An Independent Family-Owned Newspaper
Follow us on:
Subscribe to our RSS News Feed
Drop-kick legend Jonny becomes Tigers’ patron
Wednesday, 30 May 2012
A community rugby union club has been boosted by the news England World Cup legend Jonny Wilkinson is to become its patron.
Southwark Tigers RFC runs adult and junior teams from a base in Burgess Park, off Old Kent Road.
It was the first inner-city junior rugby club in England, and has brought the game to thousands of youngsters who had never played before.
Toulon and former England fly-half Wilkinson made a surprise appearance at an event to honour Tigers’ founder and South London Press Our Heroes winner Vernon Neve-Dunn for all the work he had done for the community.
Mr Neve-Dunn said: “It was all quite a surprise. I’d been asked to come to the club early, because they were filming a video.
“I had to teach some children about the game in a classroom-type situation. There was a knock at the door, and suddenly in walked Jonny Wilkinson!
“He came up to me and said, ‘Congratulations – you’re an inspiration to the community’.
“He gave the boys a speech and we trained them together: he was my assistant coach.
“Later I asked him if he would be patron of the club, and he said yes.
“It was a tremendous honour. Obviously he’s based in France at the moment, but he did seem genuinely interested.
“We talked about the area and the challenges and we discussed several of the players and their potential.”
Mr Neve-Dunn formed the Tigers in 2000 from the back of his car.
They now have three adult and six junior teams and a membership of 300 players.
Mr Neve-Dunn said: “Many of the lads here haven’t had any exposure at all to rugby, but we find they have fantastic talent and ability.
“Having been with the club for this long, I sometimes get big lads coming up to me that I don’t recognise and saying, ‘I used to play for you when I was half this size’.”
Mr Neve-Dunn won a South London Press Our Heroes awards in 2011.
The club has received sponsorship from a number of sources, to help with its quest to raise £1million to build a clubhouse in Burgess Park.
For details of Southwark Tigers see email@example.com
All content © of South London Press unless stated otherwise.
Comments on this news item:
1 comments on this news item
Posted by : Ann, Rochester | Wednesday 06/Jun/2012 | Report this comment
Well deserved and congratulations Vern hopefully we can arrange another girls day with you next season Ann and all the Medway Girls Rugby Team
Add your comment:
Sir Ray Tindle
Advertise with us
Something to sell?
Are you in favour of dedicated cycle lanes?
|Secrets of Successful Trading|
|Cruise to New Zealand's Hobbit trail|
|2013 changes to PokerStars VIP system|
|The Secret to the Perfect Family Holiday|
|Motor Traders Drive out of Recession|
|The joys of Spaghetti Bolognese|
|Rafa Nadal PokerStars Competition Winner announced|
|Appropriate Dress to Wear on a Cruise|
|Cabbies ‘Retoot’ their Horns over Traffic Woes in London|
|Accidents Direct Organises Claim For Open Manhole Disaster|
|Flying from the south|
|A look at key changes in the motor industry|