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New Year message from the Chairman

No one could have predicted the unprecedented year we’ve just experienced. This time last year we had everything rugby; we were playing rugby, watching rugby and enjoying each other’s company socially, before, during and after games. We were looking forward to our First XV challenging for the league; our Ladies & Girls sections were continuing to grow; our Academy was proving a great success; our senior teams were looking forward to the cup competitions, in which we have been so successful; we’d developed one of the most successful O2 Touch setups; established a growing Walking Rugby family and our Youth/Age Grade rugby were continuing to go from strength to strength; Blaydon RFC and our ‘One Team Blaydon’ (OTB) ethos was in full swing, then lockdown and rugby was suspended.

12 months on and it feels surreal. No rugby for over 9 months.  The club house is closed and we have just moved into Tier 4, with no short term expectation of those things changing. This has undoubtedly been one of the most challenging years for me as your Chairman but at the same time, one of my proudest, as people from the Blaydon rugby family rally round to support the club. That continued support will be key in helping our recovery and growth, once this virus is beaten, which it will be!

My thoughts are with club members and their families who have experienced first-hand the hardships of this past year, be that ill health, economic challenges or general frustrations with lockdown. I also sympathise with the many business owners who have supported the club, who are now suffering an extended period of financial concern.

My sincere thanks go to the Club’s Committee and Management who, whilst being frustrated that rugby has been suspended, continue to work hard to ensure that the club is ready for a return to rugby and our other business activities that enable us to support rugby at Blaydon RFC. As a committee we’ve had to make some tough decisions this year, financially the club is in a sound position, we’ve reduced costs where we can, we’ve taken advantage of a number of lines of support in the form of various grants/loans and received a magnificent response during the Members’ Appeal earlier this year. We are consuming some funds that could have otherwise been used for important improvement projects, but we’ll have to look for alternative options to fund those at a later time.

I can’t thank enough the efforts of the volunteers who always put so much into the club with many helping to keep the club running through these difficult times, including the fantastic work during the summer to tidy up the grounds, cut the hedges, maintain the trees and flower beds.

Finally, I want to thank the players in all of the disciplines/teams at the Club. Your endurance and determination to be ready for return to rugby is greatly appreciated. When we get back to competition I am confident Blaydon RFC will continue to grow and triumph. Please stay as fit as you possibly can to be ready for that day. Until then I ask you check on your teammates and ensure they are getting through this period and let us know if you have any concerns we could help with.

When this is all over, we will bring our Blaydon Rugby family together to celebrate our return, quite how, we’ve still to work out, any suggestions greatly appreciated.  Meanwhile I wish you all a happy New Year and all my best wishes to you and your families for 2021 and hope that all our lives will return to normality in the near future.

Stay safe

Bruce

Tier 4 – Suspension of Rugby at Blaydon RFC

As you will all be aware we are now in Tier 4, which comes with following guidance:

  • Government guidelines are to ‘Stay at Home’ but U18s sport can continue
  • RFU guidelines say – All Senior involvement in rugby has to stop, but Age grade rugby can continue, although on their website the RFU have suggested suspending all rugby until further guidance is available.

 

As a club we want to encourage rugby, however, we don’t see how we can conform to the government guidelines to ‘Stay at Home’ if we were to allow age grade rugby to continue. As a committee we don’t see how we can ask our volunteers to put themselves and their family at risk by taking training. Therefore for now, we have made the decision to suspend all rugby, track what is decided on schooling, as well as testing in schools and await further guidance from the RFU.

 

The current guidance also prevents anyone from a Northumberland County Council Region travelling into a DCC Region, so not all of our players would be allowed to train at Blaydon anyway!               Find out the coronavirus restrictions in your local area – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

 

This is about being socially responsible, we will continue to review the situation as government and RFU guidance develop, providing updates as soon as we can, on when we believe it would be safer to return to training.

 

Stay safe, any questions please email: contact@blaydonrfc.co.uk

From the Executive Committee at Blaydon RFC

 

BRFC U15’s – Metro Radio’s Mission Christmas Appeal

During these difficult times, where folks are struggling it is fantastic when our youth take it upon themselves to organise a collection to help others in need.
Our fantastic Under 15s team collected donations within the team for Metro Radio’s Mission Christmas Appeal.
Two of their players (Max Gordon & Max Lee) dropped them off last night. This is a great effort by all involved and you are all a fantastic asset to the club. Stay Safe and Have a fabulous Xmas!!

