Club chairman Dave Peirce summed up 1st XV winger Ben Langridge in those words after Ben’s final match for Minety (although we hope he’ll be back from time to time).
Ben, who only joined the club a couple of season ago, and who had never played rugby before, is leaving the area for a new job in London, but his contribution to the club at Minety has been significant.
Club captain Andrew Hibbard had nothing but good to say about Ben’s time in the first XV over the last season and a half. “He’s a good lad, quite quiet on the pitch vocally but he tackles hard, runs well and is always at training. It’s a sad loss to the club because he’s been a great character both on and off the pitch.”
Club chairman Dave Pierce was also fulsome with his praise. “He’s come on leaps and bounds over the last season and it’s difficult now to believe that he hadn’t played any rugby beforehand. He’s got the right attitude and is fiercely determined. He’s listened to advice and followed the example of far more experienced players and has now made himself a regular 1st XV player. His tackling is fearless and he just gets on with his game without any fuss or bother. We’ll all miss Ben but we wish him all the very best in the future and hope that he’ll be able to get the occasional weekend off to come and visit, and perhaps even play.”
“He’s a legend,” said Ben Collins, a wry smile spreading across his face. “Seriously though, he’s done really well and I’m sure he’ll find some good rugby to play up in London.”
Ben’s wing partner for the past season and a half has been Dave Cooke. “Ben’s been a great friend and I’ve really enjoyed seeing him develop as a player and a winger. I’ll miss him but feel sure that he’ll be able to find a club to play for in London – he’s got the talent to go far in the game.”
Ben was full of praise for the Minety club when we spoke after his last match, at home against Wootton Bassett. “I’d never played rugby before I came to Minety 2 years ago but it’s such an approachable club. The lads have been brilliant, so kind and I’ve made some great friendships here in a short time. It’s a sociable club and I’ve always been made to feel involved. In fact, even though I’m going quite a long way away, I hope that I can get back whenever possible.”
Dave Peirce with Ben