TAKEREI LEE NORTON: KENILWORTH RFC 2005/2006
In season 05/06 Kenilworth were honoured to have a truly superb player in our ranks in Tak (call me Takerei please) Norton.
In New Zealand Tak played for Linwood, a suburb of Christchurch and was heavily into the Canterbury Crusaders. Tak was set to join another club in the UK but they let him down and in desperation he surfed the web and came up with that superb web site, www.kenilworthrugby.co.uk. He contacted the site and, by chance, we informed him that our scouts had already been despatched to New Zealand to entice anyone who could handle a rugby ball to Kenilworth RFC for the forthcoming 05/06 season. A few days later the trusty scouts (Messrs Dick, Collett, Riley, Rawlings and Brain) rather impressively arrived in Christchurch in the 'lowest slung camper van' (as described by Eddie Butler in the Observer) and the bond was made at Tak's local club, aided by a rather lot of beer. I do not think that Tak has quite twigged yet that it was sure coincidence and they were actually there for the first Lions test!
Once his details and CV had been wired back home enquiries were made with former Kenilworth stalwarts now resident in New Zealand. The legend Roly had heard of Tak but suggested that he may be a wee bit too good for us. That was good enough for us and Tak was advised that he would be most welcome in Kenilworth and, if lucky, we could even sort him out with a bride to take home, as per previous Antipodeans. In the middle of August the young Tak appeared in Kenilworth ready for action and pre season training. His first appearance was a truly shocking pre season game at home against Melton Mowbray where we took a right stuffing but the class of Tak was evident and everyone got rather excited about him and what he had to offer. One problem though was the position to play him as he had come as a scrum half but we needed a fly half. The other problem was his desire to work with pigeons, which made finding the employment he wanted rather awkward, to say the least. He then announced himself in the first league game at Stafford and was promptly awarded the man of the match by Stafford.