A GALA dinner was held to celebrate Littlemore RFC’s 45th anniversary and recognise the work of legendary coach and club founder, Lynn Evans.

More than 160 guests turned out for the event at The Randolph Hotel, including many past and present players, several of whom played in the first ever match for Littlemore in 1976.

Also in attendance were former RFU officials, players from Evans’ teaching days, plus representatives from Oxford University, Chinnor RFC, and Kingham Hill School, where Evans currently coaches.

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During the dinner, awards were made to current LRFC players, while president Tim Stevens drew attention to the club’s history.

This was followed by MC for the evening, John Batey – a long-time friend of Evans – reviewing his career of more than 60 year.

Several speakers gave testament to Evans’ impact on clubs and players, with the Welshman then introducing his family and watching as a series of video messages were played on screen.

These included messages from World Cup winning New Zealand captain David Kirk and Evans’ friend and mentor, former French player and coach Pierre Villepreux.

To round off the evening, Evans led a large choir of former LRFC players in song.

Banbury Cake:

Earlier this year, Evans penned ‘From Valley Boy to Table Mountain: A Life in Rugby’ – a book on his 60-year career.

International demand saw readers from as far afield as Australia and the USA, along with several European countries.

Evans told the Oxford Mail last month: “People from all over the world have been buying the book, sometimes through word of mouth and sometimes through a friend.

“It’s the people you meet who enrich your rugby career.”

Much of this international demand comes from Evans’ 15 years as Oxford University coach, winning five Varsity matches between 1981 and 1996.

Evans also uses the book to address a topical and concerning issue.

“Concussion is a massive problem in the game,” he said.

“If you’re using terms like ‘collisions’ and ‘power’, I don’t think many mothers are going to be happy with their children playing.”