On Saturday 21st April 2018, almost two years to the inaugural trip, I was privileged enough to be one of the two umpires involved in the Old Etonian Field Game event staged at the MetLife Stadium, home of the New York Jets (and Giants).
Due to the generosity of the Johnson family, we had been granted permission to play one of Eton’s oldest games in a world class venue, on a continent known for a similarly strange version of football!
Harry Jones (TEJN 2011, Master in Charge of Field Game) and I had been asked to fly to New York, to umpire 55 keen Old Etonian Field Game players who had come from all over the US (and one or two had flown from the UK), to take part in this wonderful adventure. An eclectic group of OE’s, ranging from those who had left school the previous summer, to the odd one of two who had been at the school before I joined in 1987, making them real stalwarts and possibly even deserving of more than just aching limbs and happy memories.
The stalwarts included Dom Moross (one of the main movers and shakers in getting this going), Schuyler Wickes, William Green, James Harrison, Tom Buckley and Jonathan Larken, to name a few. Then other notables included Humphrey Teakle, another whose interest in the game has seen him become one of the organisers of this event.
A reception on the preceding Thursday, saw a number of players collecting their new Field Game shirts while others made do with less formal attire.
6 matches were played, and the results went like this:
B v C
3 – 0
A v D
0 – 6
D v B
3 – 0
A v C
0 – 0
B v A
0 – 0
D v C
1 – 0
Team D, headed up by Dom Moross – ran out unbeaten throughout the afternoon. The games lasted between 20 and 25 minutes each, on a gloriously sunny, yet quite chilly afternoon. Other than a small stoppage for an unfortunate incident involving a clash of heads and the end of the game for James Parry, the games were played brilliantly.
Everyone had a wonderful afternoon playing the game that is clearly still loved by so many, and Harry and I, along with Justin Nolan (Deputy Head Co-curricular) and Janine Knight (Development Office) had a fantastic time meeting up with so many keen players and aficionados of the game.
This was a fantastic event and one which we hope to repeat in years to come.
Thanks to everyone involved on both sides of the pond for making a dream turn into a reality.
Glen Pierce, Physical Education