Last night, Bath Rugby inducted four long-standing heroes into its inaugural Off-Pitch Hall of Fame.
The award recognises the achievements and service of extraordinary people and the lasting legacy their actions have had on the Club we know today.
Inducted nominees were presented with a commemorative engraved decanter following the champagne reception and fine dining event held at the Club’s headquarters, Farleigh House.
Tarquin McDonald, Chief Executive, Bath Rugby said; “We regularly honour those that serve on the field from players and coaches, past to present. Last night, we were humbled to honour four inspiring people that that stood behind the touchlines, going above and beyond, day in, day out, for this Club. The off-pitch hall of fame is about thanking these extraordinary individuals and giving them the recognition they deserve for their immeasurable contribution and life-long commitment to Bath Rugby.”
This season’s inductees are as follows:
Dave Robson (deceased, award collected by daughter and son)
Dave Robson played for the Club for a number of years between 1957-1971. He played a vital role in the recruitment of new players and would also find employment for them when they moved to Bath.
He was a coach (with Tom Hudson) both before and when Jack Rowell was Head Coach. When Jack Rowell arrived in 1978 Dave Robson was already heavily involved in training under Coach Tom Martland and was always looking for innovative ways to make training more varied and enjoyable. His enthusiasm was insurmountable. With Jack heading the team they introduced a structured approach to key matches, provided motivation, specific training and development targets which all lead to inspiration, team spirit and ultimately, honours. They also saw the introduction of energy drinks, demanded meals for players after training, and supervised conditioning of players to meet match demands. Between them they changed the face of rugby on the Recreation Ground forever and brought a professional approach to the game more than 10 years before professionalism came to the sport.
Peter Hall - (present at the event)
Peter Hall comes from a sporting family closely associated with Bath Rugby. His father-in-law Harry Vowles played as a scrum-half for the club, whilst his son Jon is regarded as one of the all-time greats to pull on the Blue, Black and White jersey. Peter himself played 33 times for the Club during the 1950s and went on to become Player President. He is also the co-author of two books about the history of the Club - “Before the Lemons” and “After the Lemons”, which provided an abundance of information that greatly helped to prepare the Bath Rugby heritage website.
Richard Seaman – (present at the event)
Richard Seaman is one of the unsung heroes of the Club. He worked as Honorary Team Secretary between 1987 and 1993, before becoming a long-standing figure in the Management Committee and of the Bath Football Club Trust between 1996 and 2013. Richard was always on hand to help with maintenance jobs such as floodlight issues and general match preparation.
Tom Hudson - (unable to attend due to ill health)
Tom Hudson is a legendary fitness coach that joined Robson and Rowell at Bath. As a result of structured fitness training his former Club Llanelli became a very exciting and formidable side, eventually being the first club side to defeat the All Blacks. In 1973 Tom Hudson had left Llanelli and became the first ever Director of Sport at Bath University. Tom was keen on conditioning players in preparation for match days, believed that chosen games should be targeted and that a squad system should be introduced, all of which are methods that are instrumental to the modern game today.
Representatives from Bath Rugby included Club President, David Trick, Chief Executive, Tarquin McDonald, Director of Rugby, Todd Blackadder, Performance Director, Stuart Hooper and first team players Nathan Catt, Sam Underhill and Charlie Ewels.