Two weeks ago Take The Three was privileged to be able to report first hand on Ossett RUFC tighthead stalwart Sam Drury’s 700th 1st XV appearance for the club.
If you thought it was impressive to get a personal message of congratulations from Sir Ian McGeechan, think again. Since then tributes have flooded in from both team mates and rugby legends the world over, to the extent that Sky Sports spoke to Sam for last week’s Rugby Club.
The Ossett club website has been inundated with messages such as one from team mate Nige Walker who said: “Well done Sam, 700 appearances for a first team in any position is a fantastic achievement – but in the front row – awesome!! Top man. A genuine gentleman. A credit to the club. Legend!”
The wonderful world of Twitter has thrown up a multitude of messages from some of the biggest names in the rugby world, including former All Black tighthead master Carl Hayman:
@OssettRugby good luck Sam. After 700 games I hope you have it mastered .
— Carl (@Carlhayman) October 9, 2013
After 700 games, TTT reckons he does!
Fellow Yorkshireman Danny Care was quick to add his own well wishes, as was Wales and Lions legend Scott Quinnell:
England players Mako Vunipola and Tom Wood retweeted a message sent by @OssettRugby and former England captain Will Carling also tweeted in recognition of Sam’s staggering achievement: “Best wishes old boy! 700 games at tight head…You must be mad!”
But Twitter hasn’t been the only means of honouring the man. Sam has received personal messages in letter form from Richard Cockerill, whp played 27 times in the front row for England and now leads proceedings at Leicester Tigers. Cockerill said, “We have learned from your colleagues that this weekend marks the occasion of your 700th first-team appearance for Ossett Rugby Club.
“This kind of commitment to your club and to the game is what we firmly believe separates rugby union from all other sports and it is an ethic we still admire greatly at Welford Road even in the game’s professional era.
“On behalf of everyone at Leicester Tigers, I pass on our very best wishes for Saturday and for the future.”
“There are very few players I know of that have achieved 700 games and I am delighted to be sending you my best wishes for a great game. I also look forward to sending you another note when you reach 800! Hopefully you will still be playing and we will have won the World Cup by then!”