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.
As Gloucester prepare for their 39th game of the season, against Bordeaux-Begles at Sixways on Sunday, David Humphreys told the local media that this week has been all about getting the players mentally and physically ready after a tough game against Connacht last Sunday.
Speaking to GRTV after the 40-32 victory over Connacht on Sunday, skipper Billy Twelvetrees explained that Gloucester had had to learn to be patient and cut out the errors to earn the win and progress to next weekend's final play-off against Bordeaux-Begles.
Jonny May's superb late score capped a thrilling 40-32 European play-off win over Connacht on Sunday. The winger spoke afterwards of his team's character and spirit as he looked ahead to one more week of rugby.
Speaking to GRTV this afternoon, Director of Rugby David Humphreys hailed the 'never say die' attitude of the team, after despite not being at their best, fighting back to take a 40-32 win after extra time over Connacht.
Jonny May continues on the wing on Sunday as Connacht come to town, and the England wing explains to the local media this week that he is delighted with his form and is looking forward to taking on Pat Lam's men.