We hebben een berichtje ontvangen van Alan Parkinson: “I would like to ask a question relating to a Tour to Liverpool, by Amsterdam Rugby Team in 1946. I have a large Delft plate presented to the City of Liverpool, from the Amsterdam rugby team, was this your team and if so what was the occasion, thanks Alan.”
Het betreft een schitterend Delfts Blauw bord (“or charger as it sometimes called”). “it is quite big 40cm wide”:
Voor de oorlog waren er drie rugbyverenigingen in Amsterdam: ARVC, AAC en RC35. Alleen AAC zou de bezetting, die met name in het Westen zwaar was geweest (de bezetting zou in de Randstad tot het einde van het Derde Rijk, met de Hongerwinter als laatste drama, voortduren), overleven. Na de oorlog een rugbyteam uit Amsterdam de stad Liverpool op een soort van dank-u-wel tour voor de bevrijders. Het is een reis die tot de hoogtepunten in de geschiedenis van AAC mag worden gerekend.
Zoals altijd, als het de imposante geschiedenis van onze mooie vereniging betreft, kan er gerekend worden op het archief van Piet Tolsma. Piet dook binnen no-time een aantal dokumenten op.
Verslag van de voorzitter van het Liverpool-Amsterdam Sports Committee:
Amsterdam Rugby XV in Liverpool
The tour was an unqualified success. Within a few minutes of being handed over to their hosts and hostesses the players were very much at home and wherever they went the story was much the same. The friendship made and the contacts established should do much to cement the already strong bonds between our two cities. After all this is a more important side of the tour than the playing of a few matches, and it is the fundamental idea of our committee.
On the field, where the games were followed by big crowds, the team was very popular with the spectators for its keen*iets* play and hard tackling, and even more so for the fine sporting spirit it showed and for the scrupulous care with which every man player to the rules. All these points were repeatedly commented on by opposing team also. If there is any dissposition in Amsterdam to think that the match results were not very good it must bne remembered that most of the players in the home teams have been playing regularly at home or overseas, and that many of them have had considerable experience in representative games. Thus in the Waterloo team were Dr. Logan (Lancashire & Irish Trials), J. Chubb (Lancashire), T. Heaten (Lancashire), J.T. Bartlett (Cheshire), W. Gornall (Lancashire), C. Jones, R. Bradshaw, W. Cartmell (all University players) who are all, as are also R. Smith, C. Williams, and L. Jones, recognised first team players for what is at full strength probably the strongest club team in England.
Against such experienced players it was not surprising that the Amsterdam defence was sometimes rather at sea, not for want of courage but simply because attacks were carried through at a pace and with variations of the dummy, reverse pass, and scissors, which can only be effectively dealt with by much study of the methods of the best teams. When the games were over the players of the opposing sides broke up into small mixed parties just as do our teams at home, and there were agreeable functions after all the matches. The speeches made showed a general desire to renew associations on the other side of the water, and there were some very nice little personal touches as when the Amsterdam team gave their opposite numbers keepsakes, and when Waterloo gave the Amsterdam captain a new ball signed by all the Waterloo players, and Mr. Zacharias, the Waterloo President, changed ties with Mr. de Jonge, to allow the latter to wear the Waterloo colours in Amsterdam, and gave each of the players an old English silver spoon as personal souvenir. Collegiate Old Boys at a supper, and New Brighton, in a typical after the match evening, also entertained the tourists in w very friendly and informal way.
Thanks to Messrs Pearson and Smith, of the British Council, full programmes were arranged for the times between the matches, and the Cathedral, Town Hall, and other points of interest were visited. On the Friday the party went by motor coach to the old city of Chester where the day was spent. On Monday Messrs Lever Bres entertained the team to lunch at Port Sunlight and tea was taken with the Mayor at Wallasey Town Hall. On the Sunday as all players could not see every point of interest in the day was a free one and such small group spent the dat as planned by their hosts, and many different points were visited, including Blackpool, our great show seaside resort, Derbyshire, with its lovely valleys and hills, Some went for picnics and others were more seriously employed. The final match against New Brighton, who played the tourists the compliment of turning out a very strong team and playing out to the final whistle, found the Amsterdam team rather tired and short, owing to injuries, of two of their best three-quarters. The New Brighton club gave the visitors club cards as souvenirs, and their President, and also their players, expressed the hope that next season would see a further meeting either here or in Amsterdam.