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Samantha Pritchard (daughter of Terry Price)
As kids we were part of the six ways family. I was born in 1973 and my mum carried me around the foundations of Six ways. My dad played rugby every week without fail!! Missing many a family wedding or do for rugby! He trained twice a week and would play for the police when they phoned. In between he would go up to the club for meetings and as captain would go to the laundrette with all the teams kit (only though when mum refused to wash them anymore by hand!).
As kids the rugby club was home from home. We knew everyone and everyone knew us. We were used to go to the garage and collecting the fishing landing net to rescue the balls from the stream quite often. We ran up and down the metal mint green stands shouting, as it echoed brilliantly around the pitches. We loved to swing from the tyre swing on the oak tree just outside the club house and run up and down the small hills alongside the pitches to catch daddy long legs. Our glass bottle of vimto was always ready for us in the bar and we loved nothing better than snuggling up to Jeeves the ageing Labrador whose home was the flat upstairs.
No area of the club was off limits to us kids and we were also allowed to travel on the coach to away games. We were well practised in singing rugby songs, especially anything Max Boyce related!! Especially after his visit to the club. I remember mum and dad being chairs of ladies and men’s committee. Ladies had their meetings in the lounge and I remember feeling chuffed that I could go in the lounge.
I remember the club getting their first pool table, and it changing so you could put the very new 20p coins in it. Dad once dressed as ‘Compo’ for a last of the summer wine production! Children were not allowed!! All the players children would be put on a coach each Christmas and taken to watch a Pantomime.
The whole family would help in rugby club gala day. I was only 2 when I met the Wombles. I remember this day as though it was yesterday. I wanted to meet them but I was frightened so I had to sit in my dads lap!! I remember dad dressing up as a cowboy for the donkey derby! Bonfire night was really special. We would all get together for a proper bonfire with a guy and fireworks. Jacket potatoes would then be put on the burning embers and everyone would gather for the all important rugby songs.
We also loved meeting the visiting teams from Texas, Canada, and New Zealand. It was a real experience watching the New Zealand team (1980) do the Hakka and even more of an experience watching my dad and his team put black shoe polish stripes on their faces and turn round and do their own version of the Hakka back!!! Both teams were in hysterics! After, I was given a ‘tiki’ from one of the players. A New Zealand good luck charm. I still have it to this day.
As a little girl I could never understand why all the grown up players were calling each other Norm, why one player had to carry a pink panther cuddley toy round the clubhouse after a game or why when a metal tray was dropped, all the players would go onto one knee and sing!!! And I thought we were the kids!!!
We loved helping our mums in the kitchen serve the meals after the match. As a teenager I still went to the rugby club but instead of watching dad I’d watch the colts on the next pitch!! As a child of a rugby player you had no sympathy to injuries. You felt safe and it was like being the centre of a giant hug, everyone watched out for you. You were part of the Sixways family. I was very privileged.
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