There’s nothing like going on tour of another country to play sport. We were forty or so rugby players, girlfriends and wives off to Brighton, Sussex, Hove and London for matches in fall 1982. It was five matches in ten days which meant sightseeing, hard matches and harder parties.
We had a great flight, if drinking and singing for seven hours is your cup of tea. I suppose now they would have ejected us into the Atlantic, but we were just excitable boys, and flights in those days had no movies. No one having slept we landed took the train down to Sussex and split up into the various houses we would be staying in. Marrieds and couples got the nicest place, I landed in a group with eight fine fellows in a little flat above a glass shop, where the milk man stopped by each morning with two bottles of fresh whole milk, and then there was the wild house for the rest.
Under strict orders to stay up till night, so we could get on schedule for rest, we stumbled across the countryside like zombies until that night’s practice and reception. Our first opponent had agreed to let us use their practice field for a run through and then offered drinks and a chance to meet before our first match against them.
That evening, I was so tired that running one hundred yards left me wheezing. Nobody could catch the ball, and one person tried to catch a booming kick and it hit him right on the top of the head. We looked to be a sad assortment, and our hosts who would be playing against us the next night were more than rude in their comments.
Our honor was restored by Jerry D. our big second row chugging an entire yard of beer and expertly turning it so the last swallow didn’t come roaring down like a tsunami and drench him.
I believe the chant that accompanied him went:
He ought to be publicly pissed on
He ought to be publicly shot
and left in a public urinal
to lie there and fester and rot …
of course followed by cheers of disbelief upon his quaffing of the entire 2.5 pints.
Next, the first match and “first blood”
YARS – yet another rugby story