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I need a Hero!'

Updated: Jan 18, 2023

He won’t be happy with the title!

In fact, he wasn’t very happy with this at all!

This is the nomination from the RFU for the Honda Volunteer of the Year Awards 2022 and the dinner at Twickenham. A fixture that did him proud on the day.

Ian Lunn and many other rugby stalwarts and volunteers were recognised for their contribution to the game at local level.

If I’m being totally honest I’m not all that happy with it either.

Not because Ian was nominated…that was (and is) totally deserved.

But if you read Ian's citation, it talks about his huge efforts over the last year in particular the development of the relationship with Greenwich University and the player recruitment and retention programme which he spearheaded. And all of that is 100% accurate, as far as it goes.

Ian's citation

'Ian has made a huge impact over the last year, establishing a relationship with Greenwich University Rugby Club to support player recruitment and retention, taking on a key liaison role to support the club's move to the Rectory Field and becoming a Trustee of 'Friends of Askean RFC' charity to provide opportunity for the local community'

However, what it fails to tell you is about his 20+ years of keeping the club going.

Almost single handed he has kept Askean rugby alive.

Right through the long nomadic period after we lost the ground in the 90s, finding pitches to share, recruiting players who never knew until late in the week what club to go to…..and then there was the nightmare of the pandemic.

When other clubs went under Ian refused to let Askeans falter.

He was also instrumental, along with a few others, in finding a new permanent home for Askean rugby last season.

To this day he is the main liaison with the players and spends hours each week up at the club, checking the kit, arranging fixture details with our opponents, organising social events, working with the bar and catering managers, driving the recruitment programme and, most importantly, getting a side out each week.

Ian could (or probably should) have been nominated for an award every year since about 1997…something else he would, no doubt, have railed against.

Every one who ever wore the Askean shirt should be grateful to Ian, without him the club with a proud history…. would be history.

Written by Dave Shute aka 'Shutey'

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