Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of all of the players and staff at Stourbridge Rugby Club, I welcome all of our sponsors, guests and a considerable number of new friends to our annual corporate lunch. This prestigious event has gone from strength-to-strength and this year we have a record number of attendees. It is your support that makes the club viable and enables us to play rugby.
There can be little doubt that our selection of speakers this afternoon has attracted attention and hosting Eddie Jones has been a big factor in increasing our numbers following his outstanding record in English Rugby, producing two Six Nations Championships and almost eclipsing, but certainly equalling the All Blacks record unbeaten run of 18 games. I shall be hoping for any pearls of wisdom that we can use in our campaign next year.
Keeping up with the Joneses is essential this afternoon, as we will hear from Lord Jones of Birmingham; Digby will no doubt cater for our huge regional business contingent. He is a former Director of the CBI with global influence in business and proudly a West Midlands man through and through. He regularly played devil’s advocate with his rationale and balance during the Brexit campaign and was the reason I voted out! Surely the fact we have such a high percentage of corporate business people here this afternoon shows that Midlands business is booming, at least in our conurbation. We don’t offer any political position on Brexit with the menu today but we can expect a ‘bostin’ lunch and an interesting afternoon ahead. We would like to stay well away from any form of election…
John Bentley has been our Master of Ceremonies here for the last four years and he tells me it is by far his favourite gig. I suspect he may say this to all the DoRs! The former British Lion will no doubt command the afternoon with his quintessentially northern, uniquely blunt and subtle style, I for one hope John continues to grace us with his presence and his humour here at Stourton for many years to come.
I offer thanks to all our sponsors and special guests for their continued support, the local rugby scene changes frequently and we are constantly looking to develop relationships with other clubs that have a similar ethos. The network of Midlands clubs providing player development opportunities and exchanges is something we are keen to promote and participate in. We are delighted to have a representative contingent from Wasps here today and it is most impressive that they can bring the Heineken Cup with them. The experience of watching a match at The Ricoh is truly a benchmark for other clubs to emulate.
This event could not take place without the huge amount of work and preparation that ensures the smooth running of the day. Miles, Lou, Donna, Helen and Laura have done a fantastic job in putting both the Corporate Lunch and May Ball together. You are a credit to our club and thanks for all your efforts. There are also a plethora of unsung volunteers who work in the background to make this all happen - thanks for what you do!
I have been looking forward to this afternoon with huge anticipation. I hope you all enjoy the day and support us again next year, both on and off the field.Enjoy the day!
Director of Rugby - Stourbridge Rugby