Mad Arthur Smith celebrated at Lydney RFC
A unique sporting occasion is set to unfold at Regentsholme, the home of famous Lydney RFC when the venue and club will play host to a Kingstone Press Championship 1 match between the University of Gloucestershire All Golds and Hemel Stags on Wednesday July 31 kick off 7.30pm.
The match will be a pre-cursor to an official partnership between the All Golds and Lydney whereby the two codes will work in unison for mutual benefit. Colin Henderson, the Lydney 1st XV Team Manager, is delighted by the news:
“Everyone is looking forward to witnessing professional Rugby League for the first time ever in these parts. The All Golds clash with Hemel is what we anticipate will be the first step in a long and fruitful relationship between the Lydney club and the University of Gloucestershire”
All Golds President, Lionel Hurst, believes that Lydney is the perfect setting for the sport of Rugby League:
“Lydney folk and those who live in the region are very knowledgeable when it comes to the sport of rugby. The All Golds match will appeal to them as the standard is very high. The All Golds currently ply their trade in Championship 1 which is just 2 leagues below famous clubs such as Wigan, St Helens, Leeds Rhinos, Bradford Bulls and Warrington Wolves.”
History has dictated that many great men from Lydney and indeed the Forest of Dean region have graced the fields of the 13 aside code in years gone by. One of the most successful and notable was ‘Mad’ Arthur Smith in Edwardian times. Smith earned selection for the Great Match in Cheltenham in 1908 between Great Britain and the New Zealand All Golds from the prosperous mill town of Oldham in Lancashire. He had begun his illustrious career at Yorkley before progressing to Cinderford and then the Northern Union. His intriguing sobriquet was due to his forceful and enthusiastic style of play! He also fought for the nation when the First World War commenced and then resumed his career after hostilities despite having a German bullet in his body for the rest of his days.
The All Golds would love to hear from any descendants of ‘Mad’ Arthur Smith or indeed of any former Rugby Union who played professional Rugby League in past times.
Ticket prices are:
£5 per adult
£2.50 Concessions (Students, OAPs and disabled)
£1 Children under 16 years of age
Payment can be made on the day at the turnstiles.