Friday 13th May was not unlucky for those who attended the annual end of season awards at London Welsh RFC!
On a beautiful, sunny evening at Old Deer Park, the great and the good of the club gathered to celebrate another successful season across all sections. After a long season of matches, some tougher than others, it was time for everyone to let their hair down and recognise individual achievements and volunteer contributions.
Following the drinks reception, and some lovely words from Terwyn Williams, we sat down to dinner. Two very tasty courses in, and the awards part of the evening commenced.
LWRFC Chair, Danny Griffiths started everything off welcoming everyone and began with presenting signed LW Prints to a volunteers as a thank you from the club for their work this season. Those receiving the pictures were Paul Bessant; Haydn Parry; Gareth Vaughan Jones; Nigel Doe; Mike Talbot; Lee Irvine; and Rhianon Williams. Danny then introduced Peter Baveystock to present the shields for the Druids and the Vets sides.
Chair of the LW Supporters Club, Rhianon Williams, presented this year’s awards voted on by our Supporters. These were:
Supporters Club 1st XV player of the year – Rohan Pixley
Supporters Club personality of the year – Gareth Williams
Supporters Club long service award – Julie Jorge
For the first time in the club’s history, playing caps were awarded to our Women’s section, following huge efforts from Louise Norris to research and pull together the statistics on the women’s players. Caps were awarded to the following:
50 Caps – Louise Norris; Kat Underhill; Isia Storey; Alice Gayner; Ali Smith
100 Caps – Hannah Clarke; Helena Duggan; Nat Smith; Zoe Jeanes; Gemma Swain; Jenni McGivney
150 Caps – Ruth Barton
200 Caps – Paula Cooper
The Performance Squad ties and Caps followed with Andy Black being awarded his Cap for 50 1st XV appearances, with Chris Lilley; Lloyd Davies; Michael Lambert-Griffiths; Rhys Davies; Rhys Howells; Rohan Plxley; and Tom Baldwin receiving their 25 appearance ties.
Danny Griffiths then presented the LWRFC Gold Tie for long and meritous service to Paul Bessant; Gareth Vaughan Jones; Pete Lowe; Joe Jones; and Mike Talbot, with Ruth Barton then awarding Danny Griffiths with a Gold tie himself.
A surprise was in store for one of the clubs long standing players – Paula Cooper. Having already received her 200th appearance playing Cap, it was announced that, in fact, Coops had made over 250 appearances for Welsh. This special achievement, merited a special award and Club President, John Taylor, presented her with a personalised London Welsh shirt.
A very special award was introduced by Danny for this season – the John Darbyshire & Maria Thompson Award to recognise those who have shown great commitment to the club and this year’s worthy recipient was Neil Ford.
Individual player awards were also presented by John Taylor, to both men’s and women’s squad members. Those recognised were:
LWWRFC Players’ Player – Jenni McGivney
LWWRFC Club Member – Louise Norris
LWWRFC Best Newcomer – Kathryn Lee
LWWRFC Most Improved Player – Bianca Sainty
LWWRFC Coach’s Player of the Year – Gemma Swain
LWRFC Best Newcomer – Tom Hunt
LWRFC Clubman of the Year – Tom Baldwin
LWRFC Occies Player of the Year – Courtney Maggs Jones
LWRFC Druids Coaches Player of the Year -Felix Collins
LWRFC Druids Player’s Player – Iwan Humphries
LWRFC 1st XV Coaches Player of the Year – Adam Nixon
LWRFC 1st XV Player’s Player – Rohan Pixley
Huge congratulations to all of our winners and a big thank you to everyone who put so much time and effort into organising the End of Season Dinner and making it such a success.