The Lighter Side
Posted by: (IP Logged)
Date: 04 June, 2019 10:13

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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 15/06/2019 08:56 by CoochieCoo.

Re: The Lighter Side
Posted by: P G Tips (IP Logged)
Date: 04 June, 2019 10:17

Thanks B4thB4ck for this anecdote.

My own amusing sporting memory does indeed involve Deep Heat (or at least it’s hotter, sharper competitor –Ralgex).

Captaining a school team on a cold day, I decided to follow a tip from our coach, an experienced player who had graced some excellent teams. As there was frost on the ground and freezing fog gathering (a lot less concern about health & safety in those days), he suggested warming the hands with Ralgex to avoid “wooden fingers” and inevitable handling errors.

So- as we warmed up in the changing room I did as prompted.

“OK lads. It’s cold out there but we are going to catch the opposition cold and attack from the start. Everybody give their hands a good coating of Ralgex so we are all warm and ready to go. Wingers- you may have to wait a bit for a pass, so apply a double dose.”

So far, so good. Except that, after my rousing call to arms, the left winger (who was to go on to a highly successful business career, including CEO of 2 media companies) decided to go for a leak just before the match- without washing his hands first.

The mishap had us all in stitches and did wonders for his speed, but none for his concentration!


Re: The Lighter Side
Posted by: TomReagan (IP Logged)
Date: 04 June, 2019 16:01

Not really a funny anecdote, although it has its comic elements, but I experienced my own version of Trains, planes and automobiles when going to watch Bath vs a team that played in Parma whose name escapes me. For some reason our flight from Bristol to Milan was cancelled. My mate, a far more resilient character than I, quickly got us on a plane to Venice, safe in the knowledge that we were heading to the right country. No available accommodation of course until we found a place on the Grand Canal far more expensive than was comfortable for my budget, made worse by the fact that when we opened the shutters in the early hours the view was incredible, but we had to shoot off to get the train to Parma. Close to the ground, the train stopped for ages. Our frustration was put into perspective when we found out the hold up was due to a suicide on the line but we arrived with travel bags at the ground 5 minutes into the game. The next day, Sunday, one of our small group realised he'd left his passport in the hotel safe in Venice but we persuaded him we'd blag our way through customs rather than have him have to spend the day travelling all over Italy and miss the pleasures of Parma. The train back to Milan was hugely delayed, it turns out, because it was carrying a thousand Napoli ultras who were playing A.C Milan in the evening kick off. At every station they'd get off in droves to stretch their legs and empty their bladders and the driver was obviously too intimidated to worry about schedules. Luckily, we were just a curiosity to them, rugby not being a big attraction in Napoli. Just before arriving the hordes of fans pulled hoods and scarves over their faces, released flares and began beating the perspex windows before they were corralled into one controllable mass by the waiting police. We managed to talk our way past the first security check at the airport, but the second customs officer apologetically refused our mate entry- it was always a long shot- so for him the nightmare was extended for another 24 hours as he had to go back to Venice and book another flight. We won easily, as did A.C Milan, which improved things somewhat, but it's my most memorable foreign trip- Bordeaux aside- for all the wrong reasons. (Incidentally, regarding the warming qualities of Ralgex, I'm sure I read in one Somerset cricketer's autobiography that Botham regularly smeared other players' jock straps with it!)

Re: The Lighter Side
Posted by: TomReagan (IP Logged)
Date: 04 June, 2019 20:10

B4thB4ck- sorry, enjoyed your cricketing anecdote but must have overlooked the last bit. Having re-read it, realise my post is completely irrelevant. Played club cricket for years but nothing amusing I can recall to contribute I'm afraid.

Re: The Lighter Side
Posted by: OBinFiji (IP Logged)
Date: 08 June, 2019 02:02

Last year, we celebrated 25 years of going to Islay and drinking whisky playing rugby against the local side. Picture getting changed behind some containers right next to the glass collection centre that indicated no-one on Islay is very accurate at throwing-in. 50kph hour winds - matchstart delayed as the helicopter touched down (sideways) to pick up someone destined for Glasgow RI (we lost - but that doesnt matter - I lasted the whole game, first for 9 years, at the age of 57. Took 3 months to recover).
As usual we managed to combine this with St Patricks day, and so joined in the festivities at the local ex hotel (it gave up its hotel status after some miserable btds wrote unfavourable (but possibly technically correct) reviews about it on TripAdvisor). Imagine scenes of debauchery, as this wildwest outpost celebrated in the way only wildwestern outposts can. Alcohol consumed by the gallon (with shotts), mad psychotic twins prowling around the dance floor, Longhaired frenchmen insisting on dancing with all of us, shirts whirled around overhead ripping the 'chandeliers' from the ceiling, boy/girl interactions all the way to the washrooms, etc, etc. We rather kept to ourselves - being somewhat overwhelmed. After a bit we decided to launch into sunshine mountain (a mild, happy, song without a single rude word or action - so far as I'm aware). As we climbed onto the chairs the landlord roared at us to get down or we'd be permanently banned from the bar. Dutifully, we got back down and pondered the unfairness as we looked at the Islay revellers. Clearly you don't mess with your local clientele - especially on Islay.

