Roy Long was a lock who played 339 games for Gloucester between 1956 and 1969. He played for the RAF in two successful Inter-Services Championships and for Gloucestershire in the County Championship After retirement he served as Club Secretary.
Royston Gilbert Long was born in Gloucester on 26 January 1938. He played for Gloucester Old Boys and Old Cryptians before joining Gloucester RFC at the start of the 1955-56 season.
Following his debut for Gloucester United against Newport in October 1955 he played for the second team throughout that season, until he finally got his chance on Easter Saturday 1956 when he made his first team debut against Bradford at Kingsholm. The Citizen noted that “a new second row combination is being tried…R Long having played some very good games for the United.”. He was picked for the April tour of Devon and Cornwall and played in all three games.
Roy’s breakthrough into the 1st XV was confirmed when he became a regular first team choice the following season but in 1957-58 he was called up to do his National Service and was stationed at RAF Innsworth. Despite his local posting, the RAF were reluctant to release him and his Gloucester appearances were limited, to the club’s disappointment. However he gained selection for the RAF and played alongside Don Rutherford in the RAF team which won the Inter-Services Championship at Twickenham in 1958. He played in both matches again in 1959 when the Championship was retained.
Returning to Kingsholm, he resumed his place in the Gloucester second row alongside the veteran “Baggy” Hudson and emerging Alan Brinn. He made his debut for Gloucestershire in October 1961 against Monmouthshire at Kingsholm and went on to play through the County Championship season. The following year he played against Somerset and Cornwall.
He continued to play regularly for Gloucester for several more seasons but at the end of 1967-68 he announced his 1st XV retirement. An injury crisis in the second half of 1968-69 caused him to return for 15 games, playing as well as ever, but although he entered training the following August, he decided to finally hang up his boots.
After his retirement as a player, both Roy Long and his wife continued to serve the club for many years. He was Club Secretary in the centenary season 1973-74. He died following a long illness in February 1992.