SRFC Alumni - Our Rugby Heroes (Part II)
Halfway through the 2021 6 Nations we need a lift ! Here is more detail on SRFC Alumni.
In this second article we introduce some of our more recent ex-players. It is tinged with sadness due to the recent passing of David Egerton, so we lead with him. Take time to check out the shirts donated by these Gents and some other players in our Clubhouse, including both the Richard Hills and a certain Will Carling.
Sadly, Dave passed away in February 2021. I provide links to an obituary, but what you need to know is he was still very much in touch with his Salisbury roots, was a man who had time for everyone and always had a great story. Ask some of the old boys who played with him, such as ex-Chairman David Murley, to explain the significance of Bath FC playing “Ring of Fire” as part of their tribute to Dave at the Rec. It was an interesting way to approach the reinstatement of Diplomatic Relations with the Argentines post the Falklands Conflict……Dave was a mainstay of the all-conquering Bath team of the 1980’s during which he represented England and also the British Lions in their one-off game against France (1989). We will toast you appropriately when the time allows. Dave Egerton
Our wishes go out to Dave and his family. RIP.
Stuart Bellinger – Stuart is the youngest of the three Bellinger boys who have all lit up the Green & White shirt. His Salisbury first team appearances came after he had come through the Bath Academy to play for the 1st XV before spending a couple of seasons with Henley Hawks. The highlight of his career would have to be either representing England 7s in Wellington or appearing with his brothers Jim and Russell in the same 3rd XV. I believe we won that game, by a lot. Check out the Bellinger Boys. Stuart still lives in the area as does his Father Andrew, a previous Financial Director at the Club. Stuart Bellinger.
Tom Heathcote – a product of the same year-group as Mikey Daniels and a number of our current Senior Players. Tom was our Special Guest at the Centenary Dinner having represented England through the age-groups before his accurate goal-kicking and strong displays for Bath earned him a Scotland call-up in 2012. In 2014 Tom headed to Edinburgh to further his International prospects, but returned to England signing for Worcester and scoring the dramatic injury-time drop-kick to win on their return to the Premiership. Unfortunately, Tom was forced to retire in 2018 but still pops into the Club and enjoys pre-season touch with the Seniors. Tom Heathcote
The following all played for the same year group ! Our famed National U17 team of 2005.
Andrew Henderson – Andy is still playing pro rugby and has taken an exotic journey to end up at Cambridge in National 1. He has played for a number of clubs including Rotherham, Jersey, and Hong Kong Scottish in a long career that has seen him play across the back division. That versatility brought him caps for both England Students and England Counties. Andy Henderson
Phil Chesters – a dashing wing who spent a couple of seasons keeping the scoreboard ticking over at Castle Road before an illustrious career at Ealing that helped them become the force that is pushing for promotion to the Premiership. During his time he represented England Counties and was regularly the leading try scorer in the National Leagues, including an incredible 70 tries during the 2011/2012 season. Look out for his Dad Hugh on the local golf courses...he may look innocent but he plays a mean round ! Phil Chesters
Ollie Goss – has retired this season after a career spent in Yorkshire with Doncaster and since 2012 Leeds. Ollie also played Senior Rugby at SRFC, as a scrum-half, but spent most of his professional career on the wing. Ollie Goss
Matt Evans – we will be honest and explain Matt emigrated with his Dad, former Club Captain and Chairman Chris Evans, when he was only 12, but he is Salisbury born and bred and still comes back to visit his Aunty Julie and our Junior Girls' coach Sammy Scarr. Matt made his Canadian debut as a 20 year-old playing through to the 2011 World Cup. After studying at Hartpury College he signed for Newport Dragons before joining the Cornish Pirates where he is now their Manager after retiring in 2020, so it looks like he is staying. Must be the familiarity of the West Country accent. Matt Evans | Cornish Pirates Rugby, Cornwall (cornish-pirates.com)
Looking forward to part III.......
In the next article we will go back another generation that includes one of the finest rugby players ever seen, honed by his Sunday mornings on Hudson’s Field and eating hot dogs in the Clubhouse. You don’t have to take my word for it, so to whet your appetites read this https://www.ruck.co.uk/jonathan-jiffy-davies-selects-his-all-time-lions-xv/3/