COVID -19 Membership Update – November 2020

In view of the changing circumstances a new membership offer for January 2021 will be advertised in the near future. Many thanks for those members (new and old) who got in contact in October, you will be updated in due course. Please stay safe over the forthcoming festive period and look out for updates regarding the bar re-opening/return to rugby etc.

RIP Gypsy – Family, friends and rugby community say goodbye, in an amazing way, the only way they could given COVID19 restrictions

 

 

Gypsy’s funeral cars had a double line of honour,  as they passed through the Rugby Club grounds on the way to Saltwell Crematorium, as a sizeable crowd,  adhering to social distancing, turned out to pay last respects to John ‘Gypsy’ Davidson, a lovely man, a great bloke and a great human being.

 

A Few Words about Gypsy – from Barry Rowlands

I’m sorry I can’t join you today to say goodbye, celebrate John’s life and give you all a hug.  I’m sure we’re all looking forward to the time when we can all get together and have a big party to remember him; we all know how he looked forward to a party, especially an all day session at a wedding or a funeral.

 

I was touched when you asked me to write a few words about John to be read out at the service.  It’s a great privilege to share a few of my memories and I hope I can do justice to the task and represent his many friends that have been touched by the unique character “Gypsy”.  A loving and proud husband, father and grandfather and a valued friend to so very many.

 

His warm and infectious personality, his youthful outlook, his hope, optimism and enthusiasm, his trust of others, his generosity of spirit and his ability to make everyone he touched feel special made him special.

 

He is a connection across many generations at Blaydon Rugby Club, a constant presence either as a player, friend or employee.  From ex senior players and officials from the 70’s to those involved in junior and mini rugby today.  He is well known and respected across the North East rugby fraternity and more wider afield.

 

My friendship with John stretches back almost 40 years, our relationship and that of our families is not confined to our mutual love of rugby and Blaydon Rugby Club.  He befriended my wider family, my mam, dad, wife ,4 children and my little brother Craig. They always spoke fondly of him, and Craig has represented the Rowland Brothers in my absence abroad. He loved my mother’s corned beef pasties, he was a popular baby sitter with our young children when we all went camping together, he taught Rebecca to roll cigarettes at the age of 5, and all of the children when young painted an image of him as a gift to hang in his shed.  He liked me to sing A Little Tenderness by The Commitments, and as you know he liked Theakstons, a cigarette or 2 and he couldn’t keep a secret!

 

When I first met him he had lots of black curly hair and his own teeth, about 20 years ago Peter Graham removed his teeth and presented him with a set of very white dentures; I don’t know if anyone else noticed this transformation!

As well as his ability to connect across generations he was able to hold his own across all social classes; at the top Boris Johnson, Donald Trump, Jim Huxley and Kit Whittfield and at the very bottom Dancing Davy and Stag!

 

As you know he could be a bit of a dreamer and considered himself in his younger days to be a local lothario in the Swalwell area,  “he had the ability to attract women of all ages that was legendary, he was a magnet “-all words that John used to describe himself!  One of his standard lines he used when introduced to a new member of the rugby club bar staff was “when I was younger before I was married I’m sure I went out with your mother” much to his disappointment and damage to his ego ,particular in recent years ,invariably the response was “no I think that must have been my grandmother!”

 

As a younger man he was an all rounder, a gymnast, an excellent swimmer and rugby player.  “One of the best props ever seen at the rugby club a great natural athlete” – again all words he used to describe himself!

Inspired by the film Billy Elliot ,Gypsy and Stag got their tutu’s and tights back out and reformed the Sugar Plums to dance the Nut Cracker at my brother Craig’s wedding, an experience I will never forget, and most of the guests were scarred by.

He did in recent years still treat us to an exhibition of forward rolls and cartwheels in the rugby club bar.

He was full of fun, an uninhibited character that was always up to responding to a dare, episodes of note included:-

– barred from an invitation only 1st team drinking session in an upstairs changing room at      the rugby club, he decided to accept the challenge of stripping naked, donning only a tiny apron borrowed from the kitchen, climbed up the ladder in darkness and preceded to pretend his was a window cleaner come to clean the windows.  He was dragged in through the window and they enjoyed his company releasing him after 2 hours of torture and humiliation.

