On 24th July 2021, a special 20-team Rugby Sevens Tournament was played in wonderful spirit at Hymers College in Hull in remembrance and celebration of Henry Foster (W 16-18). The competition included three teams comprised of Old Sedberghians, one being an official OS team (playing in brown shirts and white shorts) alongside other Sedbergh representative teams, ‘Nasty FC’ (Harvey Ferguson [W 13-18] and Henry’s Winder House brothers in purple Winder shirts) and ‘On A Roll’ (after the popular eatery on Sedbergh Main St)- a team of friends from last year’s leavers which included several U20 Scotland players such as twins Ollie Melville (S 15-20), Cameron Melville (S 15-20), and Rhys Tait (SH 18-20). All teams competed for the inaugural Henry Foster Sevens Cup and Plate and all proceeds of the tournament went to the Henry Foster Foundation, which has already raised more than £111,000 by some 1,400 donors.
Of the 20 teams, the competition concluded in an all-Sedbergh final with the official OS team narrowly losing out to the On A Roll team by 3 tries to 2. The trophy presentation took place with a new Henry Foster Memorial Bench being presented to Hymers College. Photographer of the day, Richard Papworth (Sedbergh School Governor), described the memorial event as “A sad day but one of positivity and love coming together through the medium of sevens rugby. As Henry used to say, ‘Live Your Dreams, Create Memories, Go Big or Go Home.'”
Team On A Roll – Henry Foster Sevens Winners. L to R: Toby Wheatley (S 15-20), Ben Burridge (S 15-20), Cameron Melville (S 15-20), John Bailey (W 18-20), Ewan Page (S 15-20), Sean Foster (Henry’s Father), Hector Panday (H 15-20), Oliver Melville (S 15-20), Roman Wheatley (W 15-20), Rhys Tait (SH 18-20).
The OS Team, Henry Foster Sevens Runners Up. Back Row L to R: Charlie Papworth (E 13-18), Ben Watson (E 15-17), Jack Hill (SH 16-18), Harry Hill (S 14-19), Sam Higginson (S 17-19), Niall Combe (E 12-17). Front Row L to R: George Barber (E 14-19), Alex Brundage (E 16-19), Tom Walsh (E 16-18), Theo Manihera (E 17-19), Matthew Forde (E 16-18)
More information and photos of the day can be found on the Facebook page dedicated to the event here.
Henry Foster represented each of the Brown 1st XV, VII and X’s and was part of the record-breaking team which won the coveted National Treble in a single season in 2018, including the Daily Mail Trophy (XV), the Rosslyn Park Tournament (VII) and Army Super-Ten’s National Championship (X).
In commemoration of Henry’s life, the Old Sedberghian Club will also be hosting a special tribute to Henry in the form of a memorial match and lunch at Sedbergh School on Sunday 19th September 2021. The match, the OS team against the Anti-Assassins, will kick-off on Buskholme at 2:00pm following a lunch in the Hirst Centre at 12:30pm. Refreshments will also be served after the game. Please get in touch with Ben Collins at email@example.com if you are interested in playing for the OS team or if you would like to attend the lunch as a spectator.