1 Buddy can you spare a drain?

100_0085.jpgDonald Robinson doesn't understand the phrase 'quiet life', and his rugby club, Durham and Northumberland League 2 side Novocastrians are glad he doesn't.

Based in the suburb of Benton in Newcastle upon Tyne, 'Novos' boast four men's senior teams, a Ladies' team and the latest addition to the club's assets, a gay side known as the Ravens, joining another eight similar sides around the country such as Edinburgh, Manchester and Bristol.

The club has also diversified into having an Aussie rules side playing at the Novos, possibly one of the furthest northern outposts of the game?

Previous luminaries at Novocastrians include Dave 'Thumper' Thompson, current owner of Newcastle Falcons, who first moved on from Novos to Gosforth in the city before buying the Falcons from the original owner Sir John Hall. The honours board also boasts Catherine Lane, a Scottish Ladies international from 2001-4 and Sara Munter, England U19 player in 2004 and 'A' representative in 2006.

A family man living 'just around the corner', Donald was involved in the mini/junior set up at Novos when his son Glen was also learning the game, but found his son's involvements becoming less as, first of all, Glen took up refereeing, and then graduated to 'treading the boards' with the stage name Glen Joseph. Glen has recently been appearing in a nationwide run of the musical 'Buddy' playing the eponymous singer.

100_0078.jpgNone of the smell of greasepaint (or roar of the crowd!) for Donald, however, he's more a man of the soil for his beloved club.

For the last four seasons he has continued his involvement with 'Novos' by taking over the maintenance of the two pitches and training area at the club armed only with his trusty National Triple 84 which he uses to keep them in trim.

As well as his Sisis slitter, Don uses two rollers to try to keep levels as true as possible but has been struggling with chronic drainage problems, especially during the 08/09 autumn/winter period, with soil based pitches and compaction combining to give him regular headaches in trying to keep fixtures playable.

His only other aeration comes from regular vertidraining exercises by the local City Council, when finances allow the expenditure. His poor Iseki tractor is having to be nursed through the inclement weather, but Donald remains ever the optimist.

With the help of RFU grants Donald hopes the club will be able to overcome these problems by the provision of a new drainage system, but constraints and red tape will have to be overcome for him to be able to meet his goals.

You might say that "Every Day It's a Getting Closer"? 100_0083.jpg

At least if the RFU comes up with the funding then the doubting Thomases can stop saying "That'll be The Day"!

Let's wish Donald Robinson and Novocastrians RUFC all the success he and his club deserve. He's yet another 'unsung hero' we need to praise from the rooftops.

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Contact Kerry Haywood

07973 394037

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