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Appearance anniversary for legendary Tiger

This Saturday (February 23) marks 45 years since the club’s record appearance-holder David Matthews played his 500th senior game for Leicester Tigers.

The legendary back-rower, now aged 81, made his debut as a teenager in 1955 and reached the 500 mark on this day in 1974, fittingly on home ground at Welford Road.

There were celebrations all round as Matthews was chaired from the field after a 15-9 win over local rivals Northampton, with fly-half Alan Old contributing all of the points.

Described as “the heart and soul” of the Tigers by club chairman Peter Tom, a team-mate in the 1960s, Matthews beat the previous appearance record of 491 games set by Sid Penny back before World War One and it is accepted that his mark will never be beaten.

He has since served as coach, president, director and now life member of the club he served with such distinction.