It's A New Day - It's A NEW YEAR!
OFF THE FIELD
Over the Christmas Break, the idea of resurrecting our “Unsung Hero” feature was mentioned in conversation over a bevy. We composed some questions and sent them off to Ed Knaggs. Today, we share Ed’s response. Enjoy!
“A hero is not always someone who basks in the limelight. This hero has dedicated over twenty years of her life to supporting CW, just not in the way we are used to hearing about.
In 1998, her husband moved from Nova Scotia out to Victoria to join Castaway Wanderers Rugby Club and to take a run at the National team. Like many drifters, he arrived here assuming it would be easy to find work, (having an engineering degree from Dalhousie). After sifting through odd jobs, CW’s Brent Johnston and Larry Chung found him an engineering opportunity at a little solar company (for this is the way of the rugby community). Little did they know that he would meet his hero there and it would lead to a legacy for CW rugby.
This meeting embarked her on a road of rugby, rugby, and more rugby. She stood in the rain, snow, or sometimes sun, as she cheered on CW through wins/losses and eventually three Men’s Provincial Championships. She witnessed the highlights and lowlights of the Discovery Street Temple. She gave emotional support as her husband trained, trained, and trained some more in attempts to be selected. She was a pillar to lean on when unselected and often offered great motivation with her “suck it up buttercup” advice.
Twenty caps later, with arguably, the highlight of his career being a strong match against a powerful NZ team at RWC 2003, and a new identity, the support bore fruit! Whilst in Australia, Channel 7 (Sydney), sports humorists and rugby wags, Roy and HG took a shine to the Knaggs surname, and milked much humor from same, given the Aussie’s propensity for punting on the nags! During this trip, she also carried the next generation of CW players with her!
My hero continued her support by being whisked off to Sheffield, England, with new baby Jesse, in tow. A few years passed quickly, standing in the rain, wins/losses, one Powergen Final at Twickenham and many hospital visits for her husband, (the final one due to a detached retina). It was time to return to Victoria and CW rugby club. The return trip now had baby Jamie in tow as well, to accompany her sister.
Her husband wound down his playing days, although he still puts in the odd cameo with the CW Islanders. Just when she thought she would get a break, he had chosen to share his knowledge through coaching. She remembers him becoming interested in mini rugby when he saw two alickadoos running around with a group of kids one Sunday at Windsor Park. It wasn’t long before her two girls took a liking to the sport. It now became a family event every Sunday.
My hero, Michelle, spent the next fourteen years standing in the rain, snow, or sometimes sun, as she cheered on CW U8, U10, U12, U14, U16 teams through wins/losses and eventually an U18 Girls B.C. Championship. She has attended several of CW fund raisers, driven all over the province for games, washed many sets of jerseys, scheduled too many events to count, and managed three CW players with pride and joy.”
Further to the brief mention of Ed’s off field notoriety at RWC 2003, this writer observed him in a visit at the tv studio with said, “wags”. Ed went right along with the gag, giving as much as he got, as only Ed could, becoming a local personality.
Ed Knaggs, he is the quintessential rugby man – player at the highest level, coach at a myriad of levels, referee, sage on the side for young players. His unique response typifies the word humility, sharing Michelle’s path and her contribution over a myriad of years, with great respect. Our thanks go out to the wonderful Michelle, obviously Ed’s main supporter, who has given much volunteer time to the cause. In conclusion, CW is extremely proud and thankful for Ed Knaggs. You are a ripper! May the Knaggs family live long, healthy, and prosperous lives. Thank you.
May you all have a healthy & successful 2024. Go, Ceedub! ONE CLUB.