Rugby treasure donated to the RNRU

The Royal Navy has a long tradition of playing rugby in distant shores and during the RNRU’s hundred year history, there have been numerous fixtures against all levels and standard of opponents. Although the records of long past fixtures are patchy at best there is a lasting record of a fixture played by HMS IMPLACABLE in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 1945; indeed there is also a lasting memento as well! The ball used for the match and signed by all of the players from both teams had been a treasured possession of David "Goose" Frid who played rugby at local, provincial and international level for over 50-years. ‘Goose’ amassed an enormous collection of rugby memorabilia during that time, and his daughter and executor of the family estate, Leanne Frid, contacted the RNRU after reading of our centenary and offered to donate the ball to Navy Rugby as she had been unable to make contact or ascertain if there was a HMS IMPLACABLE Association. It was indeed fortunate that an old rugby playing friend of ‘Goose’, Howard Todd, himself an ex member of the Royal Navy, was visiting the UK and was delighted to present the ball on behalf of the family. The ball was presented by Howard at HMS TEMERAIRE to Cdr Gary Bushell the Director of Community Rugby for the RNRU. Our heartfelt thanks go to Leanne Frid who had also taken the time to research some of the history of HMS IMPLACABLE in an attempt to link the ball and place the fixture into its historical context. She found that IMPLACABLE was an Aircraft Carrier in WWII and at the end of the war had been converted into a troop ship being used to take home Canadian/Commonwealth POW's from the Far East. She made stops in Sydney, the Philippines, Borneo, Pearl Harbour Hawaii, Esquimalt B.C., and Vancouver B.C. all in the autumn of 1945. It remains a mystery how ‘Goose’ originally got hold of the IMPLACABLE ball as he wasn’t in British Columbia in Autumn 1945 but it is thanks to him that the ball survived and is now in the safe hands of the RNRU. David ‘Goose’ Frid was a real character of our game and more information is available, about this man who dedicated so much of his life to rugby at: