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Home > News > Fields of dreams at Wirral RFC
Your News Fields of dreams at Wirral RFC

WHEN a Merseyside soccer referee showed Greg Fields the first red card he had ever received in over 20 years of playing in the local leagues, he unwittingly opened a door to something altogether more enjoyable for the man from Ellesmere Port.

For when he received his marching orders in a five-a-side match, Greg took stock of his sporting career, thought that maybe he was getting too old and too slow and decided to hang up his boots.

But unlike his footwear, the itchy feet did not find their way into the garage and he became a vulnerable sportsman of mature years looking for an opening.

Two of his sons, Chris and Curt, had been playing since they were kids with Wirral mini and junior section teams and as a dedicated supporter of his children, it was almost inevitable that the call would come, as it did after a chat with the then Fourth Team captain, Tony O'Brian.

In traditional fashion, Greg was offered a chance of glory on the wing and at centre, but after the tried and tested seduction technique had worked to perfection, the SOS call to join the Front-Row Union duly arrived. There was only one answer and so Greg collected his one-way ticket to the coal-face.

My only regret is that I wasted 20 years of my sporting life when I could have been playing rugby and loving every minute, says the 52-year-old: I followed my eldest lads whenever I could on Sundays and we often talked about playing in the same team. This came to fruition in a Dads & Lads XV against The Rest where the three of us teamed up in the front-row, with me and Chris propping and Curt hooking.

That experience sparked Gregs dream of youngest son Josh, who had tried the game as a 9-year-old without being convinced it was where he wanted to be, having another bite at the cherry in company with his dad and brothers.

Josh was happy to help turn a dream into reality and that occasion arrived when Wirral Fourths played Ellesmere Port Seconds recently, Josh coming off the replacements bench and onto the wing to join the rest of the family for the last 15 minutes of the game.

We won a tough game 40-5 against long-standing opponents and friends from Port, said Greg: But to be honest the score was not the upmost thought in my mind on the day. It was a fantastic feeling to share a great game with my boys and it is one memory that will never fade.

Rugby Union has given me and my family so much in the last 13 years. Apart from that special family occasion, I have met people and made friends that I would never have come across without becoming involved in the game and that group includes opposition players and club-mates alike.

My next target is to keep playing prop until Im 55 and take it from there, providing, of course, my long-suffering wife Jan gives the thumbs up. I know there are players still involved in their Sixties and to think that I might still be able to enjoy the game at that age is a tempting thought.

For now, though, I can savour the day out with my boys and keep enjoying the game with my Wirral team-mates for as long as I can.

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