Adam Litowczyk (1950- 1983)
A most entertaining pre Christmas meal drinks party at Mike Lewis’s house in Malmesbury brought together Mike and Gordon Williams together with yours truly. Both Gordon and Mike had played for Minety in the past and were interested in how the club was doing now and started to swap stories about Minety RFC in the early 1980’s. Gordon was sure that he had some “memorabilia” and duly sent me through scans of quite a few photographs and documents.
One immediately caught my attention, because I had seen a copy of a very similar photograph on this site from quite some time ago.
This is the photograph that Gordon sent me, taken at the end of the 1983/4 season, probably April or May.
Thanks to Facebook and many contributors, especially Andy Somers, we can now not only identify the event but also all of the team and the three guests who appear on the 2nd row. The story that follows is still incomplete but makes for fascinating if rather poignant reading.
This was the first commemorative game for the Adam Litowczyk Cup.
In the team photograph, taken in September 1983, shortly after Adam’s tragic death:
B/R: Nigel Jobbins, Ian Neal, Gary Dodson, Roger Wickham, Pete Gifford, Alan Baker, Paul Harrington, John Butler, Adrian Fisher. M/R; James Wilson, Roy Caswell, Ian Risby, Keith Arrell, Tony Alderton, Mrs Litowczyk, Dave Hammond, Keith Davis, Andy Matthews. F/R; Kev Osborne, Kenny Wright, Eddie Wrona, Tim Williams, Gordon Williams, Nick Farr, Andy Somers, Dave Peirce.
Adam Litowczykwas born in Chippenham on 8th December 1950 but died tragically young, at the age of just 32, on 31st August 1983 in Malmesbury.
The lady sitting with a child on her lap in the middle row is Adam’s widow. His other child is with Keith Arrell, again on the 2nd row. Adam played rugby for Minety, Cirencester and Bath. We gave a collection to his widow and she presented us with a trophy. The club thought it fitting that Minety play an annual fixture v Cirencester. Sadly, that tradition is long lost.
Adam (seen here 3rd from right, back row) made 59 appearances for Bath in the second row. His debut was on 12th November 1975 and his final appearance was against Neath on 29th October 1977.
A huge bearded man, Adam was an imposing figure. John Butler recalls an altercation in a scrum on one occasion. After some goading and illegal goings on in a scrum Adam brought matters to a swift close – a huge fist shot up between the Minety props and knocked the opposing front row clean out of the scrum. There was no more fuss in scrummages during that match.
Those that knew him, describe Adam as being a “gentle giant” and his tragic death was a huge shock to everyone at Minety RFC.
Adam was also a talented cricketer, using his height to good effect as an attacking right arm medium bowler and rising to opening the bowling for Wiltshire in the Minor Counties Championship in both 1976 and 1977.
Another photograph, taken on the same day but without Mrs Litowczyk and her children, can be found here.
A clock in the clubhouse was presented to the club by Mrs Litowczyk and her family. Originally it featured a small plaque but this was lost when a visiting team decided it might be fun to remove the clock and take it away with them. Once they had been contacted and told of the importance of the clock to the club it was returned but sadly the plaque was never found.
The Adam Litowczyk trophy can be seen in the trophy cabinet at the Minety club house.
22nd November 2010 – Minety Under 17’s win the Dorset and Wilts Vase
The victorious Minety Under 17 team after defeating Bournemouth in a pulsating match played in the mud at Minety. The winning try came with just seconds left on the clock, scored by flanker Rob Hinwood.
In the team photograph above it’s so good to see that players from that era are now populating the 1st XV now (remarkable since many of them were soon to depart for university and college and now play their rugby all over the country). Featured above are 1st team regulars Ash and Tom Windle, Josh Bull and Dave Cooke. Joe Kidner and Elis Garland played some 1st XV matches last year and we’re hoping to welcome Rob Hinwood back to the club in the next few weeks. Book ending the back row are Tony Windle, now our main club sponsor, and Cliff Garland, our senior club coach.
Back row, left to right: Tony Windle, Dan Thomas (Coach), Alex Fraser, Olly Thomas, Sam Thomas, Elis Garland, James Bayes, Ash Windle, Dave Cooke, Josh Gainey, Sam Johnson, Tom Windle, Kieran Evett, Harry ?, Ben Thomas, Mike New, Dave Bull (Assistant Coach) & Cliff Garland (Assistant Coach).
Front row: ?, Rob Hinwood, Reece Kinnett , Jordan Wilcocks, Joe Kidner, Josh Bull and Alex Miriam
Looking back in time at Minety RFC
This time, it’s a look back at the Jubilee Year Celebration Match Programme from Saturday 7th September 1996, when Minety took on local rival Wootton Bassett in a special 25th anniversary match for both clubs.
Here are all of the pages from that historic programme. Click on an image for a full size version.
11th September 2010
Minety 1st XV 48 pts – Wootton Bassett 2nd XV 15pts
Minety opened their 40th anniversary season with a fine display of teamwork and running rugby, putting eight tries past their opponents from Wootton Bassett.
On a gloriously sunny September afternoon, it was the visitors who drew first blood thanks to a smartly struck drop goal from fly half Ieuen Clarence. Bassett’s lead proved short lived. Securing a steady supply of ball and distributing it even handedly, Minety attacked on all fronts and it wasn’t long before winger Ryan Dowling was flitting past his opponents for a try, which skipper Jack Ward converted.
This score was soon followed by one on the opposite wing as Russell Barstow sped in for a try. Centre Robin Greenwood added a third try and when Minety were awarded a penalty on their 10 metre line, they lost no time in taking a tap and go. A simple passing move slipped the ball to Dowling again and none of the visitors could catch him as he accelerated out of attempted tackles and ran in Minety’s try number four. Barstow slotted the conversion and the sides turned round with Minety leading by 24 points to 3.
The second half began with Minety mounting steady pressure on the Bassett line. The visitors tackled doggedly but could not prevent Ward from bursting through for a try under the posts. His conversion of his own try took Minety’s tally to 31 points, but though they returned to the attack, this time they spilled the ball deep in Bassett’s 22 metre area. Clarence was onto it in a trice and showed astonishing acceleration as he jinked and swerved his way through the home team before running the length of the pitch to score.
James Slater kicked the conversion for Bassett, but after that it was Minety on the attack again. Attempting to clear their lines, the visitors only succeeded in kicking the ball straight to Ward, who promptly set his three quarters moving again. This time number eight Ian Illingworth finished the move, powering over for a try which Ward converted.