Today, we remember our much-loved former Club president and long serving player, Allen Gay who sadly passed away in December. His family and friends will gather at the Rec this afternoon to celebrate and pay tribute to his incredible life.
Allen was a man whose family connections ran deep within our Club. Not only did he share the field with his younger brother, David (Gay) - an England International and Bath Rugby No.8, he was also following in the proud footsteps of his father Bill (Gay), who wore the Blue, Black and White with pride on over 51 occasions between 1936 and 1939.
Allen’s time with our Club spanned over 30 years, and it was his 105-appearance career coupled with his commitment to the Past Players’ Association following his retirement from the game that earnt him the prestigious Club Presidency.
Allen was president of Bath Rugby from 2009-2011 and saw the Club go on to be decorated with both domestic and European honors.
The former Full Back made his debut for the Blue, Black and White on 20th March 1965 against Newbridge with the final of his 105 appearances coming against Cheltenham on the 4th September 1971. Prior to joining Bath Rugby Allen played for Walcot Old Boys RFC and Bristol RFC.
During his school days, Allen attended South Twerton Junior School and Bath Technical School
Below we share Allen’s first team playing record which shows just how much he gave to our Club.
On behalf of all at Bath Rugby, we extend our love to Allen’s family and friends today and we join them in celebrating Allen’s life.
ALLEN GAY – 1ST XV PLAYING RECORD
8th September 1964
A Bath and District team versus Cornwall Junior Rugby Group, included Allen Gay, David Gay and M Read from the Walcot Club, and in February 1965 Allen was recommended for a trial with Bath.
Enter - Allen Gay, brother to David, and sons of ex- Police Sergeant Bill Gay, who was a regular wing forward in the late 1930's. Bill was elected Club Captain for the 1939-40 season, but unfortunately the Second World War intervened, and he was called to essential duties.
ALLEN’S 1ST XV DEBUT
20th March 1965 | Bath Rugby 6 – 6 Newbridge (A)
Line up: A Gay, N Bruford, B O’Mara, G Margretts, J Monahan, B Perry, J Galley (Drop Goal), P Parfitt, C Buckle, R Smerdon, P Heindorff, R Marson, T Martland, A Comer (Penalty) and P Hall.
It was Phil Hall’s 150th game for the Bath 1st XV
A debut game for full-back Allen Gay, who performed creditably in testing, wet and windy conditions. He even managed a fine touchline run, in combination with Brendan Perry.
5th April 1965 | Bath Rugby 17 – 12 Bristol (H)
Line up: A Gay, Margretts, O’Mara, Frankcom, N Bruford, Perry, Galley, P Parfitt, Buckle, Smerdon, C Armstrong, Marson, Martland, Heindorff, and P Hall.
It was Bath’s first win over Bristol rivals since 16th October 1954 when they won 5-3. During that period, Bristol had been top dogs at 20 encounters.
“Geoff Frankcom who was celebrating his birthday, played a vital part in the victory perhaps, but he was for once, only an integral part of a fighting effort from everyone, from hooker Clive Buckle to full-back Allen Gay. The forwards were in tremendous form and undoubtedly laid the foundations for success by their first-class backing up.” (JOHN STEVENS – BATH CHRONICLE)
20TH April 1965 | Bath Rugby 19 – 6 Llanelly (H)
Line up: A Gay, G Margretts (Try, Conversion), T Martland (Drop Goal), B O’Mara (Try), J Monahan, B Perry (Drop Goal, Conversion), J Millman, P Parfitt (Try), C Buckle, D Robson, J Parsons, R Marson, J Ziupa, P Heindorff and P Hall.
BEAT THE SCARLETTS - As the score suggests, Bath finished their home games on a high note. It was their first win against a Welsh club that season.
This traditional ‘Rag Doll’ game was marred by some unnecessary niggles and led to threats of a possible “Ban Bath” stemming from the West Wales Club. Welsh centre Ken Jones said: “Even the toughest games between keen Welsh rivals are like Sunday School outings compared with the Bath match.”
ALLEN’S BROTHER DAVID ARRIVES!
2nd September 1965 | Bath Rugby 15 – 5 Zummerzet Barbarians (H)
Line up: A Gay (Try), J Monahan, B O’Mara, G Margretts, J Donovan (Try), R Farnham, J Galley, P Parfitt, C Buckle, P Jenkins, R Marson, J Parsons(T), T Martland (Try), D Gay and P Hall (Try).
David Gay’s debut and a good start to the Centenary season.
Allen Gay showed great determination, holding off two defenders for his try, whilst Martland displayed his running skills, as he swerved and jinked through a mass of defenders.
11th September 1965 | Bath Rugby 3 - 9 Leicester (A)
Line up: A Gay, G Hand, B O’Mara, G Margretts, P Sibley(debut), R Farnham, J Galley, P Parfitt, C Buckle, F Williams, J Parsons, R Marson, T Martland, P Heindorff and P Hall.
The slow-moving Bath three quarters did not trouble the Leicester defence unduly. Soon the Leicester backs clicked into top gear and it was left to full-back Allen Gay, who's faultless positioning and safe hands enabled him to clear the lines. It was Gay's 30-yard penalty that kept Bath in touch. The forwards played well enough, but sadly, the backs were unequal to the task.
