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Offline Hollis Hero

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6 Years 1st XV Captain Club Record - Hornsea RUFC
« on: May 13, 2022, 12:04:49 PM »
🏉It’s the end of an era as record breaker Laycock hands over the captains armband🏉

June 2016 saw Gareth Laycock take over the captaincy at Hornsea RUFC, at the time, he was just 25 years of age and relatively young to take on the role. However, Year on year he grew more and more into the job, and this season, his sixth at the helm, he became the clubs longest serving 1st XV Captain in our 99 year history.

In 2016 Hornsea had just gained promotion back into Yorkshire Division Four, but following some retirements and players moving on it was always going to be a difficult year. Gareth stuck to the task, as did coach Steve Arnott, both in their first years in the job, with club members proud of their efforts despite a pretty barren year results wise on the pitch.

However, this did not deter Laycock, and once the club decided to have a spell in the Merit League to regroup, Laycock, as ever, had a positive mindset and set to work to make improvements which slowly started to come to fruition.

Three years of improving year on year saw us well placed to win the Merit League in 2020, with only Covid arriving and putting pay to that opportunity.

Gareth, along with the rest of the committee, was keen for us to move back into the Yorkshire league once rugby returned following the forced covid break, and he acquitted himself well, back as a Yorkshire Four captain, to ensure the club qualified for the Yorkshire Four Premiership, in our first season back, and which finally saw us finish a creditable 7th place finish out of 15 teams, although a recurring hand injury meant him missing most of the second half of the season on the pitch which he more than made up for by assisting in coaching and management duties.

Six consecutive years as a captain is some fete, overtaking club greats such as Liversedge and Thompson who had both held the position for 5 years, but in the clubs hay days in the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s. In those times Hornsea fielded 3 or 4 sides every week, Laycock however, had the tough task of getting one side together in the present day when playing numbers have dropped pretty much throughout all rugby clubs. He pretty much ensured we had a team out week in week out and always went the extra mile to ensure we did.

Gareth is a well respected individual pretty much County wide, with all of our opponents over the years, with his sincere and good humoured after match talks, in home and away clubhouses, always being well received by players and members of both sides alike. His standing at his own club is second to none, liked by all, from the youngest senior player to the oldest club member, Gareth is a very popular man at the Hollis Recreation Ground.

Playing wise, Gareth ended his captaincy as a real talisman on the pitch for Hornsea, improving year on year, and becoming a highly talented back row forward. He had a calming influence on the pitch along with a good rugby brain and could no doubt have played at a higher level if he wasn’t a one club man.

There were many stand out results over the years in Gareth’s captaincy, the 2019/20 season was the stand out one, with wins over Beverley, Driffield, Goole, Malton, BP, Scarborough and Bridlington, with Covid stopping what looked like being a distinct chance of a championship winning season.

When writing this piece, my initial thoughts were, what a great ambassador of Hornsea Rugby Union Club, and also to rugby in general in East Yorkshire, Gareth has been. He is one of the most hard working, honest players we have had in recent years, having a great work ethic and always leading by example both on and off the pitch. You should be very proud of your achievements at the club, and to now be the longest serving captain in the our 99 year history is fitting for the man you are, it’s always a pleasure to be in your company, a true gentleman, well respected at many a club, huge thanks for everything you have done at HRUFC and I hope that you get to wear the black and green again at some point in the future after a well deserved break.

Thanks for everything Captain!


Steve Crook - Hornsea RUFC President