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DAVID EGERTON 1961 – 2021

| 11/02/2021

Bridgwater & Albion members and players – particularly those from the late 1990’s – will be sad to learn of the death of David Egerton from Covid-19 this week.  Dave took up the coaching role at College Way at the start of the 1995/96 season immediately after retiring from Bath Rugby for whom he played between 1985 and 1995, appearing 163 times in a period when Bath were dominant both in league and Cup terms nationally.  He also won 7 England caps during this period and represented the British and Irish Lions in a special match against France in October 1989. 

Dave’s coaching impact here was immediate and probably needed to be.  Albion had taken some time to get to grips with the vagaries of league rugby football and suffered two relegation’s in the first four seasons of leagues and ending up in Western Counties.  They gradually clawed themselves back and by the time David arrived then we had just been promoted from what was then South West 2 back to where we started in South West 1. 

Under Dave’s guidance the transformation was swift and remarkable and many of the players involved will look back at the two seasons whilst he was here with some particular fondness and certainly pride as the proper and stylish way to play rugby football was restored. 

The playing records during those two seasons will amplify the impact of his coaching:-

1995-6  SW1   P36  W26  D1  L9  F 1053  A 634

The side captained by Graham Buller scored 136 tries and 50 players were used.  In addition, the club won the SCRFU Cup for the fourth time in five seasons beating higher placed Weston-super-Mare 12-11 at Taunton.  They finished fourth in the league that year and had significant victories 30-23 at Cinderford and a 40-8 home win over Plymouth Albion.  This buoyancy was carried in to the 1996-97 season when the playing record was:-

1996-7  SW1 P39  W31  L8  F 1410  A 715

This time 51 players were used.  The team kept in the promotion stakes throughout the season and ended in a neck and neck race with Launceston for the championship.  Albion had beaten Launceston 24-14 at home and 30-18 away.  The season was somewhat disrupted due to Somerset’s success in the County Championship where they reached the final against Cumbria at Twickenham – a side and a day blessed by the presence of seven Bridgwater & Albion players in the squad. 

On the final day on 3 May 1997 Albion had to go to Stroud and win for promotion.  No one had dared tell Dave or the players that we had not won there for 31 years.  It did not matter as we brought home the goods winning 33-10 and holding off Launceston with a superior points difference 476 against 428.  The league record was:-

P22  W14  L4  F 794  A 318

In the run-in Albion scored 61 points against Salisbury; 96 against Camborne and 87 against Barnstaple.  During the league run in Albion also won the Somerset Cup defeating Hornets 26-15. 

Dave established an easy and respected rapport with the players – particularly those who were willing to progress their game.  He certainly put some steel into Albion’s play and resolve and as a result, a good side morphed into a very good one with scintillating play amplified by the points and tries scored.  Dave had time for everyone in his training methods and players from our United and Athletic XV’s also felt the benefit.  His style swept through the club. 

Unfortunately, Dave’s term at College Way was short – after guiding the side to promotion he took up a post with Bristol to coach their Development/United XV but later in the 1997-8 season was appointed joint caretaker coach.  Albion could have done with his guidance particularly in their first year in the new National League where they struggled but survived finishing 8th but the originally appointed coach was replaced by internal caretaker coaches and that sadly was the sequence over the next two seasons as we ran through four coaching teams in three seasons, culminating in the disastrous 1999/2000 relegation.  The players involved and members still talk fondly about Dave Egerton’s brief time at College Way with considerable affection.  He was a fine man and his loss is considerable. 

Bridgwater & Albion offers its sincere condolences to David’s family.


Director of Rugby Geoff Sluman mourns passing of former Bridgwater & Albion RFC coach.
Geoff Sluman, Albion’s Director of Rugby joined the club at the same season as Dave. Geoff said Dave was a large part of the reason I joined the club. His rugby credentials needed no explanation to anyone who was playing rugby at the time. I was actually thinking about ceasing playing when I moved to the area but a short conversation with Dave made a very swift decision to continue playing, we enjoyed a couple of promotions under his guidance. I suppose it could be argued that Dave is the reason I joined the club, and I am still here all these years later so in some small part his influence over us continues.
Not just a rugby player who had incredible insight into the game and a person who was able to translate that to others, but Dave was also just one of the nicest guys you could wish to meet. We all enjoyed the time we spent with him and had many good times on and off the pitch. Those that played for Dave learned a lot and we became a better team and therefore a better club because of his leadership, most of us learned a lot and many have taken what we learned from playing for him into coaching. I know I will speak for all the players that played for Dave at the time that that we are tremendously saddened to learn of his passing and wish to pass on our deepest respects to Dave’s Family. The shock of his passing will affect many and for all of his players at Bridgy he coached I am struggling to sum up what we all thought of him, but it would definitely include a great leader, a friend, a guy who enjoyed banter and a beer, a truly talented rugby player and coach and probably most importantly a genuinely nice person. R.I.P Dave.



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