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Video: Gloucester Rugby pays heartfelt tribute to Andy Hazell

By Ben_Falconer  |  Posted: February 23, 2014

  • Andy Hazell led out the teams at Kingsholm on Saturday

  • Andy Hazell breaks free to score against Leicester in 2011

  • Andy Hazell in 2001

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GLOUCESTER Rugby paid an emotional tribute to one of its greatest servants with the airing of a touching film during yesterday's victory over Harlequins.

The six minute reel played at half time left barely a dry eye at Kingsholm as the club's past, present and future stars saluted Andy Hazell's remarkable career.

Forced to retire at the age of 35 due to successive concussions, the openside flanker led the teams out on to the pitch, so both players and fans could mark his total commitment on and off the field during a one-club career.

After biding his time in the Colts and United teams, the former Gloucester Old Boys player made his premiership debut for Gloucester as a late replacement for Rob Fidler away to Newcastle in December 1997.

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He said then of his three minute debut: "The boys have all been very nice to me. I get on well with them and they have made me feel welcome. It was good to make my debut. It was a bit of a blur but I enjoyed it."

Since then he's become one of the leading players who rising stars look up to, and who established players look to when Gloucester need to dig deep.

He epitomised what it means for a Gloucester boy to pull on the Cherry and White strip, playing 266 games over 17 seasons in which he gained seven England caps and a legion of admirers on the pitch and in the stands.

Current and past club players James Simpson-Daniel, Nick Wood, Mike Tindall, James Forrester, Rob Thirlby, Alex Brown, Andrew Stanley, Olly Morgan, Jim Hamilton, Iain Balshaw, Peter Buxton and Luke Narraway, former coach Richard Hill and current director of rugby Nigel Davies gave him a send-off to remember, capped by his young daughters' message at the end.

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  • SimonGray44  |  February 25 2014, 7:08PM

    Great praise indeed for a great Gloucester Rugby player. That said, and moving forward, what a club like Gloucester Rugby really should be doing is to ensure that Rupҽrt Hardҽn, our first choice and most talented tight head prop, starts as many games for Gloucester as is possible.

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