By Lawrence Aggleton
June 15 2017
I moved to Bath in September 1998 for Uni. While I followed 6 Nations rugby, I really hadn't paid much attention to club rugby - other than vague recollections of Rugby Special. Living on campus for my first year meant that we often wouldn't go to town on weekends. Rugby in the first year often rotated around 6 Nations in the Plug bar (there's a surprising number of Welsh people at Bath Uni, so the rivalries were lively).
In my second year was when my love of Bath Rugby really started. This was the 1999-2000 season, the last one before bonus points and playoffs. I went to/through town every day and the colours are infectious. After a not great start to the season I remember Bath upping the pressure on leaders Leicester - a particular newspaper report referring to the team as a 'great West Country vulture hovering'. Sadly it was not to be and we finished second.
2000-2001 was a placement year, I was in Stevenage. I'm sure there are greater beauty disparities in towns than between Bath and Stevenage, but I can't of any right now. Bath games were generally followed on early internet radio. After an enlarged playoffs (top 8 qualified), Bath faced Tigers in the final for my first trip to HQ. Sadly we were thoroughly overpowered and a long sequence of underperformance in finals started.
My final year was a substantial decrease in quality for Bath - but significant increase in my attendance at the Rec. Students would often get corner standing tickets for £5 to some of the smaller games. Bath finished 11th that season, but I still loved it - I was hooked on the city, the club and the ground.
After leaving Bath for London, the first thing I did with my full-time job was get myself a season ticket and an excuse to get on the train back every other week. A lifetime love was born.pqs: qs:
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017:07:09:17:56:23 by hasta.
My friends suggested, in January of 1996, that I should go with them to watch Bath play in the Pilkington Cup Final, due to be played in May!
It was my first experience of senior, modern day, rugby.
We sat about 5 rows back from the pitch,in the South stand, and it seemed like a pretty gruelling match, with Tigers in the lead with not many minutes to go.
Bath were continually battling towards the Tigers line, right in front of us, when, after several penalty infringements, the referee awarded Bath a penalty try! We all went wild, while, in the background, Neil Back mistook Mr referee Lander for a Bath player and pushed him over!
I have been hooked on the game ever since, though I confess I do not have the encyclopaedic knowledge of the game as others on 'Ere.
I just enjoy watching a good/exciting game of rugby.
Cup Final Team: CR Martin, DM Trick, JA Palmer, A Rees, B Trevaskis, JP Horton, RJ Hill, GJ Chilcott, R Cunningham, MR Lee, N Gaymond, NC Redman, RA Spurrell (Capt), JP Hall, PD Simpson.
Stuart Barnes missed a last-minute Bristol penalty and the crowd went wild...I remember how big they all looked - nothing has changed!