16th September 1965 | Bath Rugby 8 - 12 Alec Lewis’s International XV
Line up: Allen Gay (Conversion), J Donovan, G Margretts, B O’Mara, P Sibley, R Farnham, J Galley, P Parfitt, C Buckle, F Williams, R Marson, P Heindorff, T Martland, D Gay, P Hall (Try x 2)
International Team: D Rutherford, A Hancock, K Nelson, W Patterson, D R R Morgan, F Hawkins, C Rowlands, A Horton, J Thorne, B Dovey, V Harding, M Davis, N Silk, D Perry (Capt.), D Rogers.
“The game had everything - thrills, perfect passing movements, wonderful forward play, breathtaking running - and though Bath’s dream victory did not come true, they hardly did themselves any harm by this performance.”
Referee was Air Marshal Sir Augustus Walker K.C.B., C.B.E., D.S.O., D.F.C., A.F.C., R.A.F., and President of the R.F.U.
16th October 1965 | Bath Rugby 3 - 8 Bristol (H)
Line up: A Gay, P Sibley, G Margretts, T Martland, B O’Mara, Derrick Williams (Mountain Ash and Cardiff), J Galley, P Parfitt, C Buckle, F Williams(T), P Heindorff, R Marson, W Lye, A Comer and P Hall.
As the game progressed, Bristol had decided to neglect the handling game, and concentrate on a series of kicks and rushes. Thankfully, Allen Gay was on form and was singularly successful in covering defence and touch finding.
IT’S A KNOCK-OUT!
21st October 1967 | Bath Rugby 6 - 5 Bristol (H)
Line up: A F Gay, P C Sibley, J R Donovan, G P Frankcom, I F Duckworth, J A Thomas, M Lloyd, P J K Parfitt, A Parfitt, J S Parsons, R J Orledge, P B Heindorff, T D Martland, D J Gay, P R Hall.
Bath chalked up a memorable victory in greasy conditions, despite losing Allen Gay with concussion, after only ten minutes play. (He had collided with Hillyard). At a very late stage, Gay again took the field. Thankfully, the heavy work had been done and Bath celebrated a deserved, if narrow win.
Allen had been first choice full back since his debut in March 1965. Then along came Jim Waterman.
The schoolteacher made his debut against Ebbw Vale on 21st September 1968 andwas soon capitalising on the law discouraging direct kicks to touch from 25. He frequently ran from deep positions to link with his three-quarters.
In December came the news that at age 26, fellow full-back Allen Gay had decided to join Bristol. A gritty and determined tackler, he had rendered exceptional service to the Bath club. His departure was regretted.
The arrival of Jim Waterman must have been a factor for his decision. The good news was that he was back in the Bath fold by April of the same season!
With Waterman on board, David was to play some cracking games at centre. Notably, he contributed the first drop-goal of the season in an away win against United Services, Portsmouth in November 1969.
He was again at centre for a 16-6 home win against Sale. Martland made a long -waited return at full-back and Waterman moved out to the wing.
4th April 1970 | Bath Rugby 16 - 6 Sale (H)
Line up: T Martland (Drop Goal), R Elliott, A F Gay, J R Donovan (Try), J S Waterman (Conversion x 2, Penatly), B Perry, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, N C Carter, P M B Heindorff, K Plummer, R J Walkey, R Lye and P R Hall (Try).
TOUCH JUDGE SENT OFF!
This was the game when Club stalwart J F (Jim) Vaissiere, acting as Touch Judge, was sent off the field by referee Mike Titcombe, for shouting at the players.
100th APPEARANCE FOR BATH RUGBY
1st October 1970 | Bath Rugby 19 - 6 Bridgwater (A)
Line up: J S Waterman, M Polledri, J R Donovan, N Brewer, I F Duckworth, B Perry, M C Lloyd, M R Hannell, A Parfitt, K S Plummer, P B Heindorff, R J Orledge, A Gay, R Lye and P R Hall. Played under Floodlight.
It was Alan Gay's 100th 1st XV game and his brother David, was going to catch up by January.
ALLEN’S FINAL 1ST XV APPEARANCE
4th September 1971 | Bath Rugby 0 - 20 Cheltenham (H)
Line up: A Gay, T Norris (debut), R Elliott, B Perry, P B Glover, G Phillips, M C Lloyd, P J K Parfitt, A Parfitt, K Plummer, M R Hannell, B Jenkins, R J Walkey, R Lye, D J Gay.
A car breakdown, meant that Polledri failed to turn up on time and Bath played 20 minutes with 14 men, with Walkey as make-shift full-back. Once again they fell pray to the 'Garden City' men, with a ragged and indifferent display. At the finish, Cheltenham had run in four tries and Bath trudged off thoroughly demoralised.
An unfortunate result, but signaling an end to Allen’s first class player career.
Name: Allen Gay
Position: Full Back
Honours: Somerset RFC
Debut: 20th March 1965 v Newbridge
Final game: 4th September 1971 v Cheltenham
Number of Appearances: 105