PRIDE OF LIONS 25 YEARS ON...
Wednesday April 27th, 2022, 7pm
Hatherley Manor Hotel & Spa, Down Hatherley Lane, Gloucester GL2 9QA
In the summer of 1997, Sir Ian McGeechan, Jim Telfer and Fran Cotton took the very first British and Irish Lions squad of the professional era to the home of the World Champions for what would prove to be an iconic series.
With many doom merchants wondering whether the Lions could survive in the professional era they were rank underdogs. SA Illustrated said ahead of the tour
"The British Lions arrived in South Africa rated – by their own media, South African media and supporters – as nothing more than rank underdogs. A nice bunch of blokes who were making a bit of history and, in so doing, winning friends rather than matches".
Wow! How the squad proved them wrong with some phenomenal performances where they went head to head with the physical Boks and came out victorious with a memorable 2-1 win.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of that tour and to celebrate we have put together what will be a stunning evening to revisit the memories in the company of 4 Lions greats who all played a huge part in the success.
Sir Ian McGeechan OBE: As a player, "Geech" played 8 times for the Lions as well as winning 32 caps for Scotland. As a coach, he won a place in Lions folklore coaching them on 4 separate occasions as well as being an Assistant in 2005. Along with Jim Telfer, he formed a brilliant coaching ticket that masterminded the famous victory in 1997.
John Bentley: "Bentos" was one of the bolters in the 1997 squad having recently returned to Rugby Union from Rugby League. His abrasive and competitive style led him to becoming one of the stars of the squad scoring 7 tries to be the joint top try scorer including a stunning and iconic effort against the Gauteng Lions.
Neil Jenkins MBE: "Jinks" went on tour as a fly-half but ended up playing in the unfamiliar position of Full-Back and what a revelation he was. A rock under the high ball his boot continually punished the Boks scoring 41 points in the series.
Paul Wallace: "Wally" was a late call up replacing Peter Clohessy before the squad left but along with Keith Wood and Tom Smith formed a front row that stood up to the physical Boks and came out on top with some heroic displays
The evening will include a delicious three course dinner, charity raffle and auction.
There are a number of packages available:
VIP Table of 10 to include Sir Ian McGeechan OBE on your table, entry to an exclusive pre-dinner reception with the Lions, prime location seating and a selection of wine on the table priced at £2,500.
VIP Table of 10 to include either Neil Jenkins MBE, John Bentley or Paul Wallace on your table, entry to an exclusive pre-dinner reception with the Lions, prime location seating and a selection of wine on the table priced at £1,500.
Standard tickets are available at £80 and can be purchased as either tables of 10 or in smaller numbers.