A packed house at Ocean Exmouth reunited and reminisced over many years spent at Exmouth Rugby Club for a truly memorable evening.

Wayne Barnes, Rugby World Cup 2023 referee, along with many other rugby and personal accomplishments, entertained an appreciative audience that included players, past and present, many volunteers, former presidents, chairman, treasurers with 'committee members' of old.

They were joined by family, friends with some of our super sponsors, plus guests from Devon RFU and Withycombe RFC. The evening was expertly hosted by James Chubb, Exeter Chiefs and Twickenham Stadium matchday announcer.

Both Wayne and James headed off into a very late sunset to be ready for England v Wales duty on Saturday. Wayne’s recollections of his start in refereeing, link with being a barrister, along with stories from his large number of years, kept the guests laughing for ages.

The evening was interspersed with a few memories from Roger Holman, Honorary President, with a couple video clips of some recent activity from around the club. Laid out, was library of old photographs, not seen for some time. Guests were able to view images from the 1875 onwards, with many 80s-90s team photos causing a stir. So much hair and smaller waistlines (in most cases).

A raffle in aid of Wooden Spoon, the children's charity of rugby, raised in excess of £2,000. David Fowler, representing Wooden Spoon spoke of the fundraising work and support they give to local causes. All the money raised in Devon goes to local beneficiaries, recently including Vranch House in Exeter and Mill Water School in East Budleigh.

A huge thank you must go to event sponsors, Gareth Williamson & 4 Seasons Solutions and Exe Events. Age Grade player mums, Aloma Watson & Clare Tate brought the celebration to life, with a number of helpers. Big Cheers to The Bistro at Powderham Farm Shop, O'Neills Sportswear, St Austell Brewery & Element Karbon donated for raffle prizes, that also included tickets to see England v Ireland in March.

Exmouth Chairman Ian Harris added: “It is my honour to be Chair of our club. Personally, I must say a huge thank you to all who joined us, with those who could not make the evening. Our club, at the heart of the town, would not exist and continue to grow without all of you.”

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