On 8th March we welcomed over 180 members of the Radley community – ORs, parents and former parents – to Radley for a glamourous gala dinner to raise money for Radley Rugby.

The evening began with a drinks reception in Mansion, giving the guests time to catch up with each other and inspect the 28 fantastic prizes on offer during the auctions and raffle. Boys from the RCRUFC mingled with the crowd, updating ORs on the current excellent form that Radley Rugby is in, and selling raffle tickets.

Guests were welcomed by Master in Charge of Rugby, Nick Wood, and once they had enjoyed their starters, the evening’s special guests took to the stage. Wayne Barnes, international rugby referee, was interviewed by sports broadcaster Mark Pougatch and shared a number of reflections on his career, bringing plenty of laughter from the room. He gamely accepted a number of questions from the guests, some of them more challenging than others. Broadcaster Mark Durden-Smith (1982, B) roved among the tables in Hall with a microphone, ready to take questions from the floor.

After a delicious meal, it was time to start the live auction, which included some much sought-after prizes such as tickets to Taylor Swift’s sold-out tour and a day of clay shooting with Mike Tindall on his Aston Farm estate.

As the night drew to a close, the winners of the raffle and silent auction were announced, and there was time for some guests to join a photoshoot with the evening’s celebrities. Those who had a little energy left made their way down to the JCR to round off the night.

We extend a huge thank you to all those who joined us for this magical evening, particularly to those who made bids. A total of 28 prizes were donated by members of the community, helping us to raise a wonderful £40,000 for Radley Rugby, some of which will be used to fund places on the Argentina Tour later this year for boys who would not otherwise be able to go.

The evening was a resounding success and we extend our sincere gratitude to our special guests, Wayne Barnes, Mark Pougatch, Mark Durden-Smith (1982, B), and the exceptional talent of auctioneer Johnny Gould, and the incredible support of Julian Sykes and all at Givergy, Andrew Eliot, Shane and Amber Renders, and Debbie Obied. The event was generously sponsored by Savills and Steppes Travel.

A photo album is available to view below, and also on Flickr.

Rugby Gala Dinner