How Owen Farrell unknowingly sparked idea for St John Fisher school reunion!
From Sam Tomkins to Sean O’Loughlin to Shaun Edwards, St John Fishers RC High has helped nurture some wonderful rugby talent.
And the Beech Hill-based high school’s players – past and present – will be celebrated at a reunion dinner next month.
The school’s sporting pedigree will be demonstrated at the Rugby World Cup semi-finals this weekend, which involves three ex-pupils – England captain Owen Farrell as well as two members of the Welsh coaching staff, Wigan legend Edwards and Paul Stridgeon.
Indeed, it was Farrell who unknowingly helped spawn the idea for the reunion event at Wigan RU’s Douglas Valley home on Friday November 15.
Organiser Adrian Goulding explained: “In December 2016 I took my two grown up sons to watch England-Australia at Twickenham. Everything at the weekend had gone well and I was even acclimatised to paying £5 a pint.
“At half-time my sons had gone to queue at the bar to get drinks for the second-half. At this time I had been through a couple of verses of Sweet Caroline and then decided to have a read of the match programme, especially the details on Wigan lad Owen Farrell.
“I was shocked to read, ‘Owen Farrell, a product of St George’s School, Harpenden’!
“This was wrong, Owen;s roots of his rugby talent is firmly established on the playing fields of Wigan and especially the rugby pitch at St John Fisher school.
“A few weeks later I was telling this to Ronnie Dutch at the bar at Wigan RUFC.
“The school is now over 50 years old and has produced some of the best rugby players in the world.
“This should be celebrated and I suggested holding a rugby reunion.
“Ronnie agreed and said if I sorted it he’ll be there.
“Sadly Ronnie died in May 2018 and therefore the reunion was never not going to happen.”
The reunion is open to any player over the past 50 years of the school of either code, both male and female, together with any of the teachers who helped to coach the teams.
It would also be of interest if any players could forward copies of any team photographs.
Tickets for the event, which includes a three-course meal, are £20 each and the event on November 15 starts from 7pm.
Call Adrian Goulding on 07523 459621 or email [email protected]