Old Boys reunite to take on current crop

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Harrogate Grammar School welcomed back rafts of ex-students as it held a special open alumni reunion.

The Main Hall buzzed with excitement as visitors browsed photographs of times gone by.

Out on the rugby pitch, more than 50 Old Boys spanning four decades played against current HGS students.

Over 100 spectators lined the pitch despite the rain where Roy Mackay, who has taught at the school for nearly 30 years, gave a heartfelt speech.

He said: “It’s brilliant to see the overwhelming support the Old Boys have for their old school.

“Apologies for absence were received from as far afield as Canada, Bangkok and France!

“We’re definitely looking at an annual Old Boys rugby match from now on – we’re already planning the next one!

“The team spirit shown today is testament to the strong community created by our school over the years; something that continues to grow and develop each year. It’s something we can all be very proud of.”

A series of three mini matches were played involving veterans against current first-team players, old boys v old boys and a mixed match.

Proceedings were overseen by veteran referee John Henry, past parent.

“Many of the players relived former glories with dazzling runs, skilful offloads and bone-crunching tackles,” said an event spokesman.

“Capturing the action was another former student, Chris Morrison, who since leaving school has swapped playing-field antics with a zoom lens.”

After the matches, players and spectators enjoyed refreshments, supplied by another old boy, David Croft, of Black Sheep Brewery.

Back in the Main Hall, tours of the school were led by members of long-standing staff and current sixth formers, showing them how much the school has developed and evolved over the years.

A new alumni platform, Harrogate Grammar Connect, has been launched this month.