A RUGBY fanatic who has dedicated 65 years of his life to Taunton Rugby Club has been invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace to celebrate King Charles III's Coronation.

Jack Matthews and Ann, his wife of 50 years, will be attending the event on Tuesday (May 9), three days after the Coronation at Westminster Abbey on Saturday week (May 6).

The couple were originally invited to the palace a couple of years ago during the Queen's reign, but the occasion was postponed due to Covid.

Mr Matthews, who has served as player, captain, chairman, president and fundraiser at the Division One club, said: "It came out of the blue and I feel very humbled.

"It was for 'services rendered to the community' and it can only be for my connections with the rugby club.

"I look back with great pride on my time at Taunton Rugby Club and I still get a lovely feeling when I drive into the new ground at Hyde Park, which I helped to create.

"I feel I have left a legacy for those coming on behind me. We are the envy of most other clubs."

He added: "Ann is very pleased. It's a compliment to both of us. We're really looking forward to it.

"They say, 'Behind every good man there's a good woman' and Ann has given me licence to do whatever I had to do down at the club, especially during the transition from the old Priory Park ground to Hyde Park."