On the evening of Friday April 28th, in the Members Bar at Richmond, a gathering of 145 London Scots from every section of the club came together to celebrate some wonderful achievements and contributions to London Scottish over the past season, on and off the field.
With a Glengoyne miniature at every place setting, it wasn’t long before the evening ‘kicked off’ and the players were singing and jigging between courses. Fortunately, only a few stern words were required from Jock Meikle to settle the proceedings long enough for some awards to be presented and the speeches to be made.
Leading off were the club awards and the Supporter of Year was won by Jamie Kirkwood, for his whole hearted support of the pre-match lunches and for his booming support of the 1st XV on the terraces. Volunteer of the Year was won by Siobhain Calway for a mountain of work on behalf of girls’ rugby and all across mini and junior rugby.
Honourable mentions went to Rob Kerr, Ben Edwards for the crowd funding initiative and Danny Rumble for his ongoing work in Senior Rugby despite living and working in Switzerland! The outstanding Contribution to Junior and Mini Rugby was won by Euan Ferguson who is retiring at the end of this season after the last match for the Junior Academy. Euan has coached and managed at just about every age group of minis and juniors and has made a wonderful contribution to London Scottish and to all the players he has looked after over the years.
Incoming Chairman, Malcolm Offord, addressed the club and asked if they wanted a story or a song? The unanimous decision was for a song and the gathering was treated to Malcolm singing the 1978 Scotland Football team’s song ‘Ally’s Tartan Army’ from the 1978 World Cup in Argentina. The song was adopted as the London Scottish Argentina Tour song in 1989 and many guests joined Malcolm in producing a fine rendition. Malcolm gave his vision of the future for London Scottish which drew a hearty round of applause. Carson Russell, our new CEO, then expanded on Malcolm’s theme and it certainly felt like ‘One Club’ as everyone rallied to Carson’s call to for unity throughout the club.
Retiring Chairman Sir David Reid gave a heartfelt address recalling his many fond London Scottish memories starting with his playing days for the club right through to the highlights of his years as Chairman. The whole club rose as one to express their thanks to Sir David.
The Try of the Year selection was one of the best in many seasons with ten outstanding efforts chosen for selection but the try that gathered the most votes on the night was Jamie Stevenson’s excellent score against Jersey Reds. A fitting end to Jamie’s career at London Scottish as he is having to retire due to injury. His outstanding contribution to the 1st XV in his 5 seasons at Scottish was marked with the presentation of a quiach.
The 1st XV Players’ Player of the Year was Robbie Ferguson, after the outstanding season he has had for the club.
The final award was the presentation of the Cammy Johnson Trophy. The inscription on the trophy reads ‘A Man of Rugby and a True London Scot’. Nobody epitomes that more than this year’s winner, Brian ‘Brains’ Martin who played with Cammy Johnson and has just completed his 22nd year as a London Scottish player. Brian now plays with the Extra B’s who were the Team of the Year with the best winning percentage. It was a fitting end to the awards part of the evening as the party went on and the dancing began.
Many thanks to everyone, from every part of the club, who all contributed to making this the best End of Season Dinner at London Scottish for many a long year.