I spotted this post on Facebook from Rob Lee, you can find him on Twitter @RobLee559 and thought it was worth sharing, please consider donating to this great club
Allow me to tell you a story about Orrell RUFC that started way back in 1999. To some that’s not that long but, to me that’s more than three-quarters of my life.
In 1999 I was taken to a quiet street called Edge Hall Road, a small peaceful street for six days in the week except for Saturday. On Saturday it exploded with life, with passion, noise, cheers, jeers and the sound of rugby. My dad took me along to an Orrell Rugby Union game against Waterloo and they rest they say is history….here is the history for me.
June 2000 – After watching Orrell for a full season I decided that’s where I wanted to play rugby. So on a Wednesday night I was taken along to my first session.
September 2000 – Fast forward three months and I was ready to play my first game of rugby, the brightest silver boots you’ve seen and a vest on under my jersey to keep me warm. Victory against Widnes and a try to.
The years ticked by with me travelling the length and breadth of the country to watch the Amber and Blacks take on the best. From Penzance to Worcester, Otley to London Welsh, my Dad and I went everywhere.
I didn’t just watch either, I spent most of the home games sat on the bench with players such as Nick Easter, Andy Craig, Wade Kelly and Chas Cusani just to name a few.
2007 – I’d quite easily call it the worst year ever, especially one day in April, at age 12 the worst news I could possibly think of hearing happened – Orrell would no longer be in the national leagues. My dream of playing first team rugby for them was as close to gone as it could be. Imagine tell a child that their ultimate dream in life would never happen. Whilst Orrell reformed and played in a new league, many divisions lower than previous it was a tough time.
2009 – With nowhere to go I turned to rugby league but, after nine months it wasn’t for me. I decided that rugby wasn’t for me anymore.
2010 – fresh faced to college i’d assessed what my future ambitions were, still attending Orrell games on a Saturday, I still idolised the first team and thinking that a dream would never be complete. Whilst at a game I was approached by Bill Lyon, asking if i’d ever considered playing rugby, I told him I was part of the junior set up and he then asked if I wanted to return and train with the open age team. An offer I couldn’t turn down.
September 2011 – Now back training for Orrell and after a full year of regaining fitness and waiting to turn 17 so I could play I was faced with a game against Leigh 4th team for Orrell 3rds, my first game in about 2 years.
May 2011 – Whilst The games came thick and fast I never believed I would have been promoted to Orrell 2nd team to have a chance to play for them.
September 2012 – I’d been training with the 1st team, a wild dream seemed to be finally come true, however moving away to Bristol for uni looming on the horizon it seemed like I would again miss out on my dream.
1st September 2012 – A very specific date I know, but I was preparing to play for the 2nd team when a phone call came through from the coach Tony Pegg, I was asked if I could come down and play for the 1sts. After putting the phone down, the 6 year old who went along to training in June 2000 came out in me – It was about to happen! I thought I would have been a sub, but no I was starting, I may not have played the full game but, the feeling of playing 1st team was more than enough – my ultimate lifetime dream was complete.
I would continue to play on and off for the 1sts through 2012 – 2016 whilst I was at uni, although I left Bristol uni to go to Preston.
2016/17 – the rumblings of a new ground went on, news that made me feel great. What better than Orrell still existing but, the thought of them having their own home and now playing out of a college which had happened. Twinned with new coaching and staff the club had a dynamic approach to making the future even more possible.
2017/18Land secured for a new ground and new friends in Winstanley Cricket Club the vision was set out. Then it turned to the fundraising side to get Orrell back to the heights that they were once so accustomed to.
2018 – Some fresh faces at the club and the number of players growing, and still switching between playing 1st and 2nd team, I can feel the club at the healthiest it has been for years.
That 5 year old who went to Edge Hall Road was now excited about the thought of Orrell having a new home.
Now this is when I turn to you, if you could spare just a few pounds you will not only help a great club be re-homed but, you may just be building the future for the next 5 year-old, like I was, to be inspired and play for this great team.