Rugby is life for old Pirates

DARYL Bath and Adrian Snowden are the newest additions to Pirates’ life membership board.

The pair were bestowed the honour at the club’s presentation night in recognition of their years of service to the club.

Both have coached at some time, and worked tirelessly behind the scenes, whether it be marking the lines or filing paperwork or any of the other many duties involved in running a club.

Bath has been there since the 1980s. He played a handful of games but then a shoulder injury ended his playing days.

Wanting to stay involved he turned to coaching, and coached first grade from 82-84 and half of 86.

“It was good fun. I enjoyed it. I made a lot of friends that I still have,” Bath said.

That is one of the best things about being involved with a rugby club, he said.

“The best part about a rugby club is it’s a family,” he said.

His time in charge was pretty successful. Pirates made the semi-finals in 83 and were finalists in 84.

They went on the next year to win the premiership.

“The captain was Barry Everingham. He was the Country captain at the time,” Bath recalled.

“We’d gone to the Wellington Knockout in 82. He said he was moving to Tamworth.

“We pounced on him.”

He said he brought a lot to the side, and was really good for him.

“I played in the forwards. He was a back,” he said.

Bath also served on the committee until the mid-’90s in various roles, and was heavily involved in securing Pirates the land out at the Longyard that would become their initial home ground.

He did the development applications for the ground and did the deal with the owner. 

Before that they were based out of Scully Park.

“The first season I coached we were at the number one oval. We shared it with Tamworth City,” he recalled.

They used to then train Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays,

Since retiring from coaching he’s helped with the development applications for the lights, current ground, clubhouse and other developments.

“It’s a funny thing. You think you haven’t been around for too long.

“But 1980 until now. That’s 30 something years.”

Snowden’s time with Pirates stems back to about 2000. 

“I came to town in ’92. I was only here a day and I got a call from Gordon Barbara to come and play,” he said.

He couldn’t then, due to other commitments, but a few years later he started coaching junior sides.

“Then no-one wanted to put their hand up to coach first grade,” he said.

They were a young side that year.

“A lot of them were playing U19s and first grade,” he said.

Many of that side are now either playing in Sydney or first grade with Pirates. Snowden has also helped out with grants for their watering system, the amenities and building the canteen.

“I’ve been tied up with everything at the club since I got here,” he said.

He joked that his wife considers Pirates the ‘other women’ regarding the time he spends there.

The club has enjoyed a very successful last few years, which Snowden said is a testament to the work of the likes of Bath. 

“You only build on the back of the blokes before you,” he said.

“This is the snowball effect of everything they did.”

Both said it was a wonderful honour to receive life membership and were taken by surprise.

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