Duns RFC held this season’s ex-players’ day on Saturday, when around 70 former players gathered in the clubrooms before and after the First XV’s match against Linlithgow.
The ex-players’ day was the idea of Peter Gallagher and Michael Lamb, who had each spent a number of weeks trying to track down as many former players as possible. Although nearly 70 managed to attend, there were many more who were unable to make it on the day and more still who could not be contacted.
A marquee had been erected in the garden at the clubrooms in Newtown Street, Duns, very kindly donated by principal sponsor Francis Furness of Cheviot Rentals, and a buffet lunch was prepared by the ladies committee. The ladies deserve a huge pat on the back for their hard work on Saturday, preparing not only the buffet for the ex-players’ day, but also a pasta lunch for the First XV and then tea for both the Firsts and Seconds and their opponents.
The former players began arriving before noon, and the marquee gradually filled as the numbers grew. Old photographs had been hunted out and were on display, and some of the ex-players even brought along some memorabilia of their own.
Duns first played matches in season 1959-60, and it was pleasing to see so many players from that season and the early 1960s in attendance. Bill Carmichael, Dave Earsman and Peter Hill from that very first season were there, as well as George Storey, Willie McLean, Denis Lawson, Bill Thorburn, Ronnie Budge, Neil Foreman and others from the 1960s. Gordon Dixon also attended, although he was wearing a Linlithgow tie and arrived with the visiting team!
Duns President Tom Thorburn made a welcome speech, and shortly before the match the former players were bussed to the old High School to be given an update on the developments which have already taken place and those which are still on the drawing board by project manager Michael Reed, which will mark the latest phase in the history of Duns RFC.
From the High School it was then out to the Hardens for the match, and although the result wasn’t what everyone may have wished it was an absorbing game of rugby, to whet the appetite for some post-match refreshment of the liquid variety.
Duns RFC would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to all who were involved in bringing the day’s events together, no matter how large or small a part they played.