Made of Rugby Spotlight - The Community Hero


Community hero Ken McRae is the volunteer manager of Barnes Rugby Club first XV team and has been "bringing pitches to life" as Groundskeeper at Ruislip Rugby Club since 1977.

The former policeman's dedication to the sport even earned him a place on the New Year's Honours list and a meeting with her Majesty. We stopped by his club in Barnes for some training and a chat.

Tell us about your craft.

At Ruislip, I cut the grass, arrange to have it fertilised and paint the lines. The work makes me happy, it means the pitches can have the mini teams playing on the weekends.

Where does your love of rugby come from?

Rugby is a game of gentlemen. If you watch a game of rugby the tackles are strong but after a game everyone shakes hands.

What makes you proud?

The pitch actually comes to life after it has been painted. That's when it becomes what it was meant to be.

Who's your favourite player?

It would have to be England Centre Jonathan Joseph. When he was 18 he was on loan to Barnes and the way he has matured as a player is really nice to observe.