Centenary Cap Given Home At Twickenham
Prior to the Calcutta Cup fixture at Twickenham between England and Scotland, Brigadier Ewen Murchison presented the RFU with a cap from the Army Navy Centenary Match.
With the annual Army v Navy match fast approaching, and to recognise the uniqueness of this special fixture in Twickenham’s calendar, RFU Junior Vice President, His Honour Judge Jeff Blackett donated a commemorative cap from the 100th match between the two Service rivals to the World Rugby Museum in Twickenham.
The award-winning World Rugby Museum is the definitive home for everything and anything about rugby and it has recently undergone a significant make-over. Reopening in 2018, the new museum displays memorabilia from around the world and from all eras, making it a must visit for all rugby fans.
Jeff is a former player, Selector and Chairman of the Royal Navy Rugby Union. He joined the RFU council as the Royal Navy Representative in 2000 and has served as Discipline Officer (2003-2013), on the Board of Directors as Chairman of Governance (2014-2018). He was accompanied at the short donation ceremony by current Council Members from the Royal Navy: Brigadier Ewen Murchison DSO MBE, himself a former Royal Navy player and Chairman; and from Colonel James Cook OBE, who is also the Director of Community Rugby within the Army Rugby Union.
Phil McGowan, the museum curator, who gratefully received the commemorative cap, explained that: “the cutting-edge new museum is bigger, better, brighter and more interactive than ever before. It houses the world’s most prestigious collection of rugby memorabilia. This includes commentary, film and match-footage from the most iconic moments, memorable tours and greatest players in the history of the game. It also includes purpose-built events, education and research facilities and invites visitors to engage in the game with exciting hands-on interactive exhibits.”
The awarding of caps is a rugby tradition where a cap is given for each representative match played, although a physical cap is only awarded on the first occasion that it is earned. To mark the significance of the 100th Army v Navy match, a commemorative cap was designed for all players, from both Unions who took the field. This cap will take its place alongside a series of personally donated caps which chart the unique history of this match over time, within the permanent wartime gallery that examines the unique bond between rugby and the armed forces. It pays tribute to those who served in wartime and tells individual stories of bravery and sacrifice. Former England international and 2003 World Cup winner, Lewis Moody, commented: “Particularly special for me is the new wartime gallery, where the lives and sacrifices of rugby players during WWI and WWII, are remembered.”
The World Rugby Museum is offering a two for one special entry price for card carrying members, or former members, of the armed forces for one year from this year’s Army v Navy Match on 4th May. Go and have a look and take the family; you won’t be disappointed!
Words: Brig Ewen Murchison
Images: Royal Navy Rugby Union © Ewen Murchison