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HIGHLIGHTS MEMORIES AND REGRETS  

 

 

HJC remembers certain highlights in his career:

1. RAF v Germany XV This was played on the Olympic Stadium in Berlin where the 1936 Olympic games had been held. Capacity 74,064 ‘It was impossible not to think of the amazing Jesse Owens winning the gold medals in the sprints in front of the evil Fuhrer himself’, he said.

Olympic Stadium Berlin


2. RAF V SPAIN XV Played under floodlights on the Barcelona Football Stadium (Camp NOU) capacity 99,786 It was an amazing experience.

Camp Nou Barcelona


3. COMBINED SERVICES V CANADA HJC captained the team in Ottawa which he introduced to Lord Louis Mountbatten before the match.


4. COMBINED SERVICES V ALL BLACKS Played at Twickenham on Boxing Day 1964 with HJC scoring a try.



5. MEETING PETER WILSON AND BARRY NORMAN At the 1968 winter Olympics HJC met the famous Daily Mirror sports Columnist Peter Wilson and a very young Barry Norman, the film critic. All competitors and press wore a name badge with surname first followed by Christian name, example (Brown, John) Later HJC had to introduce the pair to others and glancing down at the name badge to remind himself, he introduced NORMAN BARRY, a very embarrassing moment!

6. PLAYING WITH ALEX MURPHY When serving in the Forces, Rugby League players were permitted to play Rugby Union. Alex Murphy played in the RAF team of 1961 and showed his remarkable speed and re-action time. HJC relates ‘Before playing with Alex I thought that I was probably the fastest player off the mark in the game at that time. Now I know that I was the second fastest! We were playing v Coventry when Peter Jackson, the then current England wing, received the ball inside his own half. I was near to Alex over the other side of the field and heard him say ‘I’m going to get him!’ He set off on a diagonal run at great speed and hit Jackson onto touch just before our goal line. This determination made him one of the greatest rugby league players and coaches of all time.

7. Visiting both Niagara Falls and Victoria Falls through rugby.


Alex Murphy looking over HJC's shoulder as the RAF arrive in Spain to play at the Camp Nou

MEMORIES

1. When playing v Italy in Naples, seeing the squalor of washing lines across the street contrasting with the sheer magnificent beauty of Naples bay. On the same trip, visiting Pompeii and seeing a dog in natural walking pose encased in lava. ‘As a dog lover this has stuck in my memory’ he said.

2. When playing at Murrayfield v a Scotland XV dense fog descended on the pitch, so thick he could not see the man next to him. No one knew where the kicks had gone so the match was abandoned.

3. Visiting the Kruger National Park in South Africa and being taken at dusk to an elevated position overlooking a watering hole to watch all the animals coming down to drink.

4. Descending 6000ft below ground in lifts to reach the face of a Gold Mine in Johannesburg and handling the gold ingots.

 

 

REGRETS

1. Obviously the foremost is not gaining caps for England

2. Not visiting Australia and New Zealand and playing on ‘their patch’

3. His sons, Russ and Mickey, not pursuing the game when they had the talent to do well.

4. Not asking for more expenses when he could have done!!!

5. Not investing in a new London Stage show when given the opportunity. HJC played several times v London Irish and got to know his talented opposite number, Brian Brolly quite well. Brian was much involved with the world of Show Biz and seeking investors, he offered HJC the chance to invest in a new stage show at a price which was just outside what he could afford and so he had to decline. That show was " Jesus Christ Superstar " which would have made HJC a very rich man.

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