Message from the president
“Nearly two years ago a few chaps decided it was time that the Medics stopped idly discussing their apathy concerning the lack of extramural activities and complaining about the Medical School being little more than a technical college with no thought for anything other than work and did something about it. As a result the Medical R.F.C. came into existence – Professor Smout put up the monies”.
- Queens Medical Magazine 1960
This year’s season marks 65 years since Richard Donovan and Co. founded our great club. Scarily, this also means that 15 years have elapsed since my first season at University which culminated in the 50th Anniversary dinner. This realisation has left me rapidly approaching a mid-life crisis and in a rather reflective mood when writing this years season opening message.
Through the decades, the club has not just provided an opportunity to play rugby to those with nothing better to do with their weekends, but has been a crucial social support for generations of clubmen as they navigate their way through medical school. The relationships forged on the rugby pitch and honed in the various watering holes of Selly Oak, endure between us all. Whether it is a passing conversation on a ward or an unexpected rendezvous at a wedding, you can always be assured that when you bump into a Old Boy it will take little time to slip back into old habits.
It has been fantastic to see first hand the enthusiasm for club tradition and history that the current crop have shown in recent years. From the constant advertisement of club stash based on old tour shirts, to the honours board proudly hanging at Avery Fields, it’s clear that today’s UBMSRFC are as proud of the club of old, as they are keen to add their own enduring traditions. A great example of this has been the production of official club caps (see pics for last years dinner), which are available to any final year or old boy who were chairman, club captain or were awarded clubman of the year.
Of course, the club is now a much more diverse society then it once was, and today would rather be identified as UBMSRFC than “the medics”. This weekend saw the traditional start of the season with what I’m sure was a fairly moderate trials daysocial. The recruitment of near enough an entire team of new players is something that few clubs in the region could dream of, and reflects the high regard the club still holds in the medical school and across the University. The club is nowable to attract professional coaches to help with player development and aid the quest for the illusive NAMS title.
In addition to NAMS fixtures, the club now plays in division 1 of the Midlands reserve team league: a competitive league against development sides from some of the best clubs in the West Midlands. This, and the appointment of new coaching staff, means the rugby playing aspects of the club have improved dramatically in recent years. The Old Boys Association is very pleased to be able to give financial support to these endeavours, as well as remaining in a financially sound position itself. We are very grateful to those who continue to support the club through their annual contributionsto this fund. Those of you who have just joined the illustrious ranks of the “Old Boys” and received your first pay checks in the last month can find the details for setting up their standing orders below. We do not ask for a specific amount, but rather that you contribute whatever you feel is reasonable. In return for your kind donations, the Old Boy Association committee will strive to keep you updated with club news, fixtures and events.
To mark the auspicious occasion of the 65th Anniversary the annual rugby dinner will this year be held on the 18th March 2023, supposedly at Worcester Sixways (although that may depend on which holding company currently owns the banqueting suite). Much like the 60th dinner, the current boys are making great efforts to make this a huge event honouring the club’s history. So, dust off the tux, acquire the relevant permissions for a weekend away from family duties and make a booking at the dodgiest hotel you can find on the Hagley road because this is surely a dinner not to miss. Even if you cannot make the dinner, get yourselves down to Avery Fields to support the Old Boys looking to make it 5 years in a row lifting the Tom Oakland Cup!
Vive le cloob
Josh “Tin tin” Whittaker
UBMSRFC Old Boys Association President