Thursday 18 October 2018

Greystones Rugby Club celebrates 80 years

Paul McNaughton and Fran Nolan, President of Greystones RFC
Paul McNaughton and Fran Nolan, President of Greystones RFC
Sunny Kenny, Frank Doherty, Joe Boyle. Front: Brian O'Neill, Joe Devine, Alan Rochford, Jerome O'Brien
All the presidents who attended the 80th anniversary lunch assembled in the President’s Bar
Greystones Rugby Club celebrates 80 years: Kevin Keyes, Fran Nolan, Andrew Doyle, Alan Keyes, Donal Doyle, Louis Murray

Dan Gorman

A 45-year love affair with Greystones Rugby Club shows no signs of smouldering out for John Whiston.

The legendary club figure is currently the first-team assistant manager who devotes as much time as he can to the cause and takes massive satisfaction from seeing local youngsters playing for their local club.

Speaking after Greystones' first win of the season on Saturday - after five failed attempts - Whiston's passion was bubbling over as his beloved club celebrated victory and 80 years in existence.

'I'm very, very passionate about Greystones. I've been in Greystones Rugby club since 1972 so I've been here quite a long time. It is a fantastic club. All rugby clubs are good but this is a special one to me because it's my club.

'It should get better and better. We've got a great youth policy here which brings a lot of our players into the squad. Today's [Saturday's] squad had 17 or 18 who have come through our youths section which is great. It does a lot of good.'

Win, lose or draw, one thing is always guaranteed at Dr Hickey Park and that is a vocal and loyal support. Whiston hopes that by the time Greystones are toasting their 90-year anniversary, they'll be doing to in the top flight of Irish rugby.

'It does help that it was the anniversary of the club but we have a lot of very, very good guests here from Railway Union who were very good to us in the early days. It's great.

'Our ambition is very straightforward - we have ambitions to play in AIL Division 1. We've been there twice. Some people make a mistake by settling for something but we're not settling for anything other than going up. It'll be a tough ask this year because we're at the wrong end of the table now but our ambition next year will be to do better and better and better. I think we will do that as long as we keep producing the product in the club itself,' he said.

As well as the celebrations on the pitch last Saturday, there were plenty of good vibes in the clubhouse where an 80th anniversary lunch was a complete sell-out and club members, old and new, gathered to share memories and toast the club's continued success.

Bray People