Deacon’s School players return to remember ‘Eggy’

Tony McClure on the attack for the Juggers against Old Deaconians.
Tony McClure on the attack for the Juggers against Old Deaconians.
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A team of old Deacon’s School players rolled back the years on Saturday when they came out of retirement to play in a special memorial match.

For several years, players who represented the big Peterborough rugby school between 1981 and 1997 have been getting together to chat over old times.

Old Deaconians have possession against the Juggers.

Old Deaconians have possession against the Juggers.

This year, instead of talking a good game, they decided to play one.

“Because we lost one of our own this year, Anthony Eggleston, we decided it would be fitting to play our last game in remembrance of ‘Eggy’ and pull on the Deacon’s 1st XV colours one last time,” said match organiser Paul Stimpson.

Following a minute’s silence prior to the game a substantial crowd were treated to an open and competitive match between Old Deaconians and Peterborough Juggers and a 5-5 draw was a fitting result given the occasion.

Skipper Tony McClure scored the Juggers try with former Borough first team star Pete Brudnell equalising.

Borough Juggers put the boot in.

Borough Juggers put the boot in.

Stimpson added: “It was a fantastic day for all involved. There were many highlights throughout the game, which was excellently refereed by Andy Croson, but seeing the smile on Harry Facer’s face when he came on for his scrum was a stand-out moment. Eggy would have loved it.”

Harry, the Deacon’s captain in the 1985/86 season, has been battling Motor Neurone Disease for 10 years but was determined to get in on the action.

And also in attendance was Franco Antonelli, the ex-Deacon’s School star who became paralysed from the shoulders down in 1986 at the age of 18 after breaking his neck while playing for Borough Colts.

A special moment at a special match as Harry Facer, who has Motor Neurone Disease,  scrums down again in Deacons School colours.

A special moment at a special match as Harry Facer, who has Motor Neurone Disease, scrums down again in Deacons School colours.

Borough Juggers face the camera before their game against Old Deacoinians. From the left they are, back, Martin Warren, Clint Bell, Carl Beschizza, David Dawkins, Sean Enright, Tony McClure,  Jason Hinch, Alan Gwinnett, Jason Purllant, Lee Adamson, Tim Hargreaves, front, Steve Lilley, Dick Hill, Tony Hill, Pete Hibbins, Rob Warlow, Phill Fernie and Mark Edwards. Players not pictured  Chris Coyle, Aubrey Thomas and Ian Thomas.

Borough Juggers face the camera before their game against Old Deacoinians. From the left they are, back, Martin Warren, Clint Bell, Carl Beschizza, David Dawkins, Sean Enright, Tony McClure, Jason Hinch, Alan Gwinnett, Jason Purllant, Lee Adamson, Tim Hargreaves, front, Steve Lilley, Dick Hill, Tony Hill, Pete Hibbins, Rob Warlow, Phill Fernie and Mark Edwards. Players not pictured Chris Coyle, Aubrey Thomas and Ian Thomas.

The Old Deaconians XV that drew with the Juggers. From the left they are, back, Darren Theakstone, Pete Brudnell, Chris Templeman, Andy McGeown, Roger Paton, Howard Tilney, Dave Hagerty, Dale Barker, Pete Talbott, Stuart Bright, Harry Facer, Chris Cook, Lakbir Bhondi, Dan Stuffins, Jake Musson, Tariq Iqbal, front,  Paul Hoffmann,Dave Musson, Dave Lutton, Rich Peart, Neil Foster, Paul Stimpson, Chris Tait, Steve Hoffmann, Franco Antonelli , Andy Lesiw, Matt Stuffins, Sam Williams and Dave Brudnell. The kit was supplied by Sam Sargeant of  SRG Elite Sports.

The Old Deaconians XV that drew with the Juggers. From the left they are, back, Darren Theakstone, Pete Brudnell, Chris Templeman, Andy McGeown, Roger Paton, Howard Tilney, Dave Hagerty, Dale Barker, Pete Talbott, Stuart Bright, Harry Facer, Chris Cook, Lakbir Bhondi, Dan Stuffins, Jake Musson, Tariq Iqbal, front, Paul Hoffmann,Dave Musson, Dave Lutton, Rich Peart, Neil Foster, Paul Stimpson, Chris Tait, Steve Hoffmann, Franco Antonelli , Andy Lesiw, Matt Stuffins, Sam Williams and Dave Brudnell. The kit was supplied by Sam Sargeant of SRG Elite Sports.