Tony Goodfellow joined the club straight from school at the age of 15. Although he was somewhat diminutive in stature his presence was larger than life. He quickly established himself as a “character” within the club. His interests were many and varied: a Queen’s Scout and holder of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award among his achievements. He had a keen interest in body-building which was rewarded with the ironic nickname of ‘Muscles’ from his team mates.
Tony’s enthusiasm for his rugby club was boundless, although some of his ideas were not always received with the same eagerness by the rest of the club.
At one AGM, prior to the move from John White’s Sports Field to Manor Park, there was great discussion on what should be done with the tin bath that had served the club so well for the last ten years. Muscles had the answer. We should float the bath in the English Channel and paddle it to France, sponsorship could be obtained that would benefit the club. It has to be said that his idea did not receive wholehearted support from the meeting. Not to be put off he jumped to his feet and produced a model of the bath and proceeded to show how much thought he had put into the idea. He still did not receive the support he was looking for but his enthusiasm won him quite an amount of admiration from a number of club members.
In the early1970s Muscles joined the Army. In 1972 he was posted to Northern Ireland and within a few days he was killed by a sniper’s bullet whilst on sentry duty. He was given a funeral with full military honours the likes of which had not been seen in the town before. His family had lost a son and Rushden & Higham Rugby Club had lost a “clubman”. In the aftermath Tony’s family presented a trophy to the club that was to be awarded to the “clubman of the year” in memory of their son. The “Muscles Trophy” is presented at the club’s annual dinner and is regarded as the most prestigious award that can be received by a member of Rushden & Higham Rugby Club.