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Rugby World Cup England 2015 started with sunny EVRA Festival
Skåne Old Boys, the selection of veteran players from south of Sweden are the new holders of EVRA European Festival most precious award – Jeff Butterfield Trophy.
From the very start of the Festival games with their approach to veteran rugby – having fun playing the Game, respecting the opponents, with “high social performance” – it was clear who will “win” the Trophy – to keep it for the next two years in their clubhouse.
When Farnham RUFC was bidding to organize European Festival by the end of 2013, Paul Brooker, the Festival Director “promised” perfect weather and playing conditions and a lot of Fun for European veterans.
And, he had right – all three “conditions” had been fulfilled, together with the fourth one – adequate and perfect refereeing by the Surrey RFU referees led by veteran John Robertson, better known as J.R.
On Thursday evening at the Welcome Drink the Festival was officially opened by the Mayor of Town Farnham, Lady Pat Frost and Geoff Robins, Farnham RUFC Chairman.
The opening game on Friday has been played by Over 50 ´s of the hosting club – Escargots (The Snails) and EUROPE 20XV EVRA Select Team, with players from 10 European countries.
The games to follow for the veterans from 12 nations had been played on three excellent grassed pitches of Farnham Sports & Leisure Park, openned by Lord Sebastian Coe in 2012 before the London Olympic Games. The matches had been played all three days because of the fact that many teams visited RWC matches, with the highlight game New Zealand vs. Argentina at Wembley Stadium, played in front of 89.713 spectators, what is the “world record” in visiting one rugby match.
The Festival Gala Dinner on Saturday was also part of 40th anniversary celebrations of Farnham RUFC, one of the “youngest” English clubs. During the Gala Dinner the Organizers of 2017 EVRA European Festival had been officially announced – the next EU Veteran Rugby “Meeting” will be in Poland (September 14 – 18th) in Siedlce, town with great rugby tradition . . .
Festival will be organized by WFS Siedlce, Polish Veterans and Polish Rugby Union (PZR).
Special EVRA 2015 awards were presented the same evening to the Club Chairman, Geoff Robins, as well as to Geoff Bond for the Rugby Football Union, that supported this great veteran rugby event, to be held for the first time in England after 1985, when the 4th Air New Zealand World Golden Oldies Rugby Festival had been organized in London.
Regular Festival Awarding Ceremony took place in big Festival marque on Sunday, where the usual Festival organizers and EVRA awards had been given to all participating teams.
Following teams / individual players had been awarded:
“The More the Merrier Award” went to Galicia Old Boys (La Corunha, Spain)
“I would Walk 500 Miles” Award went to Old Boys Hungary
The Oldest Festival Player, this time two gentlemen had deserved this prize
José Redondo and John Wilson (each born in 1943), both playing for
Lousa RC Veteranos (Lousa, Portugal)
“The first Festival Try” Award went to Andrew Mortimore, the Prop of Escargots Over 50 ´s team and . . .
The Jeff Butterfield Trophy went to Skåne Old Boys (Sweden) and had been presented to Team Manager Boris Polimac by EVRA Secretary Marko Protega and Federico Riccardi Sirtori, Team Manager of Old Cernusco Rugby team – Il Coyotes – the Trophy “winner” in 2013 in Esztergom (Hungary).
Special thanks went to the numerous volunteers of Franham RUFC without whose engagement and wiliness to help in any situation, this great Festival would not be possible. Thank you Farnham RUFC in the name of European veterans.
EVRA Festival plagues were presented additionally to the members of Local Organising Committee – Paul Brooker, Geoff Robins, Andrew Mortimore and to tireless “all round player” Sebastian Fox.
Photos by the courtesy of Insight60.com Multimedia & Graphic Designer – Mike Dewey.
You can see some pictures on EVRAs Facebook page, click here.