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Magee’s Long Association With London Irish Continues

Magee’s Long Association With London Irish Continues

London Irish RFC – both the amateur and professional clubs – recently unveiled a new training facility in Hazelwood. The event was attended by IRFU President Louis Magee to mark both the event and a significant family connection.

Louis Magee comes from a family steeped in Irish rugby both at home and abroad. His grandfather – also Louis – was a founder member of London Irish in 1898 and the first international from the club.

He was first capped for Ireland in 1895 against England and went on to win a total of 27 caps, with his last coming in 1904 against Wales.

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A special commemorative jersey was presented to Louis to mark the connection of the Magee family and the IRFU to London Irish.

Accompanied by his wife Susan and IRFU representatives Martin O’Sullivan and Ian McIlrath, they also attended the IRFU Exiles Awards night which honours the volunteers working for the Exiles.

Hazelwood Training Centre, home of London Irish amateur and professional rugby clubs and a facility for the local community, was officially opened by the Mayor of Spelthorne, Councillor Suzy P Webb.

The event, which was attended by local councillors and dignitaries as well of members of both the professional and amateur clubs, saw a rugby relay which symbolised the moving of the spirit from the old Avenue training ground over to Hazelwood.

London Irish captain George Skivington was one of 23 players from both the amateur and professional clubs involved in the rugby relay. The relay culminated in George and Under-6 player Lars Esse handing the ball over to Councillor Webb who cut the ribbon to officially open Hazelwood.

London Irish ended a 79-year association with the Avenue training ground in July this year and the club said farewell to the Avenue on Saturday morning with a short service with the families of some of those that had their loved ones ashes scattered at the former spiritual home.

The opening concluded with a service and unveiling of a bench in the Hazelwood Memorial Garden to commemorate those that had their ashes scattered at the Avenue. This was kindly donated by the London Irish Supporters Club.

London Irish Executive Chairman David FitzGerald, who is also Chairman of the London Irish amateur club, said: “The Avenue was a special place to London Irish for many years. We are hopeful now of making Hazelwood the same quality of location and home for London Irish men and women as well as the entire local community of Sunbury and Spelthorne for the next 80 years and beyond.”