We were very pleased to appoint Club stalwart, Richard "Bes" Besley as Club President at this year's AGM. Reproduced below is his welcome message that was published in the first match day programme of the season.
Croeso ( kroy-so – Welsh, meaning Welcome)
Good afternoon everyone and as we would say back home, “Croeso”. Welcome indeed, to a new season of Regional 2 North East, to our opening home 1st XV game and my first programme introduction as the Club’s new President.
In welcoming you all, I would like to say how proud I am and wish to thank members in placing their faith in me and honouring me with this position, I hope I earn that trust during my time as President.
I can’t let this opportunity pass without offering thanks to my predecessor Mr Doug Skelton and congratulating him on a job well done during the most difficult of times. When Doug took office at the AGM in summer 2019, no one had heard of Covid or its origins. Bats, certainly were not some rural Chinese delicacy, they were an item of Cricket equipment or at one time a small mammal used as a stage stunt by one, Ozzy Osbourne Esq. As for Pandemics? Well they were something from late night drama movies
However the wee man took it all in his stride, as all who know him, knew he would.
Doug we thank you for your service.
It is a pleasure to welcome the players, supporters and committee members of today’s visitors Dronfield RUFC. This is only our second season in competition with the north Derbyshire based team. Last April’s back to back headers being the first meeting between our teams. We saw honours being shared with a Dronfield win at their Gosforth Fields home, swiftly followed with a Selby win here at Sandhill Lane, on what was our last home game of the 2022/23 season. So consecutive visits for Dronfield and we hope you enjoy your time here with us today.
I also welcome today’s referee Mr Steve Penfold, we wish him well and hope he too enjoys this late summer visit to Selby. The club enjoys a long standing good relationship with our Referee Society, recognised by our regular top ranking in the Whistler’s Trophy, where visiting referees score host clubs on various criteria such as pitch and changing facilities. Also judged, is the welcome shown and nature of spectators and I would ask everyone to show your continued respect to our officials today. Please remember we would not have a game without them.
A further welcome I would like to offer is to our newest recruit, our visiting overseas player Joey Reid, who hails from the Wellington area of North Island, New Zealand.
Joey is accompanied on this journey by his partner Brydie Rodgers and I understand that the couple have just recently got engaged so as well as a croeso from me it’s a huge congratulations from all of us here at Selby RUFC
Nau mai, haere mai and nga mihi Joey and Brydie
One of my roles as President is to be a voice for our Vice Presidents and to arrange a number of meetings of this austere body with our Board so they can be appraised of the day to day business of the Club and receive updates on the progress of our season. Where the Club would look to have two meetings in a season it was felt that as some VPs had outstanding questions from the AGM that our first such meeting should be sooner rather than later, so we are looking at Wednesday 18th October for a VP’s Meeting. A formal invite will be sent to VPs in the next few weeks.
A further and enjoyable role I will have is to set up some social events/functions that Members can attend and in doing, support the Club. A long standing favourite, of course, is the President’s Dinner, which I can confirm is on Friday 1st Marsh 2024.
Before that however, I am hosting a Murder Mystery Night on Friday 8th December, that I hope you will support.It promises to be a very entertaining evening with a supper/meal included in the ticket price. Please look out for the posters and more information. An excellent opportunity to socialise and kick off the festive season
While writing this piece for your programme I can’t help but reflect on my own journey. Many will know me through my involvement with senior rugby over the years primarily with the 1st XV as Manager, touch judge and the oldest ball boy in the county.
Well that journey began when work with the Civil Service brought me from South Wales to Leeds and was looking for a suitable location to settle that had good commuting links and services. Selby ticked all the boxes and when I googled and saw that it had a rugby club I was sold. I’ve had to learn over the years to specify rugby UNION club as back home that’s all we had and no one ever mentioned the ‘other’ kind.
After a few a games at the start of the 1991 season I knew that I’d found a new home. Straight after one match I asked an older gentleman I mistook as the Steward, who was serving ale and seemed to be running the bar, who it was I needed to speak to, about joining and becoming a member. Much to the shock of the lengthening queue for beer he broke away mid-pint pulling to help me, uttering the most welcoming line, “Come with me, we’ve got one of your lot next door!” That gentleman was the wonderful Oliver Grieveson and the person O.G. was referring too was the late Derek Hinds who not only was, indeed one of my lot but was even from my home town, Carmarthen and fellow Queen Elizabeth Grammar School alumni.
And before you could say Llanfair PG, 30+ years have gone by. I’ve served on the Club House Committee, where in the days before a full time steward we took turns in running the bars with volunteer helpers, when the hardest job was getting the legend, Mr Tony Mirfield (Mirt) off his stool and out the door without going through his routine of turning the lights off and on and checking the doors were locked. This was before OCD was a thing. Trust me Mirt was a one off and the nicest chap you could meet and I miss him greatly.
I’ve also served the Club as Honorary Secretary for 6 seasons and my time with the 1st team included my most memorable day EVER at HQ (to date).
I’ve also had the pleasure of going back to assisting in grass roots and seeing rugby with a young person’s perspective when my grandson made me the happiest Grampa by playing in the minis and juniors. Helping his Coaches allowed me to work alongside our new Chairman, Andy Fisher and our new Director of Rugby, Andy Bennett. And I look forward to working with them once more.
For the last few years I’ve taken the role of Referee Liaison making sure that we have Yorkshire Society Referees where ever possible for our matches.
During this time I was asked to become a Vice President which was my proudest moment until now, of course.
And Yes! If you’re wondering, I can.