Willer's Wanderings - Winlaton

By Tony Wilson - October 31 2016
Willer's Wanderings - Winlaton Two games to watch this weekend - a lively league encounter at Winlaton and a Memorial Match at West enjoyed by lots of veteran players who can still turn it on - although not very often and not for long.

Saturday saw my duty driver Peter Wilkinson taking me to Winlaton for their N&D 2 match against Ponteland where we were hosted by County rep Craig MacFarlane with the rest of the committee were busy doing their various match day duties. That included decorating the clubhouse for the Halloween party that night.

Following the weekend festivities the club is to close for an internal refurbishment with grand re-opening on 14th of November. The work has been made possible by grants from both Sport England and Awards for all schemes and the hard work of the Winlaton Committee.

Interestingly, displayed on the wall of the function room is the County Fourth Team Shield which was won by Winlaton last season. Next to the shield is a photo of the Winlaton team that were the first winners of this trophy some  ninety years ago.

The match was a very close fought affair, played in a very good competitive spirit, the lead changing hands though out  with Ponteland running out narrow winners. Final score Winlaton 22 – Ponteland 27.

In the club house after the match there was a real buzz with players and officials from both sides enjoying post-match crack and banter, an an opportunity to chat to former West prop John (Chunky) Chappell who is now chairman of Ponteland.

Wilfy Willgress Trophy

On Sunday I was back at West for the annual Wilfy Wilgress Memorial Match.

Peter (Wilfy) Wilgress was a prop  forward who played at every level from 1st team to 6th team for West. Sadly, ater an away match at Harrogate 24 years ago Wilfy collapsed and died of a heart attack.

Such was the affection for Wilfy that a memorial match between a West 15 and a Town 15 has been played every year for the last 23 years. Some people who played with Wilfy bring their boots out of retirement to play in this one match each year.

Peter's  parents provided a trophy to be played for and each year the family and friends attend the match with his mother and sister presenting the trophy ot the winning team on alternative years. 

This year's winners were the West team and it was Peter's mam turn to present the trophy to captain Brendan Baggs who in his acceptance speech rightly said the winner is always the memory of Wilfy and rugby.




Willer's Wanderings - Winlaton
Official West Hartlepool RFC (IP Logged)
31/10/2016 13:45
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Re: Willer's Wanderings - Winlaton
milkybar kid (IP Logged)
31/10/2016 17:52
Former West 'Hooker'.... John 'Chunky' Chappell.... name from the dim n distant past, he went to play over in the North West,

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 31/10/2016 17:56 by milkybar kid.

Re: Willer's Wanderings - Winlaton
Hardwick Man (IP Logged)
31/10/2016 18:11
Now that folks is what rugby is all about

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