Messages of support have been flooding in for Trowbridge Rugby Club as its first team prepares for the biggest match in club history; tomorrow's RFU Intermediate Cup Final at the home of English rugby, Twickenham. Kick off 4pm.
More than 1,000 supporters are expected to head to the game from Trowbridge, with up to 15 coaches packed with fans leaving from the club alone. More are expected to make the journey by car or train.
Here's what well-wishers are saying:
Ray Wilkins, car park attendant at the club, said: “New clubhouse, Twickenham, promotion, what else can you want from one season? I do the car parking at the club, and I’ve been to every game this season.
“I’m very much looking forward to the Twickenham match, it’s the icing on the cake this season, and I think it will probably be their best game.”
- Ernie Clark, Wiltshire Councillor for Hilperton, said: “Since the new ground opened here it’s been really nice to see so many people from Hilperton and Paxcroft come to enjoy themselves. Most people think of rugby clubs as middle-aged drinking lads, but it’s a real family facility here, you people of all ages come together.
“Getting to Twickenham is great for the rugby club, and it’s been great for Hilperton.”
- Trevor Heekes, Trowbridge town crier, said: “It’s absolutely fabulous, what a joy that a team from Trowbridge reaches Twickenham.
“They have just moved and the boost that must have given the boys has been brilliant. I had the honour of going up when it opened, and the support for the team was absolutely fantastic.
“They are fantastic lads. I wish I could be there with them on the day, but I look forward to Trowbridge winning at Twickenham.”
- Boxer Nick Blackwell said: “It’s a massive thing for them and for Trowbridge. I was going to go and watch it but I can’t as I’m in Spain training .
“I have done a bit of training with them, they all put 100 per cent in, and they’re in real good shape, so it should be a great game.”
- Christine Sullivan (mother of Adam Sullivan, back row) said: “It’s been very nerve-wracking for all of us.
“When they win we want an open-bus tour round Trowbridge, so I hope they’re making plans now.
“My son has been playing since he was six and in the minis. It’s a big family thing for us, and I’m very proud. It means the world to us, and he is absolutely ecstatic.
- Josh Frost (second XV, inside centre) said: “It’s such a big game, I don’t want anyone to get over-awed by the occasion. You can’t help looking around at Twickenham the whole game, and the nerves can be incredible.
“It’s going to be the most we have ever played for, and it’s so great for all the team, and the people I have played with all my life.”
- Ralph McCaldon, chairman, Trowbridge Football Club, said: “We want to wish them all the best. Rugby isn’t really my bag, but anything which involves Trowbridge I am going to support, so the best of luck to them.”
- Ian Lucas, webmaster, said: “I’ve been involved with the club for 20 years. Good luck, we are all behind you. It’s amazing to see what they’ve achieved, it’s everyone’s dream.”
- Bill Chidlow, former player, said: " My daughter Hayley is at university in Twickenham and works at The Cabbage Patch pub near the ground. She’s getting it daubed in Trowbridge colours and she’ll have my Trowbridge shirt on behind the bar.”
- Ron Jones, RFU rep for Dorset & Wilts, said: “There have been well-wishers from all over Dorset and Wiltshire, a lot of clubs have sent their best regards. They have all the credentials to come away as winners; it’s just down to them to really enjoy the day. You have done outstandingly well for yourselves and the town, so just go out there and enjoy it.”
- Amy Rush: fiancée of skipper Matt Howard, said: “I’m at most of the games, but I missed last week’s as I was at my hen do in Marbella.
“Someone texted through the score and we were all screaming when we heard.
“It’s a big game boys. Good luck, and what an achievement.
“All the girlfriends and siblings are all very proud, and very excited.”
Follow sports editor Owen Houlihan’s live blog tomorrow afternoon at wiltshireTimes.co.uk and on Twitter @WTSport
Follow reporter Andy Baber with the fans at @andybab3r
Then after the game get all the reaction and see pictures on our wesbite, plus more on Monday. Look out for our 12-page souvenir pullout in next week’s Wiltshire Times packed with action and reaction.
Email us your pictures of the day to firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet at #TrowbridgeRugby