Old Yardleians RFC: Club News

A tribute to Andy Dunn by Dave Collen

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 12:00

"Hello Dave and Mick, I hope you are both well.
Could I prevail upon your good offices to circulate my tribute to Andy, and the attached photograph.
Dave via the website and Mick via the VP list.
Many thanks.

Sadly I cannot be at the funeral, but Andy, and the times we shared together, will be in my thoughts on Wednesday.



Andy joined the club in the close season of 1967, 51 years ago.
He pitched up with his friends, John Pearson and Dave Crampton, all alumni of Sharman’s Cross Boys’ School, Shirley.

Andy was built for forward play and relished it, making the No 8 spot his own for many seasons. He was remarkably free from injury, and in my 3 seasons as club captain put in 86 of a possible 105 appearances – 82%.

That is not to say that he avoided contact, far from it, he was always in the thick of the rough stuff. But he just shrugged off the knocks and got on with it.

As a player Andy read the game well and introduced a variety of lineout peels, and back row moves, to our hitherto predictable tactics. He had the ability to bond immediately with any new scrum half, and reel off the moves seamlessly.

Andy had a nose for the try line (see photo) and in my time as captain scored 11 tries, and, remarkably, 2 conversions and 6 penalty goals. He was never the first choice kicker, so I guess he just grabbed the ball and booted it over, before anyone knew what was going on!

The photograph is of Andy (ball in hand) myself (No7) and Keith Williams (scrum half) executing a text book blindside break off a scrum five. Andy scored the try, and in doing so, took the two defenders, and the Solihull News photographer, over the line with him!

Andy was 1st XV vice captain for the last two years of my captaincy, and when, in December 1969, my bricklayers’ back finally gave up the struggle, he captained the side to the end of the season. He was the obvious choice to be the next club captain, which he did with distinction, for the following 2 seasons.

In Andy’s second full season as captain, OYs won more games than they lost, a feat which had not been achieved since season 1960/61, when Bill Sheridan was captain.

Andy was possessed of a dry wit, and his quiet, understated, sense of humour, enlivened many a post match session. He was well liked and respected by all. 

After his playing days were over Andy maintained his interest in the club, through various coaching and committee roles. 

In recent seasons Andy could be seen, over by the hedge on the main pitch, wearing his trademark flat cap, clip board in hand, taking notes, to assist the coaching staff improve the team’s performance.

A club stalwart: Andy Dunn

Dave Collen

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