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Tig Blog

Most wonderful time of the year to look back

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Christmas is a great time for nostalgia and family memories, which is why The Tig has particularly enjoyed the Tigers Advent Calendar pictures on social media recently.

While we all want our team to win now, we also love looking back on the big days, the memorable moments and the special occasions in the past.

Sometimes, too, it is most seemingly insignificant moment that triggers a flow of memories, like the photo on Thursday showing the Welford Road pitch covered as protection from the frost.

The image was from 2008, showing the simple black sheeting on the pitch. But there is no Holland & Barrett Stand and no Robin Hood Stand, so minds hark back to the stadium as it was then which meant, other than at one end, how it had been for generations before.

The thought of snow and frost brought memories flooding back of other occasions too.

There was the famous semi-final against Toulouse in the first European season, or Toulouse again just a couple of years ago when the teams were almost as quick to sprint for the tunnel at the end as they had been to chase the ball for the preceding 80 minutes in swirling snow.

The Tig recalls club imagery of the canopy on the pitch in recent seasons, including seeing volunteers clearing snow and the day Tigers hosted a fox which run up and over the tent before disappearing into the afternoon sunset.

More especially, there is a warm glow of recall from that match against Wasps when Tigers hosted the only rugby action of the weekend and Dan Cole announced his arrival as a top-class prop with a destruction job on the opposition. He passed his audition with flying colours and the next step was the start of an international career which has now brought him 80 caps with England and the Lions.

There have been some other bitterly cold big days too, which is hardly surprising when the biggest competition in the club game has two rounds scheduled in the middle of December and two more in January. Clermont in the snow anyone? In freezing fog in Toulouse? The ice rink surrounding Murrayfield?

Another Tigers Advent photo showed the Barbarians – it simply had to – and an image from the European quarter-final against Stade Francais from 2006/07 when one game seemed to pack in enough incident to keep us going for a full season.

A picture of the ABC Club opened a raft of ‘good old days’ conversations which mainly did not even involve a specific match or a scoreline, just a dew-eyed tale from the era when the game moved from amateur to professional and players took their first steps into a brave new world of full-time rugby.

The warm glow of nostalgia is perfect at this time when TV is dominated by repeats of classics from yesteryear. Looking to the future again can wait until January 1.