A Birmingham man has secured his place in the Wasps' history books after grabbing a front row seat in the club’s 150th anniversary first team photo.
Duncan Preston of Moseley, Birmingham swapped his day job as global customer service manager to rub shoulders with the likes of Joe Launchbury, James Haskell and Danny Cipriani at the Ricoh Arena.
The 34-year-old was chosen at random for the golden seat from thousands of Wasps season ticket holders as part of a series of fan prizes to mark the club’s 150th anniversary celebrations – called ‘Key to the Cabinet’.
On the day itself Duncan watched the first team’s training session before taking part in photo duties ahead of Wasps’ first Aviva Premiership game against Sale Sharks on Saturday 2 September (kick-off 3pm).
Life-long Rugby enthusiast Duncan and his wife Sam have been Wasps fans ever since their arrival in the Midlands in late 2014.
He said: “When I was invited to be a part of the team photo I thought it was a joke.
“The email was titled ‘Key to the Cabinet’ and because I have a cabinet by my front door I immediately thought I had left it unlocked, but the initial panic soon turned into excitement.
“My wife likes to remind me that she gets to meet the players every November as she is a pharmacist and does all of their flu vaccinations, so I’m over the moon that I was given this chance.
“It is a day that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. I used to play second row at schoolboy level, so it was fantastic to meet Joe Launchbury in particular. Having watched the players from the stands for some time now, getting to meet them has been unbelievable.
“I think the team can go one better and win the league title this season. They’ve recruited well and have strength in depth right across the pitch, and they have developed a good habit of winning games late on.”
Neal Coupland is head of community at Wasps, and revealed the club has a range of activities lined up to celebrate the club’s 150 year milestone.
He added: “This season is a landmark point in the club’s history and through creating once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for fans such as Duncan, we’re hoping the season will be one to remember in many years to come off the pitch, as well as on it.
“Fans are also being picked to attend post-match press conferences, help lay out shirts in the dressing room and attend the players’ lounge, so watch this space.”
Tickets for Wasps v Sale Sharks can be purchased from wasps.co.uk/tickets and start from £21 for adults, while under-10s go free in certain categories.