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Sponsors Series - Meet Charlie from xolent

Sponsors Series - Meet Charlie from xolent

Paul Murphy30 Aug 2023 - 13:17
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Charlie Houston is a parent in the mini’s section of Chipstead RFC.

He runs a family scaffolding business, Xolent (pronounced Ex-o-lent) which focusses on large-scale building developments. Charlie and Xolent are the proud sponsors of the mini and juniors and you will find their logo on the back of the playing shirts. We spoke with Charlie to find out more about him, why he loves rugby at Chipstead RFC and about a little encounter with one of the giants of the game we all love.

1. How did you get started at CRFC?

I was always keen for my 6 year old, Michael to play. I never played myself. I used to be really into football and cricket, but as I got older, I fell in love with rugby. My son’s cousin is Murdo McAndrew, who played professionally for Claimont in France, Edinburgh and Melrose RFC. Murdo also represented Scotland at youth level but was kept from progressing because of a certain Greig Laidlaw. Melrose Rugby Club actually created Rugby 7s and the great Doddie Weir played for them for a time too - in fact, I have actually met him! Anyway, my dad loves all sports and as I got older, my dad started taking me to Twickenham, so my interest all grew from there. Its all rugby now!

2. How did you meet the great Doddie Weir then?

I met him at Twickenham in the 2017 Six Nations England Vs Scotland game where Anthony Watson and Jonathan Jospeh stole thew show with four tries in the first half. England actually won the game 61-21 in the end and sadly that was the last time England won against Scotland on home soil. I went to the game with my brother-in-law and he knew Doddie, so he introduced us. Doddie spoke to us for a good hour in the south stand bar where the bands play after the game. He was one of the nicest, friendliest people I’ve ever met. He was an absolute giant, maybe the tallest man I’ve ever stood next to! Such as shame to see what happened to him.

2. What does the RFC mean to you and your children?

My son is in the same class as Peter and Emily Allison’s son at Tadworth Primary. Since Peter started coaching the Chipmunks, Emily encouraged a few us to go and join at the same time. Michael joined Chipmunks and is now in the U7s. He really loves it - I think he loves getting dirty and everything that comes with the contact side of rugby - I can’t wait to get him into the U9s when he’s allowed to tackle!. We had taken him to Little Kickers (a football class) but he kept picking the ball up, so it was clear where his passion lay. Peter and the team did such a great job to make it fun for the kids that we’ve never looked back.

3. Tell us a bit about your business - its family run isn’t it?

Yes it is. My dad started the business over 20 years ago. He had been one the sales directors of one of the largest scaffoldsers in London, but he left and set up his own business. He had great contacts and got on the phone with a big development company he knew and we’ve been busy ever since. Dad never wanted me to be a scaffolder though, so I went to college and did motorsport engineering because I loved cars and formula one. One summer I went to work for a landscaper and I loved the money so much that I turned down a place at uni and my dad insisted I go to work for him! That was it really.

4. Why were you happy to sponsor?

We love the club and we’ve been really impressed with the effort that is made and the social side of things. I am used to football where you used to finish training and go straight home but here everyone stays and has a drink whilst the kids all play safely outside. We could see the club needed a bit of support so we were more than willing to help. It has been great to see what a massive difference the support has made to the mini and junior teams. Everyone looks really smart in their matching kit and we have been delighted to help.

If your interested in sponsoring the mini's & juniors, seniors or the club get in touch!

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