Longford Rugby Club is proud to announce the launch of their new, innovative past players’ society ‘The Auld Blacks’…

CAPTION: Pictured at the launch of Longford RFC Auld Blacks (l to r): Tommy Butler, Secretary Longford RFC; Martin Maguire, President Longford RFC; Pat Fitzgerald, Chairperson IRFU Commercial & Marketing Committee and Longford RFC; Sean McGarry, Longford RFC Auld Blacks committee; Neil Halligan, PRO Longford RFC and Mark Quinn, Longford RFC Auld Blacks committee.

The club recognised that there is a vast pool of former players who might not have a focal point to stay in contact both with themselves and the activities of the club. Through the ever increasing success of the club website it could be seen that there is significant interest in the rugby club and from this the “Auld Blacks” concept has evolved.

“It is the vision of the ‘Auld Blacks’ to develop into an integral part of the club in terms of establishing and maintaining ties between, not only former players, but anyone who has contributed and been part of Longford Rugby Club, which has been a cornerstone of Longford and the North Midlands sporting community,” said Mark Quinn, Auld Blacks committee member.

As well as forming a Longford RFC former players society, the ‘Auld Blacks’ will host various reunion activities throughout the year, culminating in an annual function held on the day of a home Ireland Six Nations fixture.

This celebration will be based around a pre-match dinner in Dublin with guest speakers and awards ceremony. Match tickets are provided to those who attend the function, and after the match, people are invited to attend a post match party in the same venue.

Every year the Longford Rugby Auld Blacks function will present awards in two categories – an induction to the Club’s ‘Hall of Fame’ for a former player and ‘Recognition of Service to LRFC’ to a club person recognised as having given exceptional service to the club.

In the coming months, the Auld Blacks will have various features on the club website, including a ‘where are they now’ feature, a look through the archives, and a monthly newsletter that will be sent to those who sign up. Auld Blacks merchandise will also be for sale through the club website in the coming weeks.

Like all rugby clubs in Ireland but perhaps more so in relation to Junior Clubs like Longford, keeping the club running is an ongoing challenge which is not getting easier.

The club have this week embarked on an ambitious redevelopment of the their facilities, which include new changing rooms for both the male and female teams, a gym and weights room, new showers.

The second phase will include community/conference centre. This development is crucial in maintaining the Club’s position within the community and a cause very much worth supporting. It benefits members, both seniors and youths, plus other community and sporting organisations.

To this end, any funds raised through The Auld Blacks will be channelled directly into the Club Redevelopment Scheme.

The club primarily asks all former players to firstly become an ‘Auld Black’ in order to be part of what is going to be a special way to keep in contact with your friends and former team mates as well as the club.

After this it would be great to see each “Auld Black” to take part where possible in the events it organises throughout the year.

We are pleased to announce that the inaugural “Auld Blacks Awards” will take place on Saturday 20th March 2010 prior to Ireland’s final Six Nations fixture at home to Scotland! The “Auld Blacks” have secured 400 match tickets which will become part of a day package as follows:

• 3 Course Luncheon held at the famous Round Room of the Mansion House in Dublin (circa 1pm)
• Event to be hosted by a prominent celebrity with 2 former Internationals representing Ireland and Scotland
• Match Tickets (kick off 5pm)
• Post Match Party with Jazz Band and music late into the night

Details of the above function and information on how to join the ‘Auld Blacks’ will be on the club website in the coming week. In the meantime the “Auld Blacks’ are eager to hear from former members who would like to be part of the Rugby Club’s innovative new concept.

E-mail auldblacks@longfordrugby.com for more information. Alternatively write to ‘Auld Blacks Secretary’ c/o Longford Rugby Club, The Demesne, Longford or call Mark Quinn, Longford RFC on 086-7700466 for more information.

Visit www.longfordrugby.com for further details