CHARD Rugby Club received a message last week, offering to sponsor a player, from one of their own former players - someone who has gone a long way since his time in Somerset, writes Glyn Hughes.

Donovan Bagwell, a rugby playing student at Holyrood School and then a formidable member of Chard’s front row more than 20 years ago, contacted former club secretary Mike Berry and offered to sponsor a player - preferably a short, fat front rower like himself!

Donovan was in reality was a very good player and when he left Chard he told the club that he was off for a temporary assignment to Barbados and would soon be back in Somerset.

The truth, as it turned out, was that he was immediately playing rugby there and soon became a Barbadian international player!

Their gain was certainly Chard’s loss. He never did return to Chard as a player, and no-one has been able to supply the team with as much local scrumpy cider as he did.

Donovan has been heavily involved with rugby in Barbados for many years and has recently been elected as the president of the Barbados Rugby Football Union - the country’s team sitting 68th in the world rugby rankings.