Award winners under the spotlight at Royal date
THE Princess Royal was the honoured guest at the Gloucestershire RFU's awards evening at Hartpury College.
The Princess, who has been patron of the Gloucestershire RFU for nearly 24 years, presented awards to six rugby stalwarts who have selflessly given their time to the game over many years.
She was welcomed to Hartpury College by Dame Janet Trotter, the Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire.
She was then introduced to Duncan Clegg, High Sheriff of Gloucestershire, Tony Hicks, chairman of Gloucestershire County Council, and Norman Stephens, chairman of Forest of Dean District Council.
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Also in attendance were Malcolm Wharton, principal of Hartpury College, GRFU president Gordon Selwyn and GRFU chairman Peter Williams.
Williams then escorted the Princess to meet a gathering of members of the GRFU management board, representatives of the Districts and Combinations, league-winning clubs and governors of Hartpury College, together with their partners.
The six Gloucestershire award winners and partners were also introduced to the Princess before she presented their certificates for exceptional service to rugby in Gloucestershire.
The first award winner was Malcolm Kedward, who has been a dedicated servant of both Cheltenham North RFC and Cheltenham Combination for more than 45 years.
After many years as a player and administrator with North, Kedward joined Cheltenham Combination as team and match secretary in 1981, a position he still holds today.
During those 30 years he has successfully encouraged, organised and promoted district games for various participants ranging from colts to veterans sides.
Since the advent of leagues, organising representative games has become much more difficult because, understandably, clubs have become more reluctant to release their players.
However, Kedward has maintained the number of Combination fixtures through his enthusiasm and dedication to rugby.
The next award winner was Dave Reeves, who has demonstrated tremendous passion, love and humility towards the sport through many kinds of functions, roles, positions and duties.
He has given his all towards each and then extended his desire to promote his club, Old Cryptians RFC, in numerous other ways.
Reeves joined Cryptians in 1963 as a player and an active committee member.
His playing career ended in 1999, 36 years after playing in more than 500 games and amassing 355 points.
He has remained an ever-present committee member and has held many positions including first, second and third-team captain, chairman (1998-2002), club and ground secretary (2000) and president since 2002.
Reeves is the last remaining foundation stone of the club and has given so much and still carries on, as an unsung hero, maintaining the club buildings, inside or out, as club and ground secretary.
The many other duties he performs include looking after the bar, kit organisation and general factotum to get things done.
He has also ensured that the family of former players keep close ties to the club by organising a Diners' Club where each member, near or far, attends a monthly party to keep in contact.
Finally, Phil Ayland, who since leaving Crypt School in 1995, has been involved in local rugby and is well known by the wider rugby circle, having played from 1950.
From 1956 until 1969 he played loose-head prop and appeared in that position as an 18-year-old in the North Gloucestershire Combination Cup final at Kingsholm, losing to Gordon League RFC.
From 1969 to 1987 he was a player and a committee member, first-team captain for three years, second-team captain for two years.
He also played and captained the third team on many occasions, in addition to being tour manager for 12 years.
Westbury-on-Severn RFC was founded in 1987 and Ayland joined the committee at the inaugural meeting as the fixture secretary, serving for more than three years.
He has subsequently served the committee as social secretary, fund-raising co-ordinator, facilities manager and tour manager.
Recently he was heavily involved in securing funding for the club's new changing rooms, instigating the work and liaising with the RFU and the RLF.
He has given his wholehearted support to the club in all endeavours, without which the club might not have been in the position it is today.
Other county awards winners included Rick Sellars, Annie Parker and Roger Cox.