Whitemarsh Tour 1980 & Where in the World is Tony Vegh?
Tony sent me an email today. I wasn't around in 1980 - I was off in college - but I have seen many a photo and heard many a story about this trip. Read on and remember Whitemarsh greats George Betzler, Kevin Coady, Butchie Horvath, John Siano, Al Little, Clark DeLeon, Gary Manear, Bruce Battiglia, Too Tall Paul and Eddie Hargadon.
This is a follow up to the 'Muddy Picture' article and Clark's comments. The picture brought back a lot of memories for me. I spent a year living in Philadelphia and played for Whitemarsh. I was fortunate to have George Betzler as a coach and play with a very good club against top notch opponents.
I also got a chance to play (well actually mostly watch) some outstanding players; Kevin Coady (who is still one of the best number 8's I have ever seen play the game), Butchie Horvath, your brother John (Siano), and Al Little. Whitemarsh was a blue collar rugby club then. I was an outsider starting out on the C side and moved up to B's. I got to play one A side match against (I think) Doylestown. I think one of the Coady's must have been hit by a bus for me to get a chance to play up. I still remember the match and playing with Doc Jones, a great prop and an even better guy. It was big deal to me then and still is. The Coady family was great to me and invited me to their home many times. I hope this note gets to one of them.
The Muddy Picture-- I've had the picture in a card board box for almost 30 years. Don't remember the match but I remember the faces. I remember Gary Manear quite well and learned of his death after I left the Club and moved to Houston (where I played for the Houston Rugby Club for 5 years). I'm pretty sure Bruce Battiglia took that picture. Bruce also ended up moving to Houston. Eddie Hargadon is standing next to me with his hand on my shoulder giving me the fish eye. Eddie was a major league ball buster but I got my revenge in a bar in Amsterdam on our tour. If Eddie reads this he'll remember. Too Tall Paul had the worst cauliflower ears I've ever seen.
The 1980 Tour-- We went to Ireland. We also went to Belgium, Germany and Holland (not exactly the customary places US Club's tour). Some wives went. Lot's of memories. The matches in Dublin at the Old Belvedere grounds were fantastic and so was the party. Germany had good food. I remember practically nothing about Belgium due to the local ale, Chimay. We toured the Louvre and the Heineken brewery in Amsterdam. Took a boat ride on the Rhine in Cologne. Lot's of bad behavior and laughs. As you can see from the photos, your brothers distinguished themselves. As you can also see, I'm no photographer. Perhaps Clark will write about the tour. He was there.
These days I'm married with one daughter and living back where I started, Cleveland, OH. Clark, it is west of Pittsburgh and east of Chicago. I'm an attorney. I'm back involved with the game. Some alums from my high school started a club. This will be our 5th season. I'm the President (a fate I wouldn't wish on an enemy)) and coach the new kids. We had sixty boys and three sides last year. www.warriorrfc.com. The flame is still burning in me for our game.