When I was but knee high to a grass hopper my father introduced me to this new phenomenal experience for which I would be eternally grateful, and start a life long Passion. It was my first trip to the Rec!! As a 5yr old boy I witnessed possibly the most magical thing and learnt 'this truly is the best sport ever'!
As a wee lad I was in awe of these players who later became what can only described the kings of English rugby, encouraging me to join Bath mini's to try and emulate my new hero's.
Week in and week out our usual Rec routine would be performed usually resulting in my brother and I leaving with a smile strewned across our faces that could almost resemble a 'chelsea smile'. With kick off but 45min away through the gates we'd roll clutching our 20 pence ready to purchase the usual white simple match day programme.
Programme in hand there was one destination required for my father......the club house bar ready to wet his whistle prior to that all important starting blast from the ref on his whistle. With a cup of scolding cup of oxtail soup in hand, my brother and I joined the other small people, behind the try line, club house end infront of the advertising boards nestling into the grass. Back in the 80's there was no terraces there just first come best place, the kids scattered the edges of the pitch so to be able get the best view of the next monumental fixture.
Once position sorted a quick glance around to see what seemed like a sea of Blue, Black and White. Grown men adorned in the classic hoops of Bath, Chests puffed displaying their pride like a sea of proud peacocks!!
The next moment that was to come is when the true magic was to happen, enter the legends!!!
Every time I was at the match never did I feel I'd witness a loss, such was the power of belief that filled the ground. So many epic battles I saw on that field, but as a youngster it always amused me to see the ball boy trot off net in hand to climb aboard his dingy to retrieve the match ball from the river!!
My first trip to the rec was in 1984 and I grew up watching such icons as Trick, Spurrell, Chilcott, Horton, Swift, Palmer, Barnes, Hill, Guscott to mention a few spanned across a dream period of Bath rugby. I feel I was lucky to be able to witness such dominance in a rugby era and dream of that recreated again on what I refer to as my mecca-The Rec!!!
Written by Bath Bytes
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