Old Yardleians RFC: Club News

Tony Fagan - a brilliant friend, a great teammate and a true gentleman

Sat, 02 Jan 2021 12:00

It does seem a long time ago now but I was responsible for Tony joining the Old Yards, in order to move his game forward.

Let me explain. Many years ago I arrived in Birmingham to teach at a secondary School named Archbishop Grimshaw. It was a place that was in it’s infancy, with a young teaching staff which was very friendly and enjoyed a drink on a Friday after school. On one of these days I was introduced to a teacher of religion by the name of Carol who told me that her brother, Tony, enjoyed the game but was not happy with his current club.
You can work out the next bit for yourselves.

When you look at Tony in action he doesn’t really seem to give the impression of a prop. He looks like a prop but plays like a back, demonstrating full control when provoked and plenty of strength. You always wanted him in your team

What should you want to do on your honeymoon? It’s quite obvious really. You drink heavily and then try to sober up on the following morning. So far so good. With my beloved, a stroll through Galway and along the front ended abruptly as sitting on the wall was Tony, Loretta and Martin. Anne informed me that I was still under the influence but as we got closer it was nice to be correct.

Back to the Old Yards, a wonderful club with brilliant players and Tony fits both categories. Be patient as I have almost finished. One Saturday, I found myself in the same team as Tony and by half time he had scored two tries. Before we went out to complete the task Tony came over to me with a worried look on his face and asked me if the tradition of buying a jug of beer to celebrate a hat-trick still existed. My reply was on the vague side. Amazingly he did not trouble the scorers in the second half but made up for it for many seasons.

I hope that my description of him is accurate - but just in case - we have lost a brilliant friend and teammate, a gentleman on the pitch and in the bar. Our prayers and thoughts are on their way to Loretta, and to all of his friends and family.

Rest in Peace my friend.

By Dave Adams

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