Tour de Force (by David Gregory)


The action takes place in the changing room immediately after a Lions game against Australia in 1959. David Marques is an Eton and Oxford educated Guards officer.Bill Murray is an Irish farm-hand. The game is still amateur. Both are bloodied after an epic battle. This is a true story I read in the obituary of David Marques in the Daily Telegraph. A great place to find English eccentrics.

  •  D  David Marques a 6ft. 5in line-out specialist.
  • B  Bill Murray a tough prop.
  •  B    Jesus What a bloody game.
  •  D    In more ways than one. Damn fine win though.
  •  B     We murdered the Aussie bastards.
  • D     I thought they played remarkably well.
  • B     Not well enough…21-9….Fucking great.

What happened to you?  Looks like a broken nose.

  • D    Oh!  It,s nothing….Aussie hooker got a bit over-excited.
  • B     Come on what happened? What did that Aussie gob-shite do?
  • D     Oh! It’s over I prefer to forget it.
  • B     Come on….Just between the two of us.
  • D     Well I’d passed the ball to Gavin..He made a marvellous break and I tried to follow him.

The Aussie punched me in the nose. Stopped me in my tracks. Good solid punch..I saw stars

The ref clearly didn’t see it.

  •  B      That ref should have had a white stick and a guide-dog. Probably had an Aussie father.

If he had any parents…..Bastard.

Must have been off the bloody ball. Wish I’d seen it. I would have nailed him

in the next scrum.Tell me you got him back.

  • D       Don’t worry ..I taught him a lesson he won’t forget.
  • B       You flattened the dirty bugger at the next line -out.
  • D       Even better. I stood tall.
  • B       All 6ft. 5…..Yeah…Go on.
  • D       I stood tall…walked slowly towards him.
  • B      And leathered the sod.
  • D     Not quite….I held out my hand.
  • B     You did what?…What sort of retaliation is that? What did he do?

Give you another whack?

  • D     No….he took my hand a shook it.
  • B      Holy mother of God….I don’t believe you did that….To a dirty Aussie hooker.

Why didn’t you flatten him?

  • D      Bill….You wouldn’t understand…..I wanted him to feel like a cad.
  • B     (Laughs out loud)

You’re priceless…..I’ll never understand you English toffs.

An eye for an eye or in your case a nose for a nose, that’s our way.

  • D     Precisely,  That’s the trouble….We’ll go on punching each other and worse

until some one offers a hand. Now come on we won the match. I’ll show you how

the English celebrate.

  • B      Now that I’ve got to see.