Original Leeds 'Varsity' players reunited
Tony Horsfall, from Reading, along with 11 original members of the original university rugby union team – nicknamed the Poly Ollies - travelled to Headingley Carnegie to enjoy our university triumph over Leeds University in the annual Varsity contest.
Tony said: “Up to the 1975-76 season Leeds University did not think we were worthy opponents but with us having won the British Polytechnics Cup in season 1973-74, runners-up in season 1974-75 and being the first ever student team winners of the Yorkshire Silver Trophy, they finally agreed to play us on March 10 1976 whereupon we beat Leeds University 12-7. It is pleasing to note that the university continues to have the upper hand in the varsity matches today!”
Studying Production Engineering at what was Leeds Polytechnic on a Ministry of Defence sponsored course, Tony graduated in 1976. He was a keen sportsman and member of the rugby club who captain and coached the side during his time at university. He was also Chairman of the Sports Association. Tony worked for the Ministry of Defence after graduating, his career in health and safety and, latterly, health and safety management, took him all around the world including South African and New Zealand.
Tony remains a keen rugby fan and travelled to Twickenham to see our rugby team triumph over Loughborough in the university championships earlier this year.
He said: “The ex LPRU team of the early to mid 1970’s have held an annual reunion for the last 14 years and we thought it would be a good idea to this year link it to the varsity match as it will be the 40th anniversary of the first ever match between the two universities.”