The BFC 2000 CLUB was launched by Fund raising Chairman, Doug Ryder. The Members Only scheme involved a monthly standing order of £6 and a monthly Draw. Prizes were geared to the number of members, with a maximum of 2000. Coloured TV’s were a regular and popular prize, and one lucky winner was presented with a Car.
The Club Shop had been moved to a Portacabin, and there was a marked increase in sale of Club Memorabilia, Replica Jerseys, Sweatshirts, T Shirts etc.
For the English onlooker, the most memorable incident was when a swarm of evening gnats descended and hovered about two foot off the ground. So much so, that players’ torsos were almost invisible to the human eye – just heads and shoulders moving about!
Exceptional training facilities and hospitality were provided at the Benetton Sports Fields.
Exceptional comforts were provided at the Jusalo resort.
A Prologue to the Season
“Whoever the 30 players on view today, they will be hard pressed to match the last meeting between Bath and Harlequins – May’s Pilkington Cup final at Twickenham.
Then one of the most epic Club encounters of all times was settled by one tired swing of Stuart Barnes’’ boot.
His last-gasp drop goal gave bath a problem any club would envy; how do you improve on a League and Cup double?
Typically Bath have tackled the challenge with relish. Under Ged Roddy the players have been put through the mill to such an extent they arrive at today’s match fitter than ever before the start of a season.
Body circuits, water conditioning, hill training, rowing – the players have hammered away in search of that physical edge over rivals.
With every player on a personal programme, similar to that used by the England squad, individual progress is monitored like never before.
Full-back John Callard, for example, has seen his quest for greater speed enhanced with over half a second off his time for 30 metres.
Roddy, who is Head of PE at Bath University has offered Bath complete access to their facilities, says “Better fitness now means not only less injuries but an ability to stay the pace later in the season. And that is important because whereas athletes need peak only so often, a rugby player must produce a personal best every Saturday.”
This will be all the truer for the radical revision of the laws, which promise longer uninterrupted passages of play – though not necessarily a better spectacle.
If ten years hence all players are six foot two inch stocky sprinters then Rugby Union will be the poorer for it. The game prides itself on accommodating players of all shapes and sizes – where would we be without the Gareth Chilcotts and Dave Egertons of this world?”
The Match Programme included valediction to commemorate the untimely death of former second row forward Mark Jones, aged just 29. He played 36 times for the 1st XV and scored 6 tries. His last game was at Leicester in the League on 22nd April 1989.
He was a quiet unassuming lad, and at the same time a friend to everybody.
GREAT SUPPORT AT WEST HARTLEPOOL!
A Feature of these happy days, was the unfailing support of enthusiasts, who followed their team to away games. Coaches were hired, and over the seasons, these intrepid travellers became a group of good friends. To be in their company was a delight. West Hartlepool was one such trip.
“Last Saturday’s Supporters’ coach trip was an outstanding success. David and Alison Davies and their stewards must be congratulated for a truly magnificent job throughout. Rugby videos, and somewhat hilarious quizzes were organised to keep everyone happy on the long journey. Our return was crowned with a great pub lunch in the Derbyshire Peaks. Many others travelled by car, train, and air, to revel in the rugby and the West Hartlepool’s Club’s well known hospitality.
Unanimous verdict – when can we go again?” (Peter Hall)