By Maria Mellor and Toby Holloway
The historic Welsh Varsity Trophy, awarded to the victor of the headline act of Varsity – the men’s rugby match – has been destroyed by the Swansea University rugby team.
Whilst reportedly on tour in Budapest, Hungary, the trophy that was once held by Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones was dismantled and used, among other things, as a hat.
To add what some would describe as ‘insult to injury’, the various pieces were then scattered around the Hungarian capital and lost forever, leaving the words to George Ezra’s hit ‘Budapest’ (For you, oooh, you, oooh, I lose it all) hanging ironically in the air.
The trophy was won by Swansea University last year, with Cardiff retaining the shield. Now a new trophy will have to be found as Welsh Varsity returns to Cardiff this year and Wales’ two leading universities go head-to-head once more.
“We took it on tour, and it didn’t come home.”
These are the words of one Swansea University rugby player, who, when asked if he knew anything about the incident, replied: “Hahahaha not lost, it was destroyed…it’s currently in pieces around Budapest.”
When Gair Rhydd approached Swansea University Students’ Union for a comment, they first denied any knowledge of the rugby team’s tour of Budapest, then, in an updated quote sent after receiving photo evidence of the alleged incident, stated: “As an organisation we have a huge respect for Varsity and the players who make the day so special. We look forward to supporting our players in Cardiff.”
Swansea SU failed to say whether or not the rugby team have been punished by their actions.
In response to the destruction of the Varsity trophy, Cardiff University Rugby Football Club spoke to Gair Rhydd, saying: “we have had a successful season and are hoping to avenge last year’s defeat. Swansea are a good team but we hope that we can bring home the cup this year and look after it.”
This isn’t the only report of missing treasured trophies have surfaced this week. Cardiff University Water Polo Club were in hot water when a young member of the team lost memorabilia that have been part of the club for the past 23 years.
A pair of two-foot long wooden spoons that act as a symbol of the club’s long history were misplaced on a night out by the first year charged with looking after them. it is a club tradition that every year a member of the junior team is chosen to have responsibility over the spoons, with his or her initials being engraved on the spoon at the end of the year.
Rudi Polster, the first year who lost the spoons said: “They were lost over a month ago on a social on Wednesday by me (foolishly). I was a little too drunk and I can’t remember how, could’ve been lost or someone could’ve taken them off me but I honestly can’t remember, but somewhere between the SU and Taly South.”
Speaking to Gair Rhydd about the significance of the spoons, Rudi said:
“The spoons represent our long standing traditions of TJ (team junior, not necessarily the youngest fresher), choosing one fresher every year who stands out from his peers and giving him the responsibility of being an example to all other fresher’s in the pool and in the pub. Our spoons represent the traditions of old members and the great things they’ve accomplished and TJ carries it to remind us of their great deeds in the hopes that we can live up to them. At the end of year his name is added to the spoon and he goes down in history as an example to all new members of the club.”
“They’ve been a sacred part of the club for over two decades and have been part of lots of great memories and achievements of the oldies who first created them and then down all the generations and were greatly missed.”
Thankfully, one of the spoons was found last week and returned to the Water Polo Club, much to the relief of the man who lost them.
“They were found when an engineer gave them to an older team member on Tuesday after he saw the article in the Tab and recognised one of the older TJ’s names on the spoon.
One spoon is still missing though – the new one we have only had that a year”