Prole1 is doing a project about Rugby at school.

Rugby is fairly important in Cornwall.
People can get quite worked up about it.

The rules were invented here.
Not joking. Look it up.

I am not saying Cornwall did all the work here, some Public school boys did make it popular, change the name and call it their own.

I am just saying it came from Cornwall first.

Prole1 had to interview someone who had been to a rugby match.
He could have interviewed me, rugby is one of the few spectator sports I can watch all the way through without falling asleep or wanting to weep.

Speedway is another.
Speedway is brilliant.
To begin with I could not see the point of Speedway, just bikes going round and round.
Then I saw Chris ‘bomber’ Harris tear through the other bikes like a Jack Russel and I suddenly saw the point.
Glorious.
Anyhow, they closed the last Cornish track and Bomber races up country somewhere.

I like rugby for the singing, for the laughing and for the sheer respect I have for the players who came out after the last game all bloody and with broken fingers and limping but who still had time to sign autographs for the Proles.
Nice guys.
Nice, huge, muscly, intimidating guys.
I have seen games in Scotland, in Wales and in England but Cornish games get me because, as I have said before here somewhere, I can’t get from one end of Trelawney to the other without disintegrating.
The singing sets it apart.
The English fans don’t sing, not like the Welsh do.
I like the Welsh singing, the way they make a pub shake but Cornwall is home and I think they have better harmonies.
The Cornish can sing, really belt out a tune.

I learned rugby at school in Scotland.
I knew all the rules.
I was just shocking at rugby.
Awful.
I was the school touch judge.
I was really good at it too.
I was just shocking at rugby.

I played it again at school when the family moved back to Cornwall but was dreadful so stopped as soon as I was given the option.

It was six years later and I was at college in Cardiff.
I have no idea why but that day I put the tv on and sat on the sofa and on came the County Championship at Twikenham.
I might have been told it was on, though possibly not.
Pre-internet and fully into theatre life in Cardiff I might not have known, it may have been chance. I don’t remember sitting down and thinking ‘Brilliant, rugby, now for a life changing experience’.
In my head it was quite by chance. It was one of the more thrilling afternoons of my life.
It was the final.
Yorkshire were playing Cornwall.

In 1990 there had been around seven thousand people at the final.
In 1991 it was estimated that Yorkshire had seven thousand supporters in the stadium which was full, the other fifty thousand were the Cornish fans.
The crowd.
They were not there because of sponsors or because the team were paid huge salaries.
The team were real, they left their jobs to go and represent Cornwall and Cornwall turned out to represent them.
The Cornish fans didn’t half make a racket.

The game was not for the faint hearted.
I remember watching the whole thing and getting sadder and sadder and then it all happened.
I can’t describe it.
We were losing.
It was all bad.
You should watch it.
It is no spoiler to say Cornwall won.
29-20
It was a really good game of rugby.

I just remember watching the pitch flood with Black and Gold and the noise that came up off them.
I remember the moment that Chris Alcock held the trophy for the first time. It was confused and you could see it was being handed over but there were other players in the way and then suddenly there he was holding it above his head.
I was kneeling in front of the tv in floods of tears.
It was brilliant.
I just wanted to go home.

Prole1 interviewed our friend who has spent a large part of his life filming rugby games.
The interview started seven times.
It took about thirty five minutes to get it in the bag.
The final result runs at just under four minutes.

I heard them talking briefly about the 1991 game and I thought that would be good to have in, a mention of the day fifty thousand Cornish invaded Twikenham.

Just as we were leaving from the back office was brought a track suit top.
It was the black and yellow top Chris Alcock was wearing when he held the trophy for the first time.

Prole1 has borrowed it to take to school.

It is on the kitchen table now, right in front of me.

I don’t really enjoy sport but that track suit top gives me chills just looking at it.

That yellow top that for a moment in 1991 was the focus of fifty thousand Cornish fans in the stadium and countless others across Britain, the world and home in Cornwall.
The voices that were raised at the sight of that yellow top showing where Chris Alcock was holding aloft a trophy.

It sings.