The Greyhounds opened their 2014/15 season with a fixture against Edinburgh University at Iffley Road on Wednesday night, which ended in an entertaining draw, 24 points all. The match took place to honour a remarkable man, Andrew Widdowson, now President of the club, played for EURFC in the late 1970s including games home and away against Oxford in what was then a traditional annual game. Following this he came up to St Catherine’s College to do a teaching training year, but before he could begin his quest for a Blue suffered a catastrophic neck injury in an early Michaelmas term college game, which has left him wheelchair bound since.
Showing the remarkable courage and determination for which is he now well-known, Widdowson went on to a teaching career at Felsted school from which he retired last year before returning to his native Edinburgh.
In a move which has been widely applauded then and since Andrew was elected a member of Vincent’s Club in Trinity Term 1981 shortly after leaving Stoke Mandeville Hospital to resume his studies. Since the installation of a lift during the recent Club refurbishments, to which he contributed, Andrew has become a welcome occasional visitor.
Since becoming President of EURFC he has worked hard together with his friend and former OURFC opponent Reg Clark to resurrect rugby contests between his two universities and this has resulted in the game between the Greyhounds and Edinburgh. Edinburgh will move on after the game to London to play their annual Varsity Match against St. Andrews which remarkably every other year is now played before large crowds at the Richmond Athletic Ground.
The Andrew Widdowson Trophy to be contested henceforth between these two university rugby clubs has been subscribed for by a group of his friends and will be unveiled before the game in the Iffley Road Pavilion.
Reg Clark comments: “I am delighted that since becoming President of EURFC Andrew has been able to fulfil his longstanding ambition to reinstitute games between that club and OURFC. I know of fewer braver people – he is held in great respect and affection by his many friends. I am pleased to be one of a group of those who have gladly subscribed to produce this magnificent trophy, which we all hope will be played for by the two university clubs for many more years to come. It is we hope a fitting tribute to Andrew”.
Team James Scaiffe, Daniel Radigan, Ben Symington, Ralph Weir, Tom Hilton-Stevens, Will Thomas, Harry Beale, Guy Western, Samson Egerton, Henry de Berker, Christopher Mansfield, Jack Calvert, Anthony Collias, Alex Corry, Alastair Adams-Cairns
Subs Tom Quayle (on for Harry Beale), Dean Irvine (on for James Scaiffe), Tim Williams (on for Ben Symington), Oliver Johnson-Munday (on for Ralph Weir), Will Beynon (on for Samson Egerton), Oakley Cox (on for Alex Corry), George Postlethwaite (on for Christopher Mansfield)
Scores T: Samson Egerton (2), Harry Beale (1), Will Thomas (1) C: Henry de Berker (2)