Ohh happy days - although the yen to run out again hasn't come back yet. Maybe I've grown up?


Re: The Lighter Side
Posted by: P G Tips (IP Logged)
Date: 08 June, 2019 07:35

Thanks OB

Anybody else got a tale of playing in remote/outlandish locations?

Or of an amusing tour incident?


Re: The Lighter Side
Posted by: B4thB4ck (IP Logged)
Date: 08 June, 2019 10:40

Just to add, if anyone has any misguided sympathy for the injured Neil in my post, he is a big Gloucester fan, so no need to worry ;-)

I can't comment on the driver of the battered Rover but suspect he became a big fan of Halfords spare parts department (other outlets are available).

Re: The Lighter Side
Posted by: Mr Frivolous (IP Logged)
Date: 14 June, 2019 17:27

My tale seems appropriate given the weather now, well to me anyway. It starts on a very grey, very wet overcast day in a January many years ago when we had spells of proper wintry weather. I’d been press ganged into a select 5th XV to play away at a great Thamseside club, strangely given the all-stars of the 5ths we were given the pitch across the road from their splendid facilities with one end of the pitch ending just a few yards from the river.

The game started with mist, mizzle and mud aplenty with absolutely no skill, ability or commitment from the two sides until our fly half hoisted a Garryowen into the riverside end and found the only pebble in the mud bath and bounced straight into the reedy quagmire by the river with a plop
Needless to say, the experienced home side weren’t going to fetch the ball and so the arguing began until our openside flanker, a forward with just enough intelligence to be impatient, marched into the quagmire to fetch the ball. Knee deep in the mud he hoisted the ball in triumph, swore and promptly fell face flat in the mud as he tried to return and lo our very own Fran Cotton emerged screaming he was stuck.

His concerned teammates took immediate action by laughing themselves senseless and eventually formed a three man human chain to fish Fran out and lo Fran had a twin as the first man in met the same fate. Needless to say human chain members two and three immediately let go and saved themselves whilst the two Frans eventually extricated themselves. It’s the closest I’ve ever come to a game being called off for mud or twenty seven players rendered incapable due to paroxysms of laughter. For years after they were known as the Frans…

Re: The Lighter Side
Posted by: Bath Supporter Jack (IP Logged)
Date: 16 June, 2019 14:44

You will remember that amazingly dreadful picture of Fran Cotton.

If ever there was a symbol of the change in rugby that is it. Modern players even in deepest winter barely get their knees dirty........because pitches are always in such good condition.

Re: The Lighter Side
Posted by: Mr Frivolous (IP Logged)
Date: 16 June, 2019 15:01

You are not wrong. I remember playing on a pitch half frost half bog v the REME at Aldershot. I dont think there was a pass that wasnt knocked on. I try to remember that when we start playing slapball. Still the REME were great hosts three course meal in the sergeants mess and free beer to apologise for the awful conditions.

Re: The Lighter Side
Posted by: B4thB4ck (IP Logged)
Date: 18 June, 2019 21:56

Away fixtures, a theme in itself.

I guess a lot of us have experienced those days before mobile phones when we would set off to an away fixture in a convoy of 6 cars and only 3 would arrive..... Satnav? Just a dream.

We once played a team in West London and hired a coach for the day. On the way home the driver was getting very annoyed at the antics of some of the drinkers. When they insisted on a P stop on the M4 hard shoulder, shielded by the coach, the driver waited until they were in full flow then drove off much to the entertainment of the passing motorists.

We had a game where the match was stopped whilst a parachutist landed in the middle of the pitch. He refused to tell us where he had come from whilst he re packed the chute and just wandered off.

Another where freak weather meant bizarre low fog covered the pitch to hip height. The game had to be stopped but as the players walked off one of the players 3 year old children ran on to the pitch but got lost in the fog and the players went back on to help find him.

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