– having gate crashed another private function at the rugby club, a halloween party he was keen to enter the spirit of the event.  He took little persuasion to respond to a suggestion that he should burn 2 holes in a white large tablecloth and re-enter the function room as a ghost.

– on a rugby trip to the Isle of Man he followed the instruction to remove his dentures and entertain the Manx community with a toothless rendition of the Blaydon Races.

– since the new clubhouse was built in 1996 it became a popular wedding venue, Gypsy would insist on joining all photographs of the wedding party whether he knew them or not.  I can imagine bride and groom and parents looking back on their special day wondering who’s that bloke with the white teeth and the cheeky smile.

 

He loved his rugby tours both domestic and international, along with others we would spend many hours remembering the great times we had together, our travels included amongst others, Bognor Regis, Doncaster, The Isle of Man, Portugal and The Crow Flies South tour to Barcelona in 1996 ( sometimes referred to as the tour of bad breath).  He wasn’t bothered about how exotic the destination, he was happy if he was with his mates and of course whatever trip he was on had Susan’s full approval.

 

Gypsy was a massive personality and a central character at the heart of the rugby club he is loved and will be missed by us all.

 

Of course as an active and enthusiastic member of the Stone Crows having now fallen off his perch he has ascended  to the great nest in the sky, and from there  he will be able to enjoy depositing droppings on us for eternity.

 

Finally, as you know he was a sensitive soul who was not afraid to express his love, I will always remember our last hug and his saying “I love you bud”

 

Lots of love

Barry

 

Gypsy’s (John Davidson) Funeral arrangements

We now have a date and time for the funeral. Wednesday 14th October @11:15am at Saltwell crematorium.

 

At this time, as you’ll all be aware funerals are covered by COVID19 restrictions, otherwise, as shown by the responses to previous announcements, the amount of people wanting to show respect is amazing and to quote them; “of great pride to his family”

 

There is an opportunity, in a way available during this time to be able to ‘pay one’s last respect’ to Gypsy and to show his family just what Gypsy meant to everyone. The funeral cars will be passing through the grounds of Blaydon RFC @10:40am and it would be great to see people, spread around the large grounds, keeping the appropriate social distancing from other households as the vehicles drive through.

 

Blaydon RFC

It is with deep sadness that we share the news that a true ‘legend’ of Blaydon Rugby Football Club, John ‘Gypsy’ Davidson, passed away on Sunday 4th October following a period of illness.  

It is with deep sadness that we share the news that a true ‘legend’ of Blaydon Rugby Football Club, John ‘Gypsy’ Davidson, passed away on Sunday 4th October following a period of illness.

‘Gypsy’ – as everyone knew him – represented Blaydon Rugby Club superbly in many ways…

As a player… he played at every level and in many different positions for the club. He was a skilful, tenacious and energetic competitor who loved the game and all its camaraderie.

As both an official and volunteer… Gypsy was always willing to lend a hand to the many projects and events at Blaydon RFC. His considerable experience, knowledge and skills were always valuable and very much appreciated. In later years he was closely involved in the club in a key role as groundsman and was also very proud to be a founding member of our supporters association ‘The Stoned Crows’. The ‘mob’ will miss him greatly.

As a club member… Gypsy was always there – mixing and interacting with club members and visitors. Always a welcoming ‘face’ and always with a ready smile. Full of fun and humour yet also full of advice, opinion and a sage word. Ready to talk on almost any subject and always ready to play a practical joke – especially on his close mates ‘Stag’ and ‘Dancing Davy’.

John ‘Gypsy’ Davidson was a lovely man,  a great bloke and a great human being. Not many would know about his work with the Young Offenders Scheme and how he tried hard to give some young people an opportunity to regain respect and develop some skills in work placements. He was always ready to help out those who needed or wanted a helping hand.  He was a man of many facets and it is certain that, as individuals, we will all have our own memories of Gypsy and his infectious smile!

Our thoughts at this time are with Susan and their immediate family, along with his brother Maurice and other members of the Davidson family – many of whom have close links with Blaydon RFC.

RIP Gypsy. You will be greatly missed and long remembered by all who knew you!

Further information and details will be posted as they become available.

