Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Simon Easterby

I've only met Simon Easterby once. I was door knocking in support of Alun Cairns in Barry at the last General Election. We were walking through a residential area when I espied a tall, powerfully built athletic man approaching us, who looked vaguely familiar. It was only when Alun said "Hello Simon" that I realised that I was in the presence of greatness. Mr and Mrs Simon Easterby and Mr and Mrs Alun Cairns were converting farm buildings into houses next to each other. I'm not sure that Alun fully understood what a wonderful rugby player he was dealing with.

I mention this because Simon Easterby announced his retirement from international rugby today, after 65 appearances for Ireland. I have a special regard for back row men, especially the real unsung grafters - the Dai Morris, Gerry Collins types. It was entirely possible to watch a game in which Simon's name was not mentioned by the commentators once - until he was given the Man of the Match award at the end.

I know he's Irish. But with No 1 son, Edward working in Cork for the last few years, and Adrienne, who is marrying No 3 son, Tim in July hailing from Macroom, I feel half Irish myself. Anyway, Simon has given such fantastic and loyal service to the Scarlets and has married a lovely Welsh girl, with a fine rugby pedigree herself, and has settled down here, I see him as an honorary Welshman. He deserves his place on a Wales based blog. So its thanks for the memories and best wishes to a gentleman and a star in retirement.


Stuart Rendel said...

Interesting to see that Alun Cairns is now a regional AM who it seems can not even be bothered to live in his constituency.Is he still claiming the Cardiff alllowance which he used to claim when he lived just inside his constituency at Bridgend which amere 35 minutes from the Bay? The sooner the whole allowance system is cleaned up the better for everyone in Welsh politics.

Glyn Davies said...

stuart - sorry, but I won't hear a word against Alun. He is an incredibly hard working and enthusiastic politician. I agree that the allowance system should be reviewed - but I should add that if everything is transparent and receipts covered, there should be no room for any abuse.

Robin Young said...

I agree with your sentiments of Simon Easterby entirely.
I knew Simon as a young lad playing his rugby for Harrogate in Yorkshire and was under the coaching genius of my father Jeff Young.
He has matured fantastically into a brilliant grafting back row forward who has never taken a step back but has always maintained that acute level of decorum off the field. A real gent.
Well done to you for honouring him as an adopted Welshman, no higher honour can be bestowed.