The World’s Oldest Rugby Player
Easton Roy is a force of nature, with an energy and passion for life that would leave many a younger man bewildered. For his 95th Birthday he said to his friends he would like to run out on the 1st XV pitch again and play his beloved rugby with family and friends
So on Friday 27th April players from across the age range from Stirling County and also Bannockburn RFC took to the pitch to help celebrate Easton’s birthday – by enjoying the banter of a rugby game – with the odd drink of port before, during and after the game!
Easton took up rugby when he was in the RAF during World War 2 and then joined Stirling County when he returned after the war. He played regularly for the club for over 50 years and has had a number of “final games” to celebrate his 85, 90 and 92 birthday. But there is no stopping Easton. On Friday he played the full 40 minutes and finished the game with a try under the post.
So for me this covered of a couple of my passions, seeing people inspire others to achieve great things and the power of a shared experience is magnified when everyone is really enjoying themselves.
Then there is my other passion – photography and trying to capture a moment which is more than just an image but a moment in time that represents the spirit of that person or that place. Normally when I take photos I know when I have captured a special photo, what was interesting with this photo it wasn’t until I was going through them later that night that I came across this photo and it made me stop: “that is the one!” There was Easton coming off the pitch, drinking from the bottle of port, his friends cheering him on and it’s that glint in his eye – always mischievous with a smile.
So I was extremely pleased that that photo seemed to capture in that moment just what a great man and inspiration this guy was.
What I didn’t expect was just how much the photo would engage with the love of the #spiritoftugby around the world. Within 4 days it had been shared over 2,500 times and with over 7,500 likes, appeared on TV and featured in at least 6 newspapers and 7 rugby web sites.
The love for what Easton stands for – living a great life and at 95 still able to have a great time with his friends and family was brilliant. Most of the comments on the photo seem to be friends sharing with friends saying: you have no excuse when you see this guy – keep going, keep playing rugby!
Another great thing is that we have asked the papers to make a donation to Strathcarron Hospice – so hopefully we will also be able to raise some funds for a very special place.
Oh and one final point, the 10 players from Bannockburn team changed into their team shirts after the game and asked Easton to join them in a team photo – one of the players said “right that’s us got our winger for next season”.
Love life, live it to the full and enjoy the banter with friends- and don’t take yourself too seriously – we could learn a lot from this great man.
Oh and he has a gym in his house and works out every day….