VIDEO: Rugby players clowning around

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A TEAM of rugby players clowned around as part of an annual memorial game to remember their late club president.

Hartlepool Boys’ Brigade Old Boys travelled south for their annual clash with Northampton Boys’ Brigade Old Boys dressed in fancy dress.

Clowns(left to right) David and David Hetherington jnr, Peter Reid and Billy Gray.

Clowns(left to right) David and David Hetherington jnr, Peter Reid and Billy Gray.

The club, based at Old Friarage on the Headland, has played the Northampton team each year for the past 16 years and it is the fifth year they have competed in fancy dress in memory of late president Peter Kegans.

The fun-loving group – who have previously dressed as Morris dancers and cowboys – plastered on layers of colourful make-up and clown costumes that could put a circus to shame in honour of former Hartlepool clown Billy Purvis, who died in 1853 and is buried at St Hilda’s Church, on the Headland.

They travelled to the game in their show-stopping attire and even played the game dressed up, despite the opposition team wearing traditional rugby kits.

Club committee member Ian Fletcher, 65, a retired teacher from Hart Village, said everyone involved had a right laugh and as well as remembering Peter, the theme allowed them to remember town funnyman Billy too.

He told the Mail: “Everybody had a great time and it’s a good way of remembering our club president Peter who was a character and someone we all miss greatly.

“We’ve dressed differently each year and this year we chose clowns because it just seemed like a good idea especially after we thought of Billy Purvis, a historic comic figure who died in 1853 and is buried in the graveyard at St Hilda’s Church.”

The Hartlepool team’s player Andrew Egglestone was also awarded the Peter Kegans Memorial Trophy following the match.