Tuam RFC

Founded 1970

Co. Galway

Club Profiles Seàn Carter



(This piece with Seàn Carter was done on the 24th of August 2020)


This week we continue our club profiles with a man who has been a huge part of the club for the last 45 years; our club treasurer Sean Carter.


However as Sean explains himself, his rugby career was all but over when he arrived in Tuam back in 1975.


"I started playing rugby when I went to boarding school in Rockwell in Tipperary. I played scrum half from U 10's to U 15's, ( Willie Duggan played at out half on these teams and would go on to play for the Lions and Ireland at number eight) . I'm not sure if was was due to the boarding school food or not, but I grew quite tall at around fourteen and was too awkward anyhow to continue playing at scrum half, so I changed to second row/back row. 


"We were living in Athlone at the time and when I finished secondary school I went to college in Dublin coming back at the weekends to play senior rugby with Athlone- now Buccaneers. In about the 1972/73 season, having an operation on one leg and breaking the other, I decided to call it a day."


Yet despite this, Sean's work and a few pints of beer would result in a lifelong association with Tuam RFC. 


"I bought a house in Tuam in 1975 and was working in the beer business. One of the promotions we ran at the time was to show the famous All Blacks V Barbarians game on an old projector and reel to rugby clubs.


"I set up one up for the club in Tuam and there was free Bass (a beer brewed in Yorkshire) for the night, so these promotions were very popular as you can imagine! When the event came to an end that night, Mick Grogan, who I had played with in Athlone and was living in Tuam introduced me to many of the Tuam guys. One thing led to another and before we parted, after many pints of Bass, I had been persuaded to start playing again, with Tuam obviously."


Thus for Sean began what he describes as some of the greatest years of his life where he created great memories and made life long friends.


"My memories of playing with Tuam RFC are all fun memories. The stories, the post match nights in the Imperial Hotel (now the Corralea), 'Hacker' singing 'The Blackbird' and just the general mayhem really!


"The numerous friends I have made over the years, not just those, with whom I played in Tuam but also from the many teams we played from all the clubs in the province. Excluding friends I have made through work contacts, most other friends have come about through some rugby experience or other. Hardly a day goes by when I don't bump into one somewhere."


Seans proudest moments as a player were when he captained the club in 1977 and again in 1978. The latter year they went on to reach the Junior Cup Final only to be cruelly denied victory against Creggs with the concession of a late, late try. 


“Losing the Junior Cup Final was of course very disappointing especially under the circumstances of that injury time try. But I take pride in the fact that we reached a final which sadly has not happened since. Hopefully this will change in the not too distant future. If it doesn't happen under Barry Ruane's coaching I wonder will it ever happen. Barry has taken things to a whole new level in Tuam RFC."


With Sean very optimistic about the clubs fortunes on the pitch, he is equally as happy with club matters off the pitch. Having served as Club President on no less than six occasions(1982/83, 1983/84 and from 2007 to 2011), Sean now holds the important role of treasurer in the club especially in these uncertain times due to Covid 19.


He says "I had no interest in getting involved in coaching but I felt I could contribute to the club in recent years by looking after money matters and have served as club treasurer for the past eight years.


"The club is in a very good financial position. We have two top quality pitches, a training pitch, a sand arena, a clubhouse with a gym, lights on our main pitch, a brand new tractor and mower, all fully paid for so great credit is due to all those involved in the club for the past fifty years". We have also benefitted on a number of occasions from the Governments Cap. Sports Grant programme, which has helped us considerably". 


Sean tells us that the club began in 1924 only to become defunct in 1931. It was re-established in 1939 lasting only two years until 1941. Another effort was made to revive the club in 1959 but again it only saw out two seasons. However since 1970 the club has gone from strength to strength, without any breaks and Sean believes this is down to the hard work of every individual in the club and the various fundraisers that have been held by Tuam RFC with one particular fundraising effort standing out.


"The day to day costs are met every year but it is not easy and is due again to all the active members who continually fundraise to meet these ongoing costs. We have held car washes, poker nights, table quizzes, white collar boxing, sponsored walks and cycles to name a few of our recent initiatives.


"Without a doubt though, the very best and most financially rewarding fundraisers were the five publications we did of the local 093 phone directories which we produced in 1985, 89, 94, 99 and 2004. Unfortunately there is no opportunity currently to repeat this as people now store numbers in their mobiles.


"We printed about five thousand copies of each edition and sold the books locally with significant revenue generated from the advertisements in the books. The last one we did in 2004 resulted in a net profit of just short of €20,000". 


With a proficient club treasurer like Sean Carter it is safe to say the club's finances are in safe hands. Sean himself believes Tuam RFC's future in general bodes well as the club has a lot of new faces consistently getting involved.


"You see guys getting involved, playing for as long as they do, then they end their club playing careers and some disappear and are sadly never seen in the club again and this is very understandable. Others however, re appear, when children arrive, who start by joining our mini Rugby programme, which gets the Mams and Dads involved again. 


"Many then stay involved and go on to serve on our committee. With the group I see playing, coaching and on committee currently, I absolutely know the club is in great hands for the next fifty years".

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