Clark Reminisces About the 1980 Tour and Tony Veigh

Clark Reminisces About the 1980 Tour and Tony Veigh

Clark, once again, lays it out without pulling any punches ... I'm just pleased Clark left me out of this one. This tight team you played with Clark ... they all still like you, right? Though, even in a 1980 Lineout Clark was politically correct enough to mention Philadelphia and Whitemarsh equally. Clark takes us back like only Clark can.

Read Tony Veigh's Original Post Regarding the 1980 Whitemarsh Rugby Tour »

Tony,

I'm afraid you've outdone yourself. You wrote, 'I'm no photographer' in describing those photos you sent from the 1980 tour of Europe. Saying that you're no photographer is like saying George Betzler lacks tact, or Al Little could lose a few pounds or John Siano could have his 'off' days as a kicker. Looking at your photos from that storied tour was like watching you in a loose ruck -- it looked like rugby but it was all fuzzy.

And yet your photos captured moments in the mist. That shot on the bus with everyone wearing white caps? That's when we were driving from the airport to Limerick in Ireland. I don't know who started it, but there were these doillies covering the head rests on the seats in the bus, and before long we were all wearing them on our heads. We even stopped to goof with an Irish caravan (tinker) which is one of the later photos.

You're right, it was Bruce Battaglia who took that muddy photo. It was B side vs Lighthorse. According to the April 4, 1980 issue of Lineout (who wrote that thing, anyway?) Team Whitemarsh was undefeated for the season up to that weekend. All three sides. And we continued our streak by scores of 9-6, 13-6 and 9-4 against a very tough young club that reminded me of a young Whitemarsh. According to the writer of Whitemarsh Lineout: 'All of this was accomplished in conditions that would earn an inner circle of Dante's Inferno. Think of playing in a field the consistency of a squishy turd. Then combine two teams in blue jerseys, the only difference of which were two red hoops that were obliterated on all but wingers midway through the first half. Then try figuring out who is your team in the maul. Some fun, heh?'

Tony, it's hard to imagine that you only played for one year with Whitemarsh. You were a legend. Or a second row. And you joined a tight club at its peak. And you fit in. You sorry fuck. For your reading pleasure I reprint the farewell published in Lineout on Oct. 24, 1980:

'TODAY is Tony Veigh's last game with Whitemarsh before he leaves to take a new job in Houston, Tex. Now, now, before you go cheering and throwing your hat in the air, you have to remember that Tony has one more day with Whitemarsh. Let's let him think that we really care for him and think he's a first rate human being and that we'll miss him when he's gone -- even if he is from Cleveland. Let's make him believe that we enjoy his deadpan dry sense of humor, and try not to laugh at the thought of all those Texans he's going to end up in a bar fight with after Tony corrects them the 19th time, 'It's a wallaby.' And let's try to be sincere when we say to Tony that he always has teammates -- and friends -- here in Philadelphia and Whitemarsh. Good luck, Tony. We'll be seeing you.'

Clark DeLeon

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