As the outgoing Captain, it gives me great pleasure to write one final message for the program. I have spent the last few years in a highly privileged position – that is, my involvement as a member of OURFC. This Club is blessed with a magnetic force that attracts truly wonderful players, management, staff, committee members and supporters. Each person I have been lucky enough to meet through this very special means, has contributed to an experience that I thought possible only in fairy-tales.
I have been a strong believer and advocate that a focus on the experience is of ultimate human value, with success contingent upon the power of ‘spirit’. We ventured upon a journey to simultaneously create and find our ‘spirit’. And I endeavoured throughout to address my many weaknesses – perhaps this is why there are so many multi-talented individuals involved at the club!
OURFC provided a rich soil from which I attempted to grow my understanding and philosophy. I believed deeply in the fruits of the Club, and continue to do so today. While my beliefs have felt somewhat idealised, even dreamlike at times, I cannot describe the overwhelming sensation of ‘being’ and of sharing that ‘being’ with the whole club, particularly alongside my brothers on December 12th 2013. I remain astonished and breath-taken by the magic and mystery of that shared experience, one that stretched beyond the realm of my imagination, and propels me into the future with a sense of awe in the power of human potential.
It would be remiss of me not to end with the full quote of our team motto from the last two years, as with new experience to reflect upon, the words climb from the page to extraordinary heights with a novel meaning and fresh insight:
“Long years of military experience, confirmed by the wisdom of old age, had told him that one person cannot control hundreds of thousands of men fighting to the death, and he knew that the fate of battles is not decided by orders from the commander in chief, nor by the stationing of troops, nor the number of cannons or enemies killed, it is decided by a mysterious force known as the ‘spirit of the army’.” (p.894, Tolstoy L 2005 War and Peace. Penguin)
On retiring from rugby, I look forward to supporting OURFC from the side-lines, wishing the new Captain, Secretary and Team the very best for the future. Iffley Road feels like home, a place in which my soul has been engraved with some of its most fond memories, and a place where some of the most passionate parts of my heart will reside.
With sincerity and deep sentiment,
Your outgoing Captain.