. 'Dad' is not normally given to bad langauge but on this occasion was heard to utter that 'If you ever play fly half again I'm not f***ing playing',
 
The great thing about the 3rd XV was the camaraderie. Providing everybody did their best and enjoyed the game, nobody cared too much about the result. Larger clubs could never understand how a small club like Harwell continued to put out a 3rd XV year after year.

I remember particularly a couple of seasons. One when Jamie Connolly was captain and we kept a pretty settled side throughout the season. The other involved a certain Gary da Luz Vieira who seemed to be able to organise a pub crawl both before and after every game - I never realised there were so many pubs about!

Ah yes! The passing of social rugby was a sad thing

Date: 1970-80's ¦ Venue: All Over¦ Submitted By: John Attree

From Russia With Love

You may have heard of the incident when the flag was whipped from Khrushchev and Bulgarian's car in 1956 (?) . Well it was me that 'dun it', the flag was displayed with due honour at the Harwell/ Aldermaston post game dance. My five minutes of  re. Andy Wahl fame indeed !Best wishes John.M. 
Date: 1956 ¦ Venue: Under Investigation By Secret Services¦ Submitted By: John Morrelee  

Away Game? Make a Night Of It!

I played in the first Harwell 4th XV to be formed (with Martin Evans) and in every team above.  There are a lot of names I recognise in the Not in Touch list who I may be able to contact.  Harwell Horse was always the last prize in the raffle in my early days; you learnt to hide your raffle tickets when the last prize was due so that the opposition always won it!  Best post-game meal/entertainment away? ICI Pontypool from 1700 to 0300hrs!
Date: 1970's ¦ Venue: Various¦ Submitted By: Alec Inns

Well, It's Just Magic You're Still There!

In terms of people over this side of the pond, I am aware of Graham Shorthill (Vancouver), Wally Spittle (Carp Ontario at least 20yrs ago), John Leng (Arizona), Roger 'Taff' White (San Diageo) and I always visit Ray (Wack) Spencer (Marlow) when I come back every year or so for a good pint! I am really so pleased the club still exists, I attended a 'birthday' (was it the 50th?) and assumed the club was now located in Harwell Village under another name. I have some pics. of when Engineering Divn. won the Harwell 7's --The Roskell trophy. Is it still played for? My ugly mug appears on some of the pics I have seen, mostly around the Sacley visits. They were sure 'some events' but got too expensive 400 pounds a game to host them in 1960's. The first year we went over they nearly drunk us under the table --red wine you will understand! We discovered the next day it was their 2nd team who were such generous hosts; their 1st was bright and cheery next day: next day being match day. Well I will see what I can dig up and await my son's next visit to see how to transfer to you. best Wishes for your Web Site ,can not see how it can not be a success.
Date: 1960's ¦ Venue: Various¦ Submitted By: John Morrelee

Mr. South Africa!

I was captain of the thirds and we were due to play at Bracknell (this was in the 1960's). I received a phone call; "was there a chance of a game?" The voice was very South African, sure says I; if you are still warm and with the required number of limbs you could play for Harwell third team! See you there. Into our dressing room appeared the largest man I have ever met, wearing a South African Springbok jacket. We had not a shirt big in enough to fit him so he wore his Stellenbosch University one. Where did I want him to play? You decide says I. Number 8 seemed to suit. First scrum: Harwell retreated, as expected, number 8 stood his ground and the Harwell pack peeled backwards around him and he was now hooker; he picked up th ball, shook the Bracknell pack off him and trundled down the field with some of the Harwell pack still attached to him. So it continued until the Bracknell skipper declared something to do with the Geneva Convention, which I was ininclined to agree with. Said number 8 retreated to the side line to film the debacle on the field, only to return if Bracknell threatened our line ---which they stopped doing once they realized the consequences! Mr. South Africa played for our 1st. team the next week, scored the try which meant we beat Newbury for the first time and, I suspect, the last. We never saw him again. Such is Rugby!
Date: 1960's ¦ Venue: Bracknel ¦ Submitted By: John Morrelee

Canada Calling!

1956 to 1967 were my days of crime with Harwell RFC. Saclay tours home and away, Social Club, Don Summers, Bill Baker, the beer jug,  designing the tie and trying to get someone to give us the ball back after the wind (or a typical wild Harwell pass!) had taken it over the security fence are just some of my magic moments. I am very happy to see the club still breaths. After thirty years in Canada I have lost touch (which I always used to find when aiming for a drop goal). I return every year or two for my pint and would love to know how to reconnect and come to a game or two to jeer as required at the Ref. Best wishes. John.
Date: 1950/60's ¦ Venue: Various ¦ Submitted By: John Morralee

Long Distance Support!

We were playing at RAF Benson one Wednesday evening in the late 60s. Ray Coulthard was giving the referee a bit of stick over some of his decisions. Finally this referee had had enough and sent Ray off. This was a bit strange since Ray was actually watching from the touchline! He was made to move away by at least 100 yards, but continued to support us from that distance. 
Another memorable feature of the RAF Benson game was the excellent food. There was a choice of curry and rice, or fried chicken and chips. Or both if you were really famished !
Date: 1960's ¦ Venue: RAF Benson¦ Submitted By: Jim Homer

Nice Mammaries?

Memories of spectacular defeats and occasional wins, injuries (knees) and 1977 7's trophy when the hypedermics beat the chucking farmers thanks to a lucky slap tackle by me (among other things such as scoring) and who could forget the classy post match entertainment in the social club after the Cheltenham game where those nice young ladies with all that lubricant dazzled us with there own contact sport. Thanks to Steve Murphy for that.
Date: 1970's ¦ Venue: Various¦ Submitted By: David Martin

Pass the shovel!

Don Summers' Memories contain a team photo with one member unidentified, he was Martin Adamson, a wing who went like sh--t off a shovel. Whilst in Australia he played for VICTORIA against the touring BRITISH LIONS. Married an American film star. Well, I thought she was! [Note from Ed. Martin Adamson added to people we're looking for]
Date: 1960's ¦ Venue: Around The World ¦ Submitted By: Griff Griffiths

One Step Forward, Ten Steps Back!

We had a 1st XV game against Westminster College (in the Botley area), many moons ago (late 60s). Ray Coulthard was captain, and John Buffery played 2nd row. Now, John was quite headstrong. We were attacking the Westminster College line when John gave away a daft  penalty. He questioned the referree's decision, and we were marched back 10 yards. Again John Buffery made a remark to the referee. Back another 10 yards. And again and again. By this time we were nearly back on our line! 
Ray Coulthard had had enough. He shouted  " Buffery, shut up ! If the referee won't send you off then I f*****g  will !".

Date: 1960's ¦ Venue: Westminster College ¦ Submitted By: Jim Homer

Just Not Cricket!

Gordon Rhodes was a talented cricketer (quick bowler) as I recall, and ran the 3rd XV. He was a really great guy. I remember he called me at RAL and asked if I wanted to play against Didcot Youth one Wednesday afternoon. Why not? Should be easy ! They were brilliant and absolutely hammered us. Quite a lesson.
Date: 1960's ¦ Venue: Didcot ¦ Submitted By: Jim Homer

Twickenham Memorial To Harwell Old Boys

Memories come in all shapes, some happy, some sad. 2005 was a sad year for the club, losing two current and one former player. James Sellars died of meningitis, Matt Shuttleworth was lost in a tragic farming accident and Tim Sanders also passed away. The club decided to mark their passing by having stones put into the ‘walk of fame’ at Twickenham for all three of them.
Date: 2005 ¦ Venue: Twickenham ¦ Submitted By: Jenny Bosley

Post-Training Card School

This was where Brian, Dave, Ted and Ray topped up their pension pots. The after training card school was an institution, the rules of which were known only by a close circle of long-standing players. To us fresh faced students, the lure of "Irish Brag" or "High-Low Poker" or "Bastard Brag" were like honey pots to bees ... maybe lambs to slaughter would be more apt! Irish Brag was simply a guess that the unknown card you had pinned to your forehead was better than the cards on the other players' foreheads. High-Low poker, as the name suggests, had two winners of each hand. Bastard Brag, I can't recall, but I do remember it was well named!
Date: 1970's/80's ¦ Venue: Harwell Social Club ¦ Submitted By: Andy Langman 

Short Change, Cold Comfort!

It was Bicester, in the middle of winter, the firsts are in the changing room preparing for the game.
Paul Coles hears Nick Millett chuntering to himself … but the only thing he can make out is "I wish I'd brought the hallway radiator …’
"What is up with you, you southern softie, it isn’t that cold in here" says Paul
"It’s not the temperature … I left my socks and shorts on it!" 
Date: 80's ¦ Venue: Bicester ¦ Submitted By: Nick Millett

Spectacular Defeats, Occasional Wins!

Hi Paul Browning alerted me to the site and asked that I register, so I did. Played for 2nd and 3rd team in the late 70's and early 80's. Still carry: memories of spectacular defeats and occasional wins, injuries (knees) and 1977 7's trophy when the hypedermics beat the chucking farmers thanks to a lucky slap tackle by me (among other things such as scoring) and who could forget the classy post match entertainment in the social club after the Cheltenham game where those nice young ladies with all that lubricant dazzled us with their own contact sport. Thanks to Steve Murphy for that.
Date: 70's ¦ Venue: All Over ¦ Submitted By: David Martin

Mind The Gap!

Part way through a 50 - 0 thrashing by local rivals, Grove, a young Harwell player by the name of Simon Roots turned to the referee and said "excuse me sir, my granddad's not feeling too well". Somewhat surprised, the referee scanned the sidelines but could see no village elders in trouble. "No" said the youngster, "not on the sideline, in the scrum over there!" What the referee didn't realise was that the then 59 year old Brian Arnold, his 39 year old son-in-law, Pete, and his 17 year old grandson, were all playing in the same team for Harwell! Who said there's a generation gap?
Date: March 6th 1991 ¦ Venue: Harwell vs Grove ¦ Submitted By: Brian Arnold


Who Dunnit?

After a particularly brutal encounter that made a rather gory mess to Bob Evans' face, (always difficult to tell the difference) the ref was very keen that Bob left the field of play due to the extent of his injuries. Bob looked pleadingly at the ref and was heard to say "don't make me go off ref, I know who did it!"
Amendment: Our opponents on the day were RAF Abingdon and I got him the next year!
Date: Circa 1980 ¦ Venue: Harwell vs RAF Abingdon ¦ Submitted By: Andy Langman ¦ Amended By: Bob Evans


Half Time Humour!

A keen young Nick Millett was trotting out for his first game, side stepping the bucket and practicing his missed tackles when the captain of the day came up to him and said "As it's your first game, I'm going to pull you off at half time". Somewhat surprised, Nick replied "Well, thank you very much, back in Bodmin we only got a piece of orange!"
Date: 1978 ¦ Venue: Harwell vs Unknown ¦ Submitted By: Andy Langman


What's Your Magic Moment?