On Friday, 1st October, there was an Askeans former players lunch at our new home, the Rectory Field. It was more impromptu than organised with around 30 pitching up to meet up with old ( some who are very old) mates.
I say it wasn’t organised, obviously there was some sort of planning- possibly a first for Askeans of a certain age - however there was no great forethought ( or even foreplay).
It started back in August when Mark Bromage (Brom) decided to have a beer and a pie with Scrapper (Harris). Somehow Shutey and Frankie Briggs happened to be in the same pub (of course not ffs - for some reason Brom invited them along). It went pretty well and a rematch was obviously needed after Brom kindly picked up the tab.
In early September a number of others decided it was something of a good idea and the 4 originals were joined by a truck load more at a different pub - including Fish, Kevin A, Colin Gilbert, Seam Mac, Bernie W and Micky Sheridan (Sir to several of the Jo’s boys).
The theme was very much this is better than meeting at a funeral and everyone wanted another replay before their own clock turned red.
Brom set up a WhatsApp group and word spread - and you thought we knew bugger all about social media!
Numbers escalated rapidly to the point where there was a concern that no restaurant would want a large bunch of ex rugby players causing havoc. This, despite the fact that the most exciting thing some of us do these days is stay up for ‘The Archers’.
The deal with the Rectory Field had just been signed and Boney had the smart idea (one of his first, obviously) to have it at the Rectory Field - after all, the start of season dinner had been a great success and fortunately no one had torched the place.
So on 1st October around 30 pulled in to our new gaff and enjoyed a great afternoon - drinking and telling porkies about just how good they’d been back in the day. I can’t remember all the names ( apart from myself, obviously) - I blame it on the cheesecake rather than the hooligan soup, but as they say, if you can remember it you were there - largely because we drank more black coffee than black stuff.
Brom had brought along Stewart McKinney as his guest - Stewart played and coached Askeans when he got fed up being on TV all the time with Ireland, the Barbarians and the British and Irish Lions. Stewart told some very funny stories and has been persuaded to speak at the end of season dinner in April next year ( I suggest you book early - Lunny and Stewart on the same bill!)
There was much talk of a proper former players get together around Christmas (for those still with us) - and bearing in mind the geometric progression of the numbers (Mr Sheridan taught me maths) we may well have to book The Albert Hall! Thanks for reading.