Portal:1963 Men

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< 1962 1964>

1963 Men Portal

Walter John Herrington, then a Squadron Leader in the RAF, was posted to the Academy in May 1962 as part of the military teaching staff. He was associated with 12th Squadron. His boss on the staff (Col. George Brown) discovered that he had played rugby at school and in representative teams within the RAF. He asked if he would help because although there was some rugby being played, he would 'have to get the casualty rate down', if the game was going to continue to be played. When he went to watch what the guys were doing, it was obvious that they were playing as though they were playing football - without the helmets and pads!

He identified a number of cadets to take responsibility for developing the game and started running regular coach development sessions, some involving watching film of international matches, which he had asked the RFU in England to send over, others based around the key skill areas in the game. He also developed a number of cadets as referees. He confirmed that the Academy lost to Cranwell by a single point in '62 (Editor: ?most likely the spring of 62). The football team's kicker, who also played for the rugby team hit the post with a kick which would have won the game. My dad refereed the first half and the French Exchange officer refereed the second half. In his second year (Editor:  ? most likely the spring of 63), the Academy team beat the visiting Cranwell team, (although he thinks playing at altitude may have helped with this.) He believes these games against Cranwell were the only Academy matches at this point.

He returned to the UK in May 1964, having been promoted to Wing Commander while in post. He eventually retired from the RAF having reached the rank of Air Vice-Marshal.

The RAF officer who took over the rugby team was indeed Jim Walsh, a former British army paratrooper who had transferred to the RAF.

Simon Herrington Son of Air Vice Marshal Herrington

Our “club” was wiped out by the Sandhurst cadets in 62. We recruited the football team for 63 and smeared them! Bob Zepecki 65

From left - US Navy Commander Sam Rorex; the Australian Air Force exchange officer and RAF Walter Herrington, all posted to the Academy at the same time