Monday, 15 April 2013

You are never too old for rugby

Most of the professional rugby players are in their twenties. Some of them carry on playing after they are 30 years old. Only a few of them are still on the pitch when they reach 40 years of age. But the professional rugby players are only a small percentage of all people who enjoy playing rugby. Most of rugby players are amateurs which have to divide their spare time between rugby and jobs or education. Rugby is just a hobby for them - a hobby which can be quite demanding sometimes ;)

In the amateur rugby age is not as much relevant; passion and commitment can often counterbalance loss of fitness.The best example for this is John Goldman who is thought to be the oldest rugby player in Britain. He is 72 years old and plays as a prop in Mill Hill RFC. Alongside him in the first row play Tim Hurst, 58, and Steve Cracknell, 54, giving the trio a combined age of 184!

John Goldman started to play rugby when he was 50 thanks to his wife, who urged him to take part rather than merely spectate. For the last 20 years he has played in, on average, 20 games per season. Mr Goldman, said the game gave him the motivation to overcome serious health problems. He has suffered from cancer twice, underwent a heart bypass and recovered from a major back surgery! The grandfather-of-eight said: “The main reason I play rugby is to keep fit and healthy. I really enjoy the game and it adds a lot to my life... Mill Hill Club is very sociable. The players are a nice bunch of lads who tend to bring their family along at weekends. Fathers and sons play together. Everyone is very friendly and supportive.”

To me John Goldman is a true hero who proves that rugby is a sport for all shapes and ages. He keeps me motivated and if I ever think about hanging up my boots, thanks to him I know that I should think again. 

Below you will find some footage and a short interview with him: