Dear members, a few weeks ago, I was asked to consider the nomination of Club President as Mark Dutton had decided to step down after many loyal years of invaluable service to the club. Can you imagine what a fantastic honour it was just to be considered, let alone nominated. After much soul searching and hard thinking I accepted the nomination and on the 6th of June 2022 I was officially elected at the AGM. I have been with Eccles Rugby Club since the 1972/1973 season and so this coming season will be my 50th with the club.
I have been lucky enough to have played for every senior team, from the 5XV up to the 1XV and back down again. I also captained the 3XV for 3 seasons, and am probably best known by the newer and younger members as that grumpy old fart that now coaches the U/9s! After coaching our younger members for 20 years I have managed to make many friends, both of players and their parents, and have also been delighted at the progress of my protégées over those years. Ok, that's a brief history of me, let's now look to the future of our club.
As you know Eccles RFC is non-profit making organisation, run by an amazing group of volunteers - from our Committee members, Duke of Edinburgh organisers, Thursday Work Party members who maintain the facilities and pitches (commonly known as the fossils, which includes myself), the ladies that help run the kitchen and serve food on Saturday and Sunday, our club historian, the ladies and gents that make sure all our events are spectacular, our Safeguarding Officer and not forgetting our army of managers and coaches that help to point our boys and girls in the right direction in enjoying our great game. We have Mens, Ladies, Colts, Girls, Juniors and Minis teams, not forgetting Walking Rugby and Summer Touch Rugby so as you can see, we are truly diverse when it comes to our Rugby. My hope for the future of this great club of ours is that we can bring all these individual sections much closer together, working towards the goal of ‘one inclusive club’.
We already have a great reputation within the district and Lancashire, as a club that can be relied on to put on a good show but my hope is that we become the first name on the list when it comes to getting the job done right. I’m not sure if my passion for Eccles R.F.C. comes across in this short address but if you are left in any doubt come and stand with me on a cold wet Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning and I think you will soon get the message. “COME ON ECCLES!“. Thank you for reading until the end. I know I can go on a bit but what I lack in stature I make up for in gob!
I am delighted to represent the club as its President and I’m looking forward to the year ahead and all that will bring.
Yours in rugby Alan (Benty) Bent.