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Golden Oldie- noun, (sometimes initial capital letters)
Informal. something once popular or valued that has retained its appeal or for which interest has been reawakened, especially a popular song or record.
Once rugby players realized they could play the sport well past their 35th birthday, it was natural for these old boys to plan and promote tournaments with like-minded ruggers. When a spate of Old Boys sides started around the world, the international gathering called Golden Oldies could not be far behind.
The initial Golden Oldies tournament occurred in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1979 with 15 teams, 13 coming from New Zealand. The enthusiastic response spread quickly by word of mouth to every rugby playing country. By 2005, when San Diego served as the host city, 125 teams from twenty-nations arrived for the event, all trying to live the Golden Oldie motto of “Fun, Friendship, and Fraternity.”
By 2005, the proliferation of aged players generated innovative contests of regular rugby, touch rugby, and even no touch rugby for the elderly seniors who played in purple shorts. Matches were played on ten pitches at the San Diego Polo Club.
Perhaps the highlight of the fun event occurred when the Colorado Ol’ Pokes substituted a watermelon painted white into the scrum, and continued to play with the “ball” until it split in half.
And congrats to the San Diego-based Ancient Aztecs, who campaigned to win the tournament bid, and organized the entire event, with help from the Oosiks and Gurkas.
The culmination of the 2005 Golden Oldies witnessed a sit-down meal for 2,500 people on the flight deck of the USS Midway.