12 May 2023

PO(AET) Guy Pallet Worthy Recipient of Soapy Watson Memorial Trophy

Written by Geraint Ashton-Jones and Aidan Riley; Images by Alligin Photography

Soapy Watson Memorial Trophy - PO(AET) Guy Pallet

The Soapy Watson award was first presented in 2007 in memory of Warrant Officer ‘Soapy” Watson, this trophy is presented to the training support group (TSG) member who has contributed over and above the call of duty from across the representative area.

Soapy was the most consummate of team players whose support to Navy Rugby was fulsome at all levels and his abilities as an administrator were outstanding; he spent five seasons involved with the management of the Senior XV and created what is now known as the Mariners team after challenging the other two Services to an over 35 veterans match in 1995. Soapy was a great man and someone who reflected the commitment and values that are strived for in Navy Rugby.

With Soapy’s connection to the Mariners team and with it last one won by Mariner Andrew 'Sherlock' Holmes, it is fitting that this season’s award goes to an individual who has contributed greatly to the team over the course of many years……

Utterly dependable, trusted and respected across the RNRU family, POAET Guy Pallett has been instrumental over the past 6 years, consistently providing a platform for success in ensuring that the Mariners are at their very best preparedness. Without his unwavering support the team would have struggled, not only in the preparation of the fixtures – through the difficult period of COVID19 and the subsequent return to play – but also in the corralling of the squad, the constant endeavour to find younger ‘blood’, liaison with Commanding Officer’s, budgeting, provision of clean kit, food, facilities and training camps – all in the face of reduced player numbers, T&S scrutineers and in addition to his very busy day job.

Much of what the Team Manager and ‘Kit-Man’ does is unseen, and therefore taken for granted, yet, without exception, Guy continues to provide everything that allows the team to take to the field and play unhindered, all without complaint and in his usual unflappable manner.

An ex-Mariner and former team captain, winning the IS on his first attempt in 2015, he assumed the role as TM with very limited notice, rapidly assimilating the task in hand; he immediately set about his voluntary ToRs with limited assistance, delivering a high-quality service that has seen the Mariners flourish in recent years. It is this selfless commitment and can-do attitude that, under significant timing, financial and personnel pressures, he continually ensured the Mariners were in the right place, at the right time, all in good order.

Guy is the ‘beating heart’ of the Mariners’ operation, having played, managed, and led, his unique relationship and sense of humour underpin the team ethos. The consistency of success he brings in delivering every time, especially in the face of challenges, his leadership and management acumen, accomplishment with people, and ability to make things happen will be missed. He truly epitomises what the Mariners stand for and the team cohesion and spirit.

Guy is potentially, but hopefully not, off to new pastures beyond the Service, for which we wish him luck in every endeavour, but in recognition of his selfless, unrelenting service to the RNRU Mariners, Guy Pallett is awarded the Soapy Watson Trophy for the TSG member or members who have contributed over and above the call of duty.