Bristol to reunite 1983 John Player Cup team

A Bristol versus Bath game is a unique enough occasion in its own right but Sunday will be an extra special day for Bristol rugby supporters with longer memories.

For the first time since they won the John Player Cup against Leicester at Twickenham back in 1983, the Bristol team who lifted the trophy will be reunited.

The squad and their partners will be guests of honour at Sunday’s Guinness Premiership fixture between Bristol Rugby and Bath and will parade around the pitch prior to Sunday’s game. It will be an emotional occasion as Alan Morley and Mike Rafter indicated today when they met up at Ashton Gate.

“It’ll be the first time since that special occasion that we’ll be reunited,” said Rafter, who skippered the side back in 1983. “The squad did stay together by and large but people did understandably move on.”

Alan Morley added, “It was a special group of players and we’re proud of what we achieved back then. Seeing everyone together again will be fantastic and we’ll have a lot to talk about.”

Bristol Rugby’s CEO David White feels that the Ashton Gate fixture was an appropriate occasion to bring the 83 squad back together:

“It’s now 25 years since Bristol won the John Player Cup and we felt that we ought to celebrate the anniversary.”

“Sunday will see our biggest home gate of the season. It’s a huge match against our neighbours and local rivals so we thought that it would be an ideal time to reunite the 83 squad and invite them to the game as our guests of honour and hopefully cheer Bristol on to another memorable win.”

The Bristol side who won the 1983 John Player Cup lined up as follows:

15 Huw Duggan; 14 John Carr, 13 Ralph Knibbs, 12 Simon Hogg, 11 Alan Morley; 10 Stuart Barnes, 9 Richard Harding; 1 John Doubleday, 2 Kevin Bogira, 3 Austin Sheppard, 4 Nigel Pomphrey, 5 Alf Troughton, 6 Pete Polledri, 7 Mike Rafter (Capt), 8 Bob Hesford.

Replacements – Phil Cue, Dave Sorrell, Lawrence Yandell, Mark Tomlin, Dave Palmer, Peter Stiff.

Coach – Dave Tyler

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