Saturday, June 11, 2005


Three years ago we initiated a Player's Player of the Year award to the club where David plays Rugby. It is awarded in my brother's name, to honor his memory as he was a rugby fan. We are unable to attend this year's presentation. One of the coaches will do the honors on my behalf. This is my speech he will be reading. Again, this one's for you, Willie.
"As each season draws to a close and I sit down to prepare something meaningful to say, I reflect on the time that has passed since my brother passed away.

Daniel and I initiated this award in order to celebrate Willie’s life rather than mourn his loss in sadness and sorrow. Of course it is very hard not to have those moods and moments too, because as we all well know, life is simply a series of ups and downs with us making the best effort to stay on the right track in between.

The one thing that is always most evident in my thinking is the importance of being part of something, of having a sense belonging, and to generally feel that we are needed.

So many people go through their lives thinking they are invisible. They do not believe they will be missed if they were no longer here.

There is much value to be found in having a sense of belonging, of knowing that you as an individual are a vital part of something, that without you the big “it” will not be complete. In this instance, the “it” is this rugby team. I am sure that it is nowhere more evident than on the field. Every player is a vital part to this machine. If one is missing, the game goes on, but the players have to work that much harder by virtue of being one man, or more, less.

I therefore want to acknowledge not only the player this award is being presented to today, but the people who stand behind the club. In giving these young men the opportunity to be part of this group you open the platform for them to gain a sense of self worth and self respect. In so doing, they reap the enormous value of learning how uniquely vital they each are to the overall success of the game, the team and the club, as a whole.

I am very sorry that Daniel and I were not able to be here today. We congratulate everyone for their achievements.

Tom Lane, you have been a vital link to your team this year. Your efforts are being rewarded today as John asks you, on our behalf, to please accept this award, which we extend to you with love, gratitude and much acknowledgment for your contribution. You have most certainly made a difference.

With best wishes to you all and we most certainly hope to see you next year."