This year's event to commemorate the birth of Scotland's best-loved poet brought together all sections of the Club to invoke the spirit of Scotland. The old clubhouse provided a bright and cheerful atmosphere for a lively night of poetry and prose, food and frolicking, whisky and waltzing.
It was great to see a packed room with large representations from the Womens Rugby Team and Mini and Junior Sections. All of the traditions of a Burns night were conducted with accomplished talent from the piping in of the haggis to each of the toasts. This was followed by many inexperienced but enthusiastic attempts at highland dancing to the Mad Moll Band.
The whole experience was tremendous and everyone is now looking forward to next year. As Club Chairman Dave Warren said " This has been the best Burns Night we have had" - and he has been to a lot of these in his time!
Annual Re-union Lunch 2018 and a New MPA Chairman
Another successful Re-union Lunch was held before the final home game of the season against Rosslyn Park on Saturday 21 April. Over 100 from the MPA made it a memorable occasion with plenty of time to pick up and renew old friendships and recall past games through the usual rose-tinted spectacles. As is traditional, there was a touch 7s tournament before the lunch organised by Jonathan Hill, which proved an entertaining prelude to the main event.
At the AGM before the lunch Peter Veitch announced that he was standing down as MPA Chairman but he would still continue to be involved with the MPA, taking over from Jeremy Summers as the Secretary. The proposed new Chairman was Cambridge Blue and former Moseley First XV prop, Dave Allen, and his appointment was roundly supported by the assembled throng. Dave thanked Peter for his untiring work as Chairman over the last 8 years which has seen the MPA membership grow significantly and the organised events go from strength to strength.
Autumn Supper 2017
Oh what a night!!! This year's Autumn Supper was to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Sam Doble Memorial Match, to celebrate Sam's achievements in a life that was all too short and to celebrate 50 years since the Moseley Players association was founded. There was a lot to celebrate and what a cast we had to help us make the most of the evening.
Many members of both teams from the fantastic memorial match between Moseley and The Rugby Writers' Invitation team attended the dinner. Highlights of the game played on Sunday 27 November 1977 were shown to a packed Reddings Suite as a reminder of the amazing skills of the best players in club and international rugby at that time.
This was followed by a question and answer session hosted by Gary Newbon where some of the stars of the game entertained the audience with their recollections. The participants included Sir Gareth Edwards, Gerald Davies, Derek Quinnell, Terry Cobner, Peter Wheeler, Tony Neary as well as Martin Johnson and Martin Green - a veritable "hall of fame".
The whole place was humming with the thrill of renewing memories, friendships and terrific entertainment and food - with perhaps a few beers and bottles of wine to help lubricate the brain cells.The night was completely sold out and those who left it too late missed out on a wonderful evening.
It is with great regret that I have to report that Bryan Skeeles passed away on the morning of 13 July in Moseley Hall Hospital after a short illness. Bryan has been a great stalwart of the Rugby Club and the Players Association and he will be sadly missed.
There was a good turnout from the Club at the funeral held on Tuesday 1 August at St Mary's Church, Selly Oak where Peter Veitch gave a heartfelt eulogy that mourned his passing but celebrated the achievements of Bryan over his last 40 years of involvement with Moseley.
Annual Re-union Lunch 2017
This was the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of the Moseley Players Association and the Annual Re-union Lunch was held in the Reddings Suite of the new stand on 29 April. Fittingly, it produced another record turn-out of old players and their guests.
There was a full day's programme starting with a touch 7-a-side tournament in the morning followed by a commemorative photograph, the lunch, then the Moseley versus Fylde league game and a few drinks over which we could relive times gone by.
The first arrivals came around 10 in the morning to play in the 7s tournament and I have no idea when the last people left but it was late into the evening. There was obviously a lot of catching up to do and the constant hubbub of lively conversations may have frustrated those who were charged with bringing order to the procedings. But nobody cared - it was a great day bringing together past players from the 1950s through to the some who have only recently stopped playing for the Club.
As an added bonus Moseley beat Fylde 57 - 0 roared on by a set of spectators who offered an abundance of comments and advice which, on this occasion the First XV, clearly didn't need.
Roll on next year.
The morning 7-a-side saw Andy Binns team take the coveted trophy after Pete Shillingford's team have won it for so many years
Old players and some not-quite-so-old at the lunch
2016 Autumn Supper
Another wonderful Autumn Supper was held on 28 October with over 200 guests to enjoy the company, good food, a few drinks - and to be entertained by Rob Andrew!
Do I note some people checking that they have read these words correctly? Entertaining? Are we talking about the same Rob Andrew? You know the one who played fly-half for England for 70 caps and who was the RFU Director of Elite Rugby until earlier this year?
