Coaching in the days of the amateur rugby player

In a TV programme discussing the days of amateur rugby [Dec 2011], Welsh legend Gareth Edwards revealed widespread distaste for the notion of a professional coach. He would have been describing the scene in the 1960s

“In Scotland” Edwards recalled “there was no [international] coach. They were referred to then as ‘assistant to the captain’.”

Untarnished advice for free

The suggestion that the international team might have the amateur status ‘tarnished’ through professional advice was too much for the men in blazers (who one suspects were not averse to offering their own words of advice, in true amateur spirit).

Boot money

This was at a time when the same amateur players were allegedly recipients of sums of money which mysteriously found their way into boots before training sessions.

One Response to Coaching in the days of the amateur rugby player

  1. Paul Hinks says:

    Tudor –

    I didn’t see the program that you mention, but you hint at an interesting topic …

    I’ve spent some time involved with amateur football – I believe you’ve got to be passionate about the sport in question to be consistently turning up in all conditions, use poor changing facilities on pitches that can be heavy, uneven, and in the cold winter months generally boggy – yet still enjoy the overall experience!!

    I can relate to when players received boot money (also sometimes called travel expenses) – low financial reward generally doesn’t dampen the spirit and motivation of these folks – particularly the ones who reach the very top of their game – I’m sure most are motivated to play their chosen sport because of intrinsic factors and their love for the game.

    A very close friend of mine (unfortunately now passed away) played both amateur and professional football – including a short spell with Man Utd immediately after the Munich Disaster – this is the link to his obituary on the site:

    Warren was very much a personal Mentor for me over the years and we’d often exchange views on various topics, including most sports – reading articles such as this particular blog helps trigger memories of various conversations I’d had with Warren- it’s very interesting to see how sport (particularly football) has evolved over the past 20yrs, perhaps due to technology advances and the associated revenue streams that underpinning much more comprehensive media coverage.

    Although extensive media coverage has a darker side, I’d argue the influx of money from the media has generally helped sport. I can’t imagine Wayne Rooney finding sums of money stuffed in his boot these days …

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