Whitehead's 35-year love affair with the game comes to an end
BARRY Whitehead celebrated his 50th birthday by coming off the bench to help Frampton Cotterell defeat Gloucester Premier rivals Bristol Saracens – and then announcing his retirement.
The former Bristol and Bath winger will appear in the occasional vets match but a 35-season career of serious try-scoring rugby is at an end.
Whitehead said: "It feels appropriate. I'm feeling fit and I'm not injured, and it's the right time to move over and let the younger lads do their bit."
A product of Bill Pitt's famed Hambrook School nursery, he made his senior Frampton debut aged 15, scoring two tries, before spending three seasons with Bristol Colts.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
There followed two successful spells with Bristol – making 63 first-team appearances and scoring 46 tries – as well as a season with Bath and three years working and playing in Bermuda.
There was also a one-year stay at St Mary's, which included two tries in a Combination Cup-winning display at the Memorial Ground, before returning home again to Frampton who he also served as chairman for five years.
Whitehead said: "Family always comes first, but rugby has been a close second and a very significant part of my life.
"The sport has been very kind to me, rewarding me in many ways including travelling and meeting some fantastic people."
One of the highlights of his career was spending four years playing for England Classics, alongside stars such as Jeremy Guscott, Peter Winterbottom and Jason Leonard ... selection that was all the sweeter after missing out on a place in the England Colts squad at the start of his career.
Whitehead added: "To finally pull on an England shirt was a very proud moment."
Keynsham 2nds defeated Imperial 12-5 to secure their first win of the season in Somerset Premier thanks to tries from Lee Tattersall and Rob Breckon who also added a conversion.
It was also a good day for Keynsham 3rds in Somerset Two North where Matt Madigan bagged a hat-trick in a 59-7 home thumping of Winscombe. Greg Dix (2), Kerran Beavis, James Marsh and Chris Blacker also crossed.
Skipper Mike Marsh's double, though, was in vain for Keynsham 4ths who slipped 31-29 at Bath Old Edwardians in Somerset Three North.
James Reeves, Mitch Lewis and Sam Harvey also crossed with Sam Stuart slotting two conversions.
Yatton 3rds broke their duck in Somerset Three South in style, Stu Brain claiming five tries in a 54-12 home defeat of Minehead Barbarians.
Ashley Milburn finished with 21 points – two tries, four conversions and a penalty – in North Bristol 2nds' 36-12 defeat of Old Bristolians in South One of the Reserve League.
Dan Harris' second drop goal of the afternoon, meanwhile, helped North 3rds pinch a 23-21 home friendly win against Oldfield.
Callum Smith switched sides to help out Wotton-under-Edge who arrived at St Bernadettes with only 12 players – and went off injured in the second half after being clattered by brother Aran!
Saints nipped in for a 25-21 win in this Reserve League South Three clash thanks to two late tries from Paul Rowley with Chris Hibbs, Ben Collett and skipper Shane Sheppard also crossing.
Jason Hobbs' first ever try for Bristol Telephones helped secure a 22-3 win against St Bernadettes in South Four of the Reserve League.
Lewis Dicker, Tom Day and Wayne Socket also touched down with Mike Burd adding a conversion for Phones who have now won their last five outings.