Fylde RFC sign up captain and vice-captain for next season
Ben Gregory and David Fairbrother, Fylde RFC’s captain and vice-captain, have both signed contracts for the 2021-22 season.
Both forwards were appointed to their roles last summer but the pandemic prevented the 2020-21 campaign from getting under way.
The Lancashire pair have been key members of the Fylde pack for several years: hooker Gregory made his debut in 2016 and had made 68 consecutive appearance before play stopped 12 months ago, while back-rower Fairbrother has topped 100 appearances since 2014, scoring 30 tries.
It is now over a year since Fylde last played and their on-field leaders have made constructive use of their time.
Gregory told the club website: “It’s been a interesting year without rugby. However, it’s not been all bad.
“I’ve been able to complete my degree (in business and management at the University of Central Lancashire), which has been a tough slog over the past four years but I got there at the end.”
Fairbrother has used his background in the Royal Marines and Navy to develop his business Commando Rugby School, offering camps for children teaching rugby and military skills.
‘Fairy’ said: “I’ve started building my company and managed to get contracts with a few local schools. I’ve also branched out to establish summer camps in London, Cambridge and Bristol. I’m delighted that these are proving very successful.
“My company is growing massively. I’ve worked hard and achieved this from following my dreams.
“One setback was that I was due to travel to America with my work but due to Covid-19 it was all cancelled.
“The silver lining of this and the pandemic generally was that I’ve been working steadily from home. This has meant that I’ve spent a lot of time with my kids.
“This has been amazing as I’ve never had the chance to do this before due to work, so I’m blessed to have been able to see my children grow.”
The Fylde squad have not trained since October and are looking forward to reassembling should restrictions ease as planned in a fortnight.
Gregory added: “During the year the Covid-19 restrictions have meant that we have only had a few sessions at the Woodlands. Therefore, I’ve had to get out on the roads doing some running.
“A lot of the lads have got involved on Strava and maintained some sort of fitness, so I’ve been challenging myself to get out as much as I can, whether walking or running.
“I’m looking forward to being back for the 2021-22 season. It’s been a massive loss for everyone but it won’t be too long until we’re all back at the club and the season is in full flow.”
The National Two North season is due to start in September, though Fylde will explore the possibility of playing some local friendlies from late May should restrictions continue to ease and enable spectators to attend.
New joint-head coach Alex Loney told The Gazette at the start of the month that contract agreements had been reached with most of last season’s squad and more announcements are expected.