As you know i am a recent convert to the cause of Newport RFC, 2 years ago I was blackmailed into attendance by my then 9 year old daughter, this was as a result of a school visit by the gateway rugby people. They had arrived at my daughters school bearing tickets for a friendly between Newport RFC and Peebles, this was on the eve of the Wales v Scotland clash of 2002. The actual words my little cherub used were "you're taking me to rugby,if you won't i'll get uncle Alan to!" Well with an invitation like that what else could i do? On arrival at the ground we were met by a family village in full flow, a couple of international stars signing autographs and a sea of black and amber, got to say my cheap tickets ended up costing a fortune as apparently it was unrealistic to expect my little cherub to be the only one without a black and amber shirt...or hat...or scarf..not to mention hot dogs and cokes!
Newport won the match and although my cherub didn't understand any of the rules, she did fall hopelessly in love with a certain superstar, hence her moniker is now Howie #1 fan. From then on there was no stopping her or indeed me, the bug really gripped and we made friends with many many folk, something for which we will be forever grateful.
Not all has been plain sailing though,not least the bomb shell last year that Shane was going home...not at all easy to explain, but she bore it well and proudly approached the centre with the infectious grin and announced that as Shane was leaving he was to be the new annointed one...Jon Pritchard took it in his stride and flashed the grin that only he could...about a week later i had the task of explaining that our loss was Rotherhams gain! Undaunted she announced that the new favourite player was to be a Welsh U21 international outside half, again she approached the new favourite, Mike Hook has always been a a firm favourite who has, and still does for that matter, make himself freely available to his #1 fan. Unfortunately he then upped sticks and departed to Bristol...the only good point is that he is still regularly seen at Rodney Parade!
The mantle of favourite player has now fallen on Scotty Williams' head....although we have been scared to tell him, past experience says that he would probably emigrate!
Yes we are Johnny come latelys, but we have stuck with Newport through thick and thin, home or away. This year has seen changes to the set up in welsh rugby, changes that we don't necessarily support, theres a new side trying to claim a bit of us, but somehow we feel we belong with Newport.....surely that can't be bad for two ardent English supporters, so much so that Newp are our number one team and the world champs are our second team! Long may our fledgling association with the club continue.
With that in mind i have absolutely no hesitation in thanking the trust commitee for its efforts in trying to secure the future of our club. I would offer our help and support in whatever way we could, and i would ask all followers of the greatest rugby club in the world to do likewise.
Many Thanks, Dave and Laura Tingey (aged 11...her dads a tiny bit older!!)