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.
Fly-half Billy Burns was named Man of the Match after the 35-14 European Rugby Challenge Cup victory over Stade Rochelais on Thursday evening, and was full of praise for all his team mates for the win after a short turnaround.
Gloucester have been in good form in recent weeks, but Backs Coach Tim Taylor knows that the Cherry and Whites will have to be at their best on Thursday evening (kick off 7:45pm) against a Stade Rochelais side flying high this season.
Speaking to GRTV after the bonus point win over Bristol, back row Lewis Ludlow revealed that despite a tricky first half, Gloucester backed their skills to come through, a faith that was evident in a strong second half showing.
Willi Heinz scored Gloucester's second try as the Cherry and Whites overturned a disappointing first 40 minutes and 0-6 half time deficit, to earn a 26-18 Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol Rugby on Saturday.
Gloucester's much changed side had to overcome conceding an early try on Thursday evening, but responded in style to down Stade Rochelais by 35 points to 14 in the European Rugby Challenge Cup and set up a mouthwatering return fixture next weekend.
After taking 11 points from their last three games in the Aviva Premiership, including bonus point wins against Wasps and Bristol, Gloucester will be looking to continue their good form when they welcome La Rochelle to Kingsholm.