Feast your eyes on Wales’ show-stopping fixture
WITH the coronavirus pandemic wiping Wooden Spoon Wales’ annual lunch from this year’s menu, Spoonews decided to raise a celebratory glass and reflect on the past success of a fantastic fundraising feast.
Since its first sitting in 2015, the showpiece event has become the hottest meal ticket in South Wales – selling out 450 seats within days of going on sale – and has now raised more than £83,000 for the children’s charity of rugby.
The “Class of 87” were the toast of the debut dinner, which served as a reunion for members of the Wales squad that secured third place at the inaugural Rugby World Cup – the nation’s most successful tournament to date. Among those in attendance were Glen Webbe, Clive Rowlands, Adrian Hadley, Paul Thorburn and Wooden Spoon Wales Honorary President Bob Norster.
With appetites whetted, two All Blacks legends – Zinzan Brooke and Sean Fitzpatrick – made for an excellent entrée in 2016 and were accompanied by Wales, British Lions and Barbarians stars Tom David and Steve Fenwick.
A year later diners got to savour memories of the 1997 British Lions Tour to South Africa, with Paul Wallace (Ireland), John Bentley (England) and Neil Jenkins (Wales) sharing their tales of triumph from the Southern Hemisphere.
Welsh greats returned to the lunch’s menu in 2018 as Tom Shanklin, Ryan Jones, Lee Byrne and Martyn Williams reminisced about Wales’ first Grand Slam win under Warren Gatland a decade earlier. Patriotism was also the order of the day last year as the children’s charity of rugby celebrated four men who have pulled on the illustrious number eight shirt for Wales – Colin Charvis, Scott Quinnell, Andy Powell and Eddie Butler.
Key to the event’s popularity and smooth running has been Wooden Spoon Wales’ enduring partnership with The Concrete Society (Wales Region), to whom we owe a massive vote of thanks. In addition to managing the lunch’s administration, the co-host has periodically picked Wooden Spoon as its nominated charity – a gesture that has taken the fundraising total to in excess of £100,000.
The support of sponsors Santander Group and Mapei (2015), Capital Law (2016, 2017 and 2018) and Watkins & Gunn Solicitors (2019), and silent auction partners The Events Room, has also been instrumental in delighting diners and helping to transform the lives of young people facing disadvantage across Wales.
A special mention must go to the contribution of Sean Holley, who remains a popular host and is pivotal to the lunch’s success.
If you would like to get involved with Wooden Spoon Wales and help local vulnerable children and young people in the local area, please click here.