As far as I remember it, the day that changed my life and started a lifelong obsession with rugby began with a family trip to Asda that snapped my Dad’s patience! I was six and remember hearing the phrase “I think Dave’s old enough for the rugby now!” before I was whisked away, leaving my Mum and Sister to the delights of shopping.
At the turnstile the old boy manning the gate let Dad lift me over, (which continued for a good 2 seasons), and I remember being fascinated with the massive scoreboard on the Tump. I stood at the front of The Shed near halfway, basically sitting on the rail because I couldn’t see over the advertising. I can’t remember much of the game, but there was definitely a fight (it was Bridgend after all!), I think someone got sent off (possibly St Michael of Teague) and Nick Marment won the game with a late penalty (20-17??), all of which got me completely hooked…. To top it off, the game was then on Rugby Special on the Sunday evening, this being before the Leagues had started, and there I was on TV leaping around like an idiot in my dodgy sheriff coat.
I think my Dad wanted to get me hooked quickly to avoid the Saturday shopping, because my next 2 games were Newport and Pontypool (As Dad said, ‘English clubs are rubbish son!’)! As far as I’m aware Dad has never been back to Asda and I’ve spent far too many hours stood in The Shed.