Hello, I’m Sean Brady, but was known as Frank Brady and I played for Erdington Rugby Club in the early 1960s. I can’t remember the precise start date but I left the club at the end of the season in 1965. Before that, I played for the Solihull Rugby Club. I moved to London in September 1965 to start a 3-year year course in teacher training.
I played on the wing predominantly for the second team. I knocked around with Chris Hazelgrove, scrum-half, and Min Whitehouse, prop, at least that’s their names as I recall. After home games, my memories are of a hot meal eaten standing, followed by the odd pint or two. Some bawdy songs and a game or two of ‘liar dice’.
On Saturday evening after we left the club some of us finished up in the Four Oaks pub just up the road from Four Oaks railway station. Following the odd glass or two of ‘shandy’, we would all wander down for a take-away ‘chicken and chips’ at Bernard McGinty’s flat and watch ‘That was the week that was’ on his tv.
I vaguely remember training one night a week and that was inevitably followed by a drink at the Four Oaks pub. On occasions, the selection committee held their meeting on the same night and sometimes players would be handed their match selection cards when the meeting came to an end. If not, it always arrived in the post the following morning.
I still have fragments of recollections of driving to play games at Lichfield and Tamworth and sometimes the bitter disappointment when having arrived, to be told the pitch was frozen and the game was cancelled.
I still recall a tour in Wales and playing on the wing in almost horizontal freezing rain, we lost! And Fife Robertson (BBC reporter) was staying in the same hotel – poor man, we were rather boisterous!
All in all, after 78 years, I’m still a dyed in wool, fan of the club. I was bitterly saddened on the occasion when I visited the club ground only to discover the remaining foundations after a fire. I can’t quite explain the joy when the club reformed and started a new lease of life. My enthusiasm for rugby continues unabated. My brother-in-law played for Northampton and his son has played for England under 19s, Wasps, Northampton and Connacht, but none of these experiences match the vividness of my short but rich connection with Erdington Rugby Football Club.
A big thank you to Sean for sharing his story. If you would like to share a story of your time at ERFC please contact us at [email protected].