You probably don’t remember, but we met a little while ago. It was in the players lounge at the Ricoh. I was stood just inside the players entrance with my youngest son and you came through. I shook your hand and thanked you for all you had done to save the club I loved.
You looked really surprised.
I kind of understand why, as you were getting a bit of stick online from certain quarters due to the disappointing results we’d had of late.
You’ve been brave enough to comment on how the negativity affected you personally, and how you felt personally responsible for the losses.
But I think the fact that you take responsibility for the things that are happening is exactly why you were the absolute best person to be at the helm of Wasps when you were.
No-one would have blamed you for walking away when we were at Adams Park on the verge on bankruptcy, but you didn’t. You’d said you were coming, and you aren’t the sort of man to walk away from a problem, even if it would have been perfectly reasonable.
You took on a failing team, in a financially untenable position, and you did amazing things.
We all know about you dipping into your own pockets when the club didn’t have any money, but you did so much more than that.
You gave us Joe Launchbury, Christian Wade, Elliot Daly, and Sam Jones.
You gave us Tom Varndell on one wing with Christian Wade on the other.
You gave us Ruaridh Jackson’s try against Toulon when we beat them at home.
You gave us Andrea Masi launching a kick downfield and then running half the length of the pitch to flatten Thomas Waldrom the second he caught the ball.
You gave us George Smith ripping the ball time and again.
You gave us Charles Piutau doing more amazing things than I can care to remember.
You gave us Jimmy Gopperth slotting a kick from the touchline to snatch a win from Chiefs.
You gave us Beale and Le Roux playing together like they were born to, slicing defences apart like tackling had gone out of fashion.
You took a team that was on the brink of extinction, and turned them into the envy of the rugby playing world.
So whatever the cause for the recent slump in form is, it changes nothing.
Whether you jumped or were pushed we will probably never know, and to be honest it doesn’t matter.
We all owe you.
So thank you.
From the very bottom of my black and gold striped heart.
THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU HAVE DONE.
Just remember, whatever the future brings, you are one of us.
Once a Wasp, always a Wasp.
I know I am not alone in wishing you the very best in whatever comes next for you in your future. But I do hope that whoever you take on we don’t end up playing against them, as I will honestly find it hard to pick a team to support.
We all know that all good things come to an end, and this is the end of an era that had some truly great moments. I’ve never wished more that Nathan hadn’t been penalised at the end of extra time in THAT final and you could leave with a well deserved title.
But it is what it is.
All the best for the future, it’s been a blast.