Wednesday & Sunday Carboot – to continue, following COVID 19 Guidelines

Both our Wednesday and Sunday Carboots continue, under category of Outdoor Markets:

 

SUNDAY: Sunday: Open from 5:00am to sellers. Please be aware on a Sunny day the carboot can be full for sellers by around 8am on a Sunday morning.

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WEDNESDAY: Open from 8:00am for sellers. 

 

More details on dedicated facebook and webpage:  http://www.blaydonrfc.co.uk/car-boot-sale/

 

ACADEMY APPOINTS FIRST TEAM REGULAR TO COACHING TEAM

BRFC are delighted to announce that Frazer Wilson is joining the Academy Coaching Team this season as an Assistant Coach to work alongside Justin, Steven, Keith and Paul. Frazer is a familiar face to most around the club and a first team regular. For those of you who don’t know Frazer well, here is an excellent Q&A to give you an insight into the new addition to the Academy set up.

-Name: Frazer Wilson

-Age: 27

-Position’s Played: Wing, centre, back row, currently hooker

-Highest level played: Falcons A team

-Clubs Played for: Gateshead, Ryton (Both Juniors), Blaydon

-Role Model & Why: Dorian Yates (6x Mr Olympia).

People may roll their eyes at a bodybuilder.

But as a guy who grew up in Birmingham in the 60’s & 70’s with very little. He decided to turn his energy into bodybuilding which requires huge self discipline and dedication.

He went about his business quietly training in England, then burst on to the stage in America and shocked the world with his incredible physique and his story to go with it.

His attitude to life alone, is why i see him as a fantastic role model for whom I have looked up to for years.

-Coaching philosophy: Work hard. Give your all. Don’t be scared to try something outside of the box.

-What do you like about Blaydon?

Coming from Gateshead, Blaydon isn’t my hometown club. However it certainly feels that way. Everyone is so welcoming and friendly.

Failure or success in any team at Blaydon feels like it affects the club as a whole, because we are so tightly knit.

 

-Why did you take this role? I think development as rugby players and as young people at this particular age is so important. I hope I can have an impact on everyone involved to not only become better rugby players, to learn, love and enjoy the game, but to become better people along the way.

-Any other comments?

I can’t wait to get started as this is my first official coaching role.

Thank you

BRFC would like to wish Frazer all the best in his new role and we see this as a great appointment moving forward with the Academy.

 

Rugby Club to re-open Saturday 4th July, we need your support

Pre-register online:  CLICK HERE….

 

WE ARE BACK UP AND RUNNING AT BRFC THIS WEEKEND

There’s lots of activity going on behind the scenes in preparation for the reopening of the clubhouse this Saturday. We have a number of staff helping to ensure the safety of all members and guests with strict enforcement of the guidelines, which are based upon the 2m social distancing rule.

This means we can accommodate people inside on widely spaced tables and in small groups, as well utilising our huge outside space. We will need to limit numbers inside as standing at the bar is not allowed and table service will be in operation.

Please be aware that service will be slower than usual, especially if you fail to pre-register by completing the Google   Form…….   prior to your visit. Those records will be kept secure for 21 days and will only be needed by Track and Trace in the case of a confirmed case of Covid-19. Please note people who haven’t pre-registered should be bring ID, no ID, they will be asked to leave the premises unless they can prove via phone.

Please be prepared to pay by contactless payment only. Unfortunately, at this time to avoid the further risk of cross contamination Membership Cards will not be in operation initially, although this will be reviewed moving forward.

As is the norm these days there will be queueing marks on the floor at certain parts and a one-way system round the building. Those people visiting the bar at the weekend will be using the WC facilities in the foyer to keep the number of people moving around inside the building to a minimum. Further details/signage will be clearly visible on the day.

Please remember to bring your own chairs, gazebo and picnic blankets as there is plenty of room outside to socially distance from one another. At the moment the weather forecast is dry mostly cloudy with sunny spells, so fingers crossed, but you never know and clearly, we will not be able to allow a big rush of people inside for obvious reasons.

With your help and understanding we can all stay safe and keep the virus at bay while enjoying ourselves. We look forward to seeing you at the weekend, the bar will be open Saturday 12-11pm and Sunday 12-5pm. Please remember to complete the registration   form………  prior to your visit, which will lead to a smoother operation on the day. Many thanks and stay safe!