The Launch Dinner for Taunton Rugby Football Club’s 150th Anniversary took place at Veritas Park on Friday night and what a fantastic event it turned out to be.

With Scott Quinnell, a former Welsh international and British Lion, and larger-than-life character and international referee Tom Foley as the guest speakers, this was a great way to kick-start the club’s special year.

At the start of the evening, club chairman Jon Wrelton welcomed the 140 guests who then enjoyed an excellent four-course dinner.

During the course of the meal, Dick Macey, a former president of the club, conducted an auction.

In addition, a silent auction was taking place throughout the evening as well as a raffle.

The first guest speaker was Tom Foley who has officiated in over 200 Gallagher Premiership League rugby matches as well as 48 international fixtures including being TMO in the 2023 World Cup Final.

Tom, who has over the years become a good friend of Taunton RFC, recounted some of the highlights from his time out in the middle as well as some of the people he had met.

This gave those present an insight into what his role entails at the top level of the sport.

Before the next speaker, guests were introduced to Neil Symons who only a few evenings earlier had been elected as the new president of the club.

Neil, who has been involved with TRFC for 36 years, said: “I am extremely proud to have taken on the role of President for this special year."

(Image: Richard Walsh)

Up next was Scott Quinnell, a passionate Welshman who hit the ground running and gave a graphic description of himself and his family's long and proud involvement with Welsh rugby.

Scott played at the top level of the game between 1990 and 2005 and recounted stories from his long playing career at number 8 for Llanelli, Richmond and the British and Irish Lions, before returning to finish his career where he began at Llanelli Scarletts.

He was capped on 52 occasions for Wales, and captained the team seven times.

He won three caps for the Lions, and scored 11 international tries for Wales and one for the Lions.

With this sort of experience, it was no wonder that Scott had a kit bag full of rugby experiences and memories to share with those present who all thoroughly enjoyed his anecdotes and tales of his exploits on and off the rugby field.

Although he spoke for an hour or so, totally unscripted, all too soon it was time for Scott to stop.

But just before he did, he said: “I wish Taunton RFC a happy birthday.

“The club is all about the people and from my experiences tonight, TRFC is in safe hands now and for the future.”

(Image: Richard Walsh)

After Scott Quinnell stopped to draw breath and the formal proceedings had concluded, many remained behind to catch up with old friends and recall many of their happy times at Taunton RFC both on and off the field.

Others tried their hands at the Las Vegas gambling tables.

This was an evening that everyone can be proud of and a great way to start Taunton Rugby Football Club’s Sesquicentennial (150 Years) Celebrations.

The next event in the 150 Years calendar is on August 17 when TRFC will be hosting a Beer Festival and there will be a pre-season friendly match taking place.

Further details of the event will be announced in due course.

The opening league fixture is on Saturday. September 7 with an away fixture against Loughborough Students before the Titans return to Veritas Park to host Hornets a week later.