The match against the Lions the following year on Tuesday 11 August saw the seat used again. So far as the boys’ physical engagement with the players or the ball, the game was very dull. The standout features of the game were the very short, white shorts and low-cut, lightweight boots the Lions played in which seemed to lend wings to their feet, compared to the plodding, high, ankle-protecting, square-nosed boots still being worn by New Zealanders. Of course, the standout player was Tony O’Reilly who seemed to epitomise a new character in the game of speed rather than slog, and of agility rather than lumbering about a soggy pitch.
That is the story of a seat that earned its keep over four years. The sponge rubber is long gone and borer have made some incursions, but the memories remain.
The funny thing is I hated rugby. When playing I always tried to be as far away from the ball as possible. There was no joy flogging around a sodden pitch at a place like Kimbolton, where the wind was icy cold and it was all but snowing. But kick a ‘footie’ I could. By Standard 6 (1959) I could plonk a ‘placie’ over the bar from nearly the 10 yard mark off my big toe and do a ‘droppie’ the same. And all in bare feet. Boots were a drag. At high school I elected to play soccer.