Chiswick RFC version of the Burgess Brothers take a trip down memory lane. In our weekly interviews with former players, we caught up with Pickering Brothers.
Name(s): The Pickering Brothers – Elliot, Alastair and Matthew (or BP, Als and Matt)
Individual Years with Chiswick RFC: Als (2005-2012); Els (2002-2010); Matt (2005-2015)
Clubs: Just the Mighty Chis for Als, Chis and Effingham Eagles for Matt; Els played rugby in Houston and New York as well as for Chis.
Positions: Als back row, Elliot Hooker / No 8, Matt second row.
Current roles at Chiswick RFC: Als – Silverbacks quizzes / WhatsApp group!!; Els – helped out a bit with minis; Matt – ideally warming the bench for the Silverbacks.
Most memorable Chiswick moment(s)?
Als – had a great five or so years playing at the mighty Chis and made lifelong friends throughout the club. On the field we had a special squad from 2007-2009, securing two league titles as well as a couple of Middlesex Bowl titles. The national cup run in 2007-8 season was special with some hard-fought wins on the road (and some great bus trips home!). I also remember playing with Els and Matt together for the first time for Chiswick vs London Cornish in 2005. But the standout has to be watching (due to one of my many knee injuries!) Keith Luckman putting in the biggest, and last, hit of his career against Old Ashmoleans in January 2007.
Els – loads of memories. Was also part of a Middlesex Bowl winning squad and also enjoyed winning the Hendon 7s wearing a ridiculous shirt!!
Matt – winning the Middlesex Cup in 2012 is up there but has to be my last game for the firsts – the promotion match against Diss. A lot of people had worked really hard to get the club there and I’m proud to have played a small part in us finally getting over the line.
Best player to go on a social with at Chiswick?
Als – tough question, so many great characters! I obviously enjoyed any socials involving one or both of my brothers! Mr Jonathan Gibson was always good fun on a night out, although I recall him landing me and a few other members of the first team in a bit of trouble one of the only times I went out the night before a league match. Cheston, Ade, Gibbo and I were the offending crew but we agreed not to tell anyone that we were up till 3am after a night at Fez Club. As soon as we arrived at the clubhouse the next morning Gibbo ran in and immediately told everyone, including Coach Andy B, what we had been up to. Luckily we still won the game plus the night will always be remembered for Gibbo hiding in the toilets from a chap he had bumped into on the dancefloor and the tall lad from up north somehow managed to land one on Gibbo’s jaw whilst hanging off the back of our taxi as it pulled away from Putney’s finest nightclub! Attempting to sing the welsh national anthem with Tubbsy at the end of Barley Mow nights was always fun (for me, not Tubbsy)! There are too many other great guys to mention but I also want to give a special shout out to Mr Winning Pants Aran Delaney – he was always brilliant company at the Mow!!
Els – definitely not Als!! Loads of good guys over the years. Going on several tours with everyone was great fun. Bettsy was the best roommate from all the tours!
Matt – definitely not one of us I think everyone will agree!
How did you all become part of the maroonarmy?
Als – Els convinced Matt and me to join the club after we graduated from uni in 2005. Everyone was welcoming – I believe this is still the case now although due to family commitments, moving out of London and no longer playing I don’t spend much time at the club. I quickly realised there was a good crew at the time and the club was moving in the right direction with the new clubhouse opening. Having said that my first proper game for the club didn’t go too well. The 2’s lost 63-3 to Civil Service – Rob Tillen showed tremendous leadership by asking the ever dependable Frank Smal to step up and nail a kick in front of the posts in the final minute to save our blushes from finishing the game without a point. As the old adage goes NEVER GET NILLED!!
Els – in my gap year after uni, before going to the USA I worked at the Tabard by Turnham Green Station and a few of the guys came in after training – Kelv, Gav and Goose. I played a few games and a few nights at the old P&P were the start of a lot of fun with the club!
What do you wish to see from Chiswick RFC in the future?
Als – aside from the huge improvements on the pitch with all teams playing at higher levels fifteen years ago the main success story has been the creation of the minis section. Hallett, Kelv, Wim, Wee Man and all the other volunteers and parents who have helped it grow have done a fantastic job. It will be brilliant to see a group of minis breaking into the first XV at some stage!
Matt – To keep being the welcoming family club it always has been.
Finally we would like to pass our condolences to Sue and the Goodenough family as well as other Chiswick members on the passing of David a couple of weeks ago. Goose was a larger than life character – we remember him saying he thought he had played 1000 games of adult rugby. That’s at least double the number of adult games the three of us played combined! He was great fun in the clubhouse, on the tours we went on with him and will be sorely missed. RIP Goose.