100-year-old fan thrilled by special jersey

Long-serving Otago fan Tom Galway, who turned 100 on Monday, received a limited edition Otago jersey and a signed All Blacks jersey, delivered by  Otago players (from left) Trent Renata, Liam Coltman and Hayden Parker. Photo by Phil Janssen
Long-serving Otago fan Tom Galway, who turned 100 on Monday, received a limited edition Otago jersey and a signed All Blacks jersey, delivered by Otago players (from left) Trent Renata, Liam Coltman and Hayden Parker. Photo by Phil Janssen

Tom Galway did not want to stop wearing his limited edition Otago rugby jersey.

The avid rugby fan, who turned 100 on Monday, was ''very excited'' when Trent Renata, Liam Coltman and Hayden Parker paid him a visit and presented him with a limited edition Otago jersey from last year's shield game and a signed All Blacks jersey donated by the team which played against England in June.

''It was very exciting. We were having our happy hour on Thursday and in walked these Otago chaps. I didn't know they were coming. I had no idea anything was planned. It was a nice surprise,'' he said.

Mr Galway, who used to play halfback, has always supported club, provincial and national rugby.

''It is a sport I enjoy. I never played anything else. It was always just rugby. If there is any rugby on I will watch it,'' he said.

As part of Mr Galway's 100th birthday celebrations, 51 relatives from all around the world attended a function on Saturday night - the same night the All Blacks played Australia.

''I was worried about missing the match. I recorded it and watched it on Sunday but I already knew the score. It was marvellous. They won so easily and it was a big score,'' he said.

Mr Galway also enjoyed watching Otago take on Counties-Manukau.

''They didn't settle down as well as they should have. But you can't win them all. To get a win you have to get a loss,'' he said.

Taieri winning this year's premier rugby final against University was the result Mr Galway was after.

''I went along and watched that final. I didn't expect that we could win. They thrashed University and they played very well. I have always been a big supporter of Taieri,'' he said.

Mr Galway acknowledged he could get a ''bit rowdy'' while watching rugby games - ''particularly when the players do something wrong or you see something you think the referee should've seen''.

The recipe to living to 100, according to Mr Galway, was to have a good laugh, a bit of humour, a beer a day and plenty of tripe.

''It's all beer to me. If it's a beer then I'll have it,'' he said.

Mr Galway still plays bowls, travels overseas, uses his iPad and drives a car.

- by Samantha McPherson 

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