Gloucester Rugby held their annual Open Day for the first time at Gloucester Docks on Bank Holiday Monday and were rewarded by an estimated 4,500 people coming to meet their heroes.
The full Gloucester Rugby squad were in attendance from just after 2pm onwards, arriving in three groups after they finished their training preparations for this weekend's vital Guinness Premiership opener against Bath (Sunday Sep 6th, kick off 3:30pm).
It's fair to say that the first 10 players who arrived were duly mobbed but those fans who waited patiently benefitted from seeing the whole squad arrive in due course.
The players and coaches were happy to sign posters which featured the 2009-10 team photo and pose for pictures.
There were numerous giveaways. Main sponsor Jewson estimated that they handed out 2,500 pens, pads and pencils, 500 woolly hats, 500 caps, 1000 water bottles and 3000 T shirts! Many of these items were signed and tranformed from freebie into cherished momento of a great day.
The Gloucester Rugby Community department set up their own bungee run for the kids to try out and there were a number of other challenges courtesy of the RFU Roadshow notably goalkicking, tackling bags and a lineout simulator.
Gloucester Rugby's Community Manager Gary Little felt that the day had been a great success and justified the decision to hold the event at the Docks.
"Last year, we suffered the disappointment of seeing the event, which was due to have been staged at Kingsholm, rained off. So, moving the event to the Docks has proved to be a great success in that respect."
"Seeing so many people here enjoying themselves and meeting the players and coaches is reward in itself and I'd like to thank everyone who played a part in staging the event."
For those who enquired about a behind the scenes tour of Kingsholm which has featured in previous events held at the stadium, there is the opportunity to do so this coming Friday.
Please email the Gloucester Rugby Community department for details at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Henry Purdy scored two memorable tries against London Welsh at Kingsholm on Saturday, and attributed the first one to hard work on the training ground before describing how much he's enjoying playing his rugby alongside friends like Callum Braley.
Gloucester face London Welsh for the third time this season when they meet at Kingsholm in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday (kick off 3pm), but Director of Rugby David Humphreys insists his team are prepared for a tough game against the Exiles.
Billy Burns was a late call up to the Gloucester team that lost narrowly to the Leicester Tigers at Welford Road on Friday evening and, speaking to GRTV post match, was full of praise for his team-mates but admitted that defeat was tough to take.
Speaking after what he described as an 'arm wrestle' up front, skipper Tom Savage couldn't fault his side's effort and commitment on the night at Welford Road but insisted that his side will keep on battling, starting at home to London Welsh next weekend.
A number of the Gloucester Rugby squad this week benefitted from an initiative organised by Circle 2 Success (C2S) and the Rugby Players Association (RPA) to help players develop their business planning skills.