Tony Redmond used to be a hooker in the days of Clive Woodward, Willie Anderson and for a while Dick Best. He now lives and works in Sunny California. He kindly answered my questions:
What is your date of birth/place of birth?
Bromley January 1971
When/where did you start to play rugby?
When I was 12 at St Theodore’s School Burnley Lancs.
Did you always play hooker?
At college I played flanker but other than that always hooker.
When did you join London Irish and how many games did you play?
1995 and I have no idea how many games I played, I just recall that in those days I could not play for 120 days because I transferred from Orrell.
How many points did you score in your London Irish days?
No idea but very few.
What brought you to London Irish?
Someone put me in touch with Clive Woodward and we spoke and I decided it would be a good move for me to make.
What was the training like?
It was pretty light when I arrived but became more professional over time.
Who where the coaches during your time at London Irish?
Clive Woodward, Willie Anderson, Dick Best
Who was the captain of London Irish in your time there?
Who was your most difficult opponent?
Mark Regan was always a pain to play against
Where was your favourite away ground?
What was Sunbury like in your time playing there?
A great place to play and also a great place to enjoy after the game.
Who do you consider was the best player you played with for London Irish?
David Humphreys and Brendan Venter
Who where the characters at Sunbury in your time playing?
Gary Halpin, Ken O’Connell
You were with the club at the start of professionalism, how did this affect you?
I had wanted to be a professional and had discussed becoming a professional with a couple of Rugby League Clubs while still at Orrell. Like may things you should be careful what you wish for as professionalism meant different things to different people and I believe that the game and how it is managed has evolved positively since I was playing the game.
Do you still keep in contact with any of your old team mates?
Justin Fitzpatrick who is still playing for Ulster.
The professional London Irish team is no longer a team for Irish/ Irish descent players, what are your feelings about this?
My parents are Irish and so that was a main driver for me being interested in joining the club but even when I was playing their were many players who were not of Irish decent. I think as long as it remains a center for Irish culture then the club will continue its traditions. In the professional game it is not possible to have an entirely Irish or Irish descended side which is clear even for the provinces who import a number of players.
Do you miss playing for London Irish?
Yes I miss playing the game although I am glad I do not have to train any more.
How good was the London Irish side you played in?(or) Which season had the strongest team?
Difficult to say because the side varied a great deal.
Did you play for any other Irish/English clubs?
Orrell before London Irish and Blackheath afterwards for a year.
Did you go on any over-sea's tours?[/clor]
Just European games with London Irish which were not long enough to be tours.
[color=green]Did you win any honours?
Do you still watch rugby?
Occasionally, I live in California so I do not watch live rugby but did see some of the world cup.
Has your old position changed since you played?
I think it has evolved a little but the basics are the same.
Do you prefer the rugby of today or when you played?
I think it is impossible to tell what it is like to play today but it is better to watch today.
Are there any rules that you would like to see changed?
What was/is your occupation?
Director of Recruitment in Biotechnology
Can you give a brief resume of your career?
Calder Vale Rugby Club
Orrell Rugby Club
Swansea University/Cardiff Rugby Club
England Students Rugby Union
Welsh Universities Rugby Union
Welsh Students Rugby League