Long before Jonny scored that unforgettable extra-time drop goal which won England the 2003 World Cup, he was playing as part of Alton RFC’s U7s and watching his Dad play at Anstey Park. He generously contacted Alton RFC to ask if he could make a return visit and help out with the coaching of the club’s young players and the few Club officials who were aware jumped at this amazing opportunity.
Jonny’s visit was an absolute surprise for young players and parents but news of his arrival soon spread, though true to rugby values, all the youngsters stayed with the training and simply hoped for a glimpse of their hero. And they were amply rewarded as Jonny spent time, in turn, with various squads offering advice, encouragement and support – before posing for group photographs with all the youngsters.
Jonny obviously greatly enjoyed spending time with the kids and being back at Anstey Park. He recalled the former muddy state of the ground and the obvious improvements since his childhood. And that’s a real credit to the work undertaken by Alton Town Council, in conjunction with Alton RFC, to improve the park for all users.
Club Junior Chair, Rupert Vitoria said: “What a weekend – our 1st XV hit the top of the Snows Hampshire 1 league on Saturday and then, on Sunday, our kids get a whole morning of super-hero coaching to inspire them to even greater things. “We could not ask for more and are incredibly grateful to Jonny for taking the time to support Alton and its ambitions. Any young players – novices or otherwise – are always welcome to join us from 10:00 on Sunday morning but, sadly, we