70-year-old rugby player from Brightlingsea to keep scrummaging - as long as he’s picked

Alan Goggin with his sons Ben and Luke

Alan Goggin with his sons Ben and Luke - Credit: Archant

A 70-year-old rugby player from Essex says he has no plans to give up the sport he loves - unless he starts getting picked just because of his age.

Alan Goggin with his sons Ben and Luke

Alan Goggin with his sons Ben and Luke - Credit: Archant

Alan Goggin, from Brightlingsea, plays prop forward for Colchester 5ths, getting stuck in the scrummage every weekend alongside players some of whom are almost a quarter of his age.

Always the most enthusiastic player on the pitch, if a game is ever called off Alan is straight on his phone, ringing round other clubs in the area to see if there is a match he can join.

Every December 8 Mr Goggin plays in a special match to mark his birthday alongside his two sons Luke, 42, and Ben, 44.

For this year’s game, they arranged a host of England rugby legends, including David Campese, Martin Corry, Will Carling and Jason Leonard, to record some messages for the birthday boy which were played after the match.

Alan Goggin with his sons Ben and Luke

Alan Goggin with his sons Ben and Luke - Credit: Archant


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Mr Goggin, who is an Essex County Councillor for Brightlingsea and the town’s former mayor, said he has no plans on giving up the sport yet.

“The key to keeping coming back every week is to never go away in the first place,” he said.

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“For the last 50 years I have played sport - and have never stopped - and I don’t want to stop to be blunt.

“I started playing alongside my sons on my 50th birthday, at the time they were 20 odd years old.

Alan Goggin with his sons Ben and Luke

Alan Goggin with his sons Ben and Luke - Credit: Archant

“We have just kept it up, every birthday game they always support and play with me.

“In terms of father and son relationships there can’t be anything better.

“To play sport competitively with your sons is lovely.

“They also keep the predators off me on the pitch.

“I have played for six different teams this year already, they get hold of me when they are short of a prop.

“The role of the modern prop is to run around, get the ball and pass it.

“I tell people I can do two of the three.

“But I don’t want to be picked just because I am 70, I want to be picked because I am good enough.”

Mr Goggin’s son Ben added: “His keenness knows no bounds.

“He is not the fastest on the pitch but more than makes up for it with his strength and experience.

“He knows how to scrum and has a few tricks up his sleeve.”

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