Yes, Rob surprised quite a few guests with his dry and self-mocking sense of humour and light-hearted musings on his experiences of the different approaches to the game from the forwards and backs. He also provided some food for thought on where clubs such as ours want to see ourselves in the future. As an auctioneer helping to raise money for the club he was magnificent and even provided a signed England jersey to help boost the coffers.
A really good night was had by all - sorry if you missed it.
2016 Old Players Re-Union Lunch - The biggest ever.
It is a good job that we now have the Re-union Lunch in the fabulous Reddings Suite of the new stand as we wouldn't have been able to accommodate the great turn-out.
Proceedings opened with a Moseley Legends versus Worcester Legends at 12 o'clock on the main pitch with some of the old favourites showing that they have still got the skills if not perhaps the fitness of the past.
The AGM was thankfully short. It emphasized the support that the MPA had given to the Club over the last year and the need to encourage the next generation of old players to join and take the MPA into the future.
Then we could get on with the real purpose - a few drinks, a good meal, time to renew past friendships, learn of new developments and talk rugby. All of this in a convivial and enjoyable setting.
Another very successful Reunion Lunch.
It was a Braw Bricht Burns Nicht
January saw the annual Moseley MPA celebration for Burns Night - but this time new initiatives made it an exceptional affair.
Not only was this the first time that the Burns Supper had been held in the more modern and spacious surroundings of the Reddings Suite, this time it was a joint promotion between the MPA and the West Midlands Fire Service Pipe Band. Whilst the traditions of a Burns Night Supper were maintained, the involvement of the Pipe Band meant that we had a whole band of pipers and drummers to entertain us. Highland dancing, long since lapsed from the Moseley evenings, was re-introduced and a live Ceilidh Band and caller were on hand to take any Scottish dance virgins through the intricacies of the Gay Gordons, eightsome reels and many others.
It was a wonderful evening of traditional Scottish food, drink, music and dance that gave everyone a night to remember. The revitalised Burns evening was a great success and already the band have been booked up for next year - so make sure that you don't miss that.
Guest of honour on the evening was Pat Petrie who, along with husband Andy, introduced the Burns Supper to the Moseley calendar over 40 years ago. She was delighted to see that the Club have built on the foundations that she and Andy built so many years ago.
Good memories of the best ever Autumn Supper!
Here are a few reminders for those who made up the record attendance of 216 at the Annual Autumn Supper on 20th November.
The feed-back from many who were there made it quite obvious that the evening was greatly enjoyed by all those present and there was no doubt that the major factor was our Guest Speaker John Inverdale, who was quite outstanding and exceptionally entertaining.
The success of the night has now presented the MPA Committee with the major challenge of “How do we beat – or even equal – that?” Well, that’s one for the future, although it won’t be long before your committee is working on it!
Meanwhile, those of us who were there can enjoy re-living the evening, whilst those who were not might just be regretting it!
Dave Bucknall OBE
Dave Bucknall, a long-time member of Moseley Rugby Club and the MPA, sadly collapsed and died whilst on a cycle ride near his home on Sunday, 7 June. He was 76 years old.
Dave, a hooker, played his rugby at Moseley across at least 4 decades, and if you include the 7-a-side competitions before the MPA Annual Reunion then you can make that 6 decades! He gained his First XV tie early on in his rugby career and was always in competition for a first team place with some excellent rivals for his position. Age was never a constraint on Dave and he completed marathons and long distance cycle rides at an age when others were thinking of mobility scooters. I seem to recall him apologizing for being unable to play in the 2013 Old Players Re-union 7-a-side matches because he had pulled a hamstring - at the age of 74!
Dave was equally active in his business life being the project manager for some of the most important building projects in the country - the NIA, ICC, Birmingham Synphony Hall as well as the reconstruction of Windsor Castle after a fire in 1992. He received the OBE for services to the construction industry in 2013.
Dave leaves a wife, Moya, 2 daughters and 4 grandchildren and our thoughts are with them.
The Record-Breaking 2015 Re-union Lunch
How many times does everything go right on the same day? Well it happened this year for the Old Players' Annual Re-union Lunch.
First of all the weather was bright and sunny. Secondly, the magnificent new stand and clubhouse was opened for the first time to accommodate the Old Players' lunch. What an asset this is going to be for the future and something that stunned the many old players that were in attendance. It is a far cry from anything we have had before at either Billesley Common or the Reddings. Thirdly, we had a record-breaking attendance at the lunch - 150 old players and 250 in total. Finally and most importantly, Moseley beat Plymouth 29-0 to ensure that we will be playing in the Championship next year.
It is no wonder that the atmosphere for the day was euphoric. I am not sure it's possible to upstage this for next year.
The day started at 10.30am with a touch rugby tournament for ageing veterans as well as a women's team. Once again Pete Shillingford seemed able to find some oldies who have not only retained their skills but also their fitness. It was no surprise therefore when they won the tournament again. And the oldies who turned out got to use the new changing rooms and showers for the very first time!
