We began the May 2022 memories meeting by discussing some of the excellent speakers who have entertained us over the past three years. Jim Fleming, the international referee recounted tales of his numerous classic matches that he officiated: one New Zealand v Australia Bledislo Cup match where the crowd of 110,000, a record number, were baying for blood.
Another speaker gave an account of the photograph of the first Scotland International team from Raeburn Place in Edinburgh in March 1971, (see photo below). The Calcutta Cup came to call, as did the future and now current President of the SRU. Several of our own players who won the championship in 1995 have described their memories.
We have a promise of a future visit from Hollie Davidson, but she is busy on television refereeing Women’s France v England, European mens match as touch judge, a World Cup play-off in Chile is also pending, then the women’s World Cup – but she will get to us!
Former team captain Willie Lambie (1956-7) was able to supply much appreciated information and team photo to a former player’s son following his request. Look out on the website for further follow-up to
On Monday 9th May we had the coach of the Wolves Team Craig Deacons (below) speaking about his rugby story. Craig joined the club as a sixteen year old from Crieff. His P.E. teacher saw his potential and had encouraged him into rugby. He then suggested a move on from his local club where there was
no youth rugby to Stirling County where he and his rugby would be developed. He never looked back.
He was welcomed to the club on his first evening by Alastair Redpath, a key memory for Craig and one which feels had a lasting impact on him. Out to the training field with 50 others and coached by Brian Robertson and Alan Armstrong he recognised rugby was serious here.
Craig played age-group representative rugby then developed into a stalwart County forward for his sixteen year playing career. He spoke of the many great players he played alongside at Stirling but also how this had led him into coaching with many great experiences, and excellent, if varied coaches each having their impact.
When he started coaching he felt he had to move from Stirling so took up as coach at Grangemouth
where he spent three successful and enjoyable years. This gave him valuable insights into players who have to fight for what they achieve and don’t have it handed on a plate. It gave him an understanding into what makes a winner and a winning team, all of which will help now that he has returned to the County Wolves.
Craig was also to answer the many questions we had:
Should players be allowed to play down from Super6?
How can you win when you have a much younger pool of players than the opposition?
Are you and the players able to link in to the Super6 training and coaching at County?
Why do Stirling have pattern of losing matches in the last quarter that they had already won in the first 60 minutes?
Is there a good way to farm players out to other teams to get experience?
How can we reduce the length of queues at the bar on match days ?
Of course you had to be at the meeting to hear the answers but they were incredibly clear, intelligent and articulate. Yes I think we were agreed that it is good to see Deaks back at the club and a positive future in coaching awaits.
The Memories group are having an off season break like the good old times and not like the poor or rich players of the present era. We hope to restart meetings in September but watch the website and Stirling Observer for news.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information or discussion about Stirling County memories