February and March are my Welsh Rugby Union fleece-wearing months. The bright red jacket with the WRU crest has a feel-good factor. Enveloped in this warm, soft blanket of a jacket brings comfort, joy and a reminder of all things Wales.
I visited the Principality Stadium in 2018, not for a match, but to do the guided tour. I saw photos of teams from the past. One was of the early 70s and included full-back JPR Williams who was a medical student at St Mary’s Hospital Paddington when I worked there.
I sat in the dressing room. Each player has his own seat according to his number. I was taken to the tunnel and heard, in my head, the roar of the crowd as they welcomed the players before the National Anthem: Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, always sung in a way only the Welsh can sing. I saw, in my mind’s eye, the red-clad fans – passionate, noisy, patriotic.
Those happy memories of a good outing returned to my mind yesterday when I wore the red fleece for the start of the Six Nations. Will Wales triumph as they did in 2019? We wait and see. They got off to a good start, that’s for sure.
Apart, however, from the tries and penalty kicks, one of the most incongruous and uplifting moments was to see former captain, Sam Warburton, who retired in 2018. His achievements as a player are well-documented. Yesterday he came onto the field carrying drinks for the players. As I wear my red fleece perhaps it will prompt me into following his example of loyal and humble service to the people in my life.