Next, the AGM in the old clubhouse. The omens were not good. The meeting started late and in a cacophony of noise. But obviously overcome by the occasion Peter Veitch managed to get the meeting over in less than 5 minutes, to everyone's relief.
Over then to the new stand and clubhouse. Up the stairs, or the lift for those whose rugby exploits have left knees and hips which need mechanical aids. There the sight to greet you is an eye-catching display in a vast glass cabinet of trophies and memorabilia from all of the Moseley Club's history. Well done to Jan Webster who has put together this collection and thanks to the MPA for providing cabinet.
Through the doors to the new clubhouse facility - and it is enormous and luxurious compared to previous manifestations at Moseley. There was seating for 250 for lunch with room to spare. Lunch was professionally cooked and served, reflecting the new high standards the Club expects. Formalities were kept to a minimum but it was great to see as guests the coaches of the winning England team from the recent Women's Rugby World Cup - Gary Street and, our own, Graham Smith.
(More photos from the lunch are available if you click on the "Photographs" tab)
Fed and "watered", it was time to watch the game which Moseley needed to win. But this time we had the benefit of being able to see the pitch through the wide picture windows and walk out of the clubhouse on to the balcony behind the stand seats. A few short steps and we were seated in comfort and settled and ready to see Moseley do their stuff. The wind could have been a little warmer but the result on the pitch provided all the warmth we needed.
With the win in the bag it was back to the bar and celebrations and reminiscences until the taxis (both commercial and familial) arrived to take a host of very happy old players home to refect on a brilliant day.
MPA Autumn Supper - Friday 31 October 2014
A record attendance of 142 enjoyed a hugely entertaining talk by Peter Wheeler, the former Leicester, England and British & Irish Lions Hooker.
Peter was joined by several of his team-mates from the 1979 Leicester team which narrowly beat Moseley in the John Player Cup Final 15-12. 2 of the tables at the dinner had a mix of Moseley and Leicester players from that game and it seems that reminiscing provided plenty of fun all round.
Master of Ceremonies, Jeremy Summers, also introduced former Moseley stalwart, Graham Smith, who helped coach the England Women's team to a historic World Cup victory in August of this year.
More photos of this event can be found by using the "Photographs" tab in the MPA Section of the web-site.
Sadly, on Wednesday 13 August we lost David Genders, a long-serving player and administrator at the Club, who passed away after a long period of illness. The funeral was held on Thursday 28 August at St Alphege Church, Solihull.
The 2014 Re-union Lunch
This year's Re-union Lunch was held on Saturday 26 April prior to the home fixture against Plymouth. Once again the lunch was a sell-out and past players were represented from all eras (1950s to the 1990s) and all teams (Vandals to seasoned Internationals).
This was also the occasion on which Jeremy Summers decided to present to the club the signed ball that he had received from the First XV team back in November 1977 for his services as a ballboy. In honour of the occasion Jeremy invited the team to the lunch and they turned out in force.
The tables flowed with tales and memories of past exploits, no doubt encouraged by a few drinks and rose-tinted glasses. The pig roast provided for the occasion proved a popular choice and provided the basis for wonderful afternoon. To cap it all, Moseley won the game which followed and finished in their highest position in the league.
We are now looking forward to next year when we hope to be able to hold the lunch in the new club facilities and allow those who missed out this year to attend. So keep Saturday 18 April 2015 free in your diaries!
There are some more photos of the day to be found on the "Photographs" tab.
Do we have your present address?
The MPA sometimes gets forgotten when a member moves house and advises all his important contacts of his new address apart from the most important of all – us!
So, if you have moved during the last 18 months or so, please contact Membership Secretary Roy Kerr (see below) immediately and let him have all the details, including your email address and telephone number.
300 Club Draw
Why not support the development of young talent at the club through the 300 Club? This costs just £5 per month or £60 per annum and is administered through the MPA. Prize draws of £150, £75, £50 and £25 are made each month. Details of how to join can be found in the "Contact Us" tab and is towards the foot of that page.
Bits and Pieces
MPA Ties & Bow Ties – three designs of MPA ties and one bow tie are available for purchase at £10.00 each including postage. Please contact Bryan Skeeles for details and orders.
Moving house or changing e-mail addresses
Please remember to let us know if you have changed your address - either home or e-mail; and if you haven't provided us with an e-mail address, please let us have the details - it is quicker, cheaper and we only send out a few messages each year, so we won't be filling your inboxes! Roy’s contact details will be found at the end.
Peter Veitch (Chairman) – email@example.com, home – 0121 449 3710, office – 0121 616 5108, mobile – 07801 800201
Roy Kerr (Membership Secretary) – firstname.lastname@example.org, home – 01675 464648, mobile – 07889 175377
Jeremy Summers (Hon. Secretary) – email@example.com
George Walters (Hon. Treasurer) – firstname.lastname@example.org , home – 0121 355 1283
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