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Maggie Watts has retired

Maggie Watts has retiredMaggie Watts has retired


After a long and successful career in rugby Maggie Watts has decided to retire

Maggie first watched Wanderers during the 1969 season but work took her to Essex and Bahrain before she returned to Thanet in the mid 1980s. At Wanderers she then joined with Peter Hawkins. Roger Bishop and with the help of the RFU started the club’s Mini section. The success of this venture can be seen now on Sunday mornings during the season at the Wanderers ground on St Peters Recreation Park when hundreds of youngsters enjoy their rugby.

In the early 1990s Maggie qualified as a coach and her rugby career really took off with appointments at Kent RFU in addition to those at Thanet. Initially secretary of the Mini rugby sub committee which drew up the blueprint for the future development of mini rugby in the county, Maggie progressed to be Chairman of the County Youth Group and ran the Kent Girls U17 side.

At Thanet Wanderers Maggie was player/coach for the women’s team enjoying playing in front of good crowds on Sunday afternoons although attendance may perhaps have been bolstered by the bar being opened when most pubs closed at 2pm on Sundays. When the clubhouse burnt down, Maggie worked with the rebuilding volunteers and ensured that mini and junior rugby continued with post match refreshments served from a caravan and from the Squash Club. On the occasion of the first XV’s win in the inaugural RFU Intermediate Cup in 1997, Maggie was proud to lead the club’s Minis and juniors onto the Twickenham pitch prior to the match. In addition to coaching Kent and Wanderers girls’ teams Maggie also ran the East Kent Boys’ development group giving players from the East Kent clubs the opportunity to play on a wider stage and broaden their experience. In 2006 Maggie was appointed Thanet Wanderers Club Coaching Co-ordinator recruiting coaches and encouraging the development of their skills within the club’s ethos so that they might pass them on to the club’s young players. Maggie retired from this role at the end of the 2017 season but continued to coach the club’s girls sides until the end of the 2018/19 season. A proud moment came in 2017 when the club received the RFU accreditation award after considerable preparation by Maggie and club President Peter Dickinson.

Maggie’s contribution to rugby was marked in 2005 by the presentation of the RFU volunteer award by the then England Coach Andy Robinson and in 2017 she was proud to win the Kent Volunteer award for her services to Kent Rugby presented by double Olympian Jack Green.

Maggie was made a life member of Thanet Wanderers in 2002. Her retirement after many years of exemplary service to Thanet Wanderers was marked with a presentation by Junior Chair Annmarie Carfoot at the club’s recent Club Supper. We wish her a happy retirement when she looks forward to spending more time with family and perhaps travelling again to sunnier climes during the winter to watch England play cricket.

22 July 2019