07:00PM, Sunday 28 July 2019
Allan Greene played more than 750 times for Maidenhead RFC in a playing career that spanned two decades, starting in the early 90s and ending in the late noughties.
He was 47 when he last turned out in the magenta of Maidenhead and later went on to become head coach. For the man many people see as ‘Mr Maidenhead’, it's been a blast.
“I wouldn’t change a single thing,” he said last week.
“I was born and bred in Maidenhead and all I wanted to do was to play for Maidenhead and coach Maidenhead. I’ve done that so I’m a very happy man.
“It’s not always about titles it’s about seeing players progress, so why would I want to play anywhere else.”
Greeney, as he’s known at the club and around town, played for the club at a time when the game was first embracing semi-professionalism. The teams he played in might not have been the fittest by today’s standards but they had guts, guile and nous.
“Coming into the first team was an experience,” he said. “It was like chalk and cheese from the Colts. Being in the scrum I had my head put firmly up my arse, so to speak. The blokes against me were so experienced, they just knew what to do with me, but I learnt quickly because I didn’t want to have that feeling again.”
Greene played in two very strong Maidenhead teams during his time at Braywick Park (which he remembers at one time being a pitch, clubhouse and car park).
The first, when he first came through the ranks featured the likes of Alan Carter and Dave Course and together they won a number of Berkshire Cups. A lull followed until Simon Edwards ‘brought the coaching on to a whole new level’ 10 years later.
“We had one or two sides that took us close to the best level we’ve ever played at,” he said. “We took Maidenhead as far as we could with the talent we had.
“The furthest we got is the equivalent league to the one the team is in now. But nobody was getting paid back then, we played above ourselves and did well with what we had. It’s hard to say how we would match up to today’s side.
“Each year brings its own skills and downfalls but I think they’d be closely matched. Nowadays the size of the backs might make a difference, but we had that nous and bit of experience.”
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