HOR 300308 Horsham Rugby Mini Festival. MB
HOR 300308 Horsham Rugby Mini Festival. MB

England rugby star Andy Gomersall teaches Horsham youngsters

This week in the archive we have been looking back at the Horsham RUFC Minis Festival in 2008.

By Megan O’Neill
Thursday, 20th January 2022, 2:27 pm

England rugby star Andy Gomersall was in town to watch some of the most exciting young players in Sussex and Surrey at the Horsham RUFC Minis Festival in March, 2008.

Staged at Horsham’s Coolhurst ground, the competition attracted entry from 58 teams, with around 900 players in groups ranging from undersevens to under12s battling it out to be crowned champions.

With strong competition from teams as far as Leatherhead, the day brought mixed fortunes for the local teams taking part, as only the top placed sides in the group went into the final.

There was no doubting the day’s star attraction – World Minis impress in front of England ace by Steve Pickthall sports reporter Cup finalist Andy Gomersall was trailed by a following of youngsters all day as he shook hands and signed autographs to the delight of children and adults.

Tournament organiser Richard Brock underlined what it meant to have the England international there in support.

About Andy, Richard said: “It’s like bees to the honey pot with him here, he’s been submerged by kids all day. He’s shown his support to Horsham Rugby Club and it’s terrific he is here because he is a real hero to these youngsters who have seen him on the TV and now can meet him at our ground.”

Of the Horsham teams, the under tens came closest to making the final, narrowly missing out to Haywards Heath despite not losing a game or conceding a try in their four games.

Horsham Tigers under eights were runners up in their group with six points, as were the Horsham Lions under11s and 12s who gained five and six points respectively.

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