AS CHEPSTOW RFC celebrates its 150th anniversary, the club’s oldest member – aged 92 – stars in a documentary about its history and importance in the local community.

In the short film One Man’s History – Chepstow RFC, Bob Goodey, one of a select few people to be made life members of Chepstow RFC, offers a unique look back at the rugby club he holds so dear and has supported almost all his life.

The film was made by Sara Miles, a 21-year-old student from Brecon.

Ms Miles has been studying for a BA in Photojournalism at the University of South Wales, under the tutelage of Becky Matthews and Andrew Pearsall.

Free Press Series: Student film-maker Sara Miles.Student film-maker Sara Miles.

She was looking for a subject for her final project, when one of her lecturers told her Chepstow RFC was looking to make a short film to coincide with its 150th anniversary celebrations.

After doing some research on the club, Ms Miles soon heard about Mr Goodey – who was considered locally to be an authority on all things related to Chepstow RFC, past and present.

“The amount of knowledge he has is phenomenal,” Ms Miles said. “He could talk for hours – he was a massive help and made my project a lot easier.”

Ms Miles soon decided to focus her documentary on Mr Goodey, and let him tell the rugby club’s story in his own words.

The result, after around nine months’ work, was a short film that is as poignant as it is fascinating.

In One Mans’ History – Chepstow RFC, Mr Goodey takes viewers through the decades, from the club’s days using the town’s Drill Hall as its clubhouse, before moving to the racecourse.

Later, the visionary Douglas Upton shared with the club his plans to build a new ground and clubhouse, and it is after him that Chepstow RFC’s current home, Upton Memorial Ground, is named.

Mr Goodey recalls how the steelworkers’ strikes brought a new sense of community to the club – the meeting point for many of those who were out of work.

He marvels at the speed and fitness of the modern game, and the facilities which the club has today.

And the clubhouse still means a great deal to Mr Goodey and his friends, who meet up there regularly for watch the side play.

It is this sense of community which Ms Miles said she noticed was so charming while she made her film.

“What I found most interesting was how the club came up from just nothing, and how much of a community club and a family club it is,” she said. “It’s all voluntary. Everyone chips in.”

She said it was important to show people how integral local rugby clubs, and clubhouses, were – and still are – to communities in Wales.

“Everyone sees rugby as an international sport, but nobody focuses on where those players come from,” she said. “It’s good to show where [top players] started off, and that’s always going to be a part of them.”