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Halesowen grandfather rolls back the years on the rugby pitch
2:49pm Tuesday 12th February 2013 in News
A GRANDFATHER from Halesowen is proving a pensioner’s place is on the rugby pitch after leading his team out at the tender age of 68.
Derek Hill also played the entire game for the Old Halesonians 4th team against Evesham as friends and family cheered him on from the sidelines.
Despite the team being whitewashed Derek still enjoyed the blood and thunder of the game and is hoping to pull on his boots in anger again in the future.
He said: “I am always happiest with my rugby kit on so had a great day leading out the team and playing the full match, although we sadly lost.”
Derek is a familiar face around the Old Halesonians club at Wassell Grove since he brought his son Andrew to play rugby decades ago.
Since then Derek has helped out with transport, administration and had a spell coaching youngsters in the Colts team.
He played his first game of rugby aged 42 and has not looked back since playing across the West Midlands with Old Halesonians teams in his favourite position of hooker.
He said: “During my playing years I have had the privilege to play with some wonderful people. In one season I even managed to play in every team in the club including a cameo appearance in the first team.
“What is nice is that I have also played with a lot of the lads that I coached years ago in the Colts including my two sons Andrew and Philip.
“My grandson is Joe has just started to play in the Colts in our under nine’s team but I think it might be too much to hang on to play with him, but who knows.”
Club secretary Tim Sherrey said: “We are a great family club and we were delighted that Derek played a full game, he is a great member of the rugby club.
“He might have a few more years left in him as I have heard about someone still playing locally who is 75-years-old.”
Derek still has some way to go to become the oldest rugby player in the world as a Japanese old timer called Sadayoshi Morita was still turning out aged 90 in 2008.
Derek said: “I don’t know how much longer they will keep on letting me play, but whatever happens I will keep turning up just in case they need me.”