Rugby Hospitality Photography in CardiffTuesday February 03, 2015
Meeting and Photographing Rugby Icons with Legends Hospitality
I had seen and briefly met Paul Fielding of Legends Hospitality at a few networking events around South Wales, but we didn't have a chance to talk until a thebestof evening networking meeting in The Green Rooms in Treforest. Paul is one of life's true characters with a wealth of stories to tell. We talked for ages, putting the rugby world to rights, before Paul asked if I would be interested in coming along to a rugby hospitality event as the official photographer. There was only one answer.
Wales was playing Scotland at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff in the Six Nations and Paul, under his brand of Legends Hospitality, had organised a pre-match event in one of the hotels in the centre of Cardiff. Now if you have ever been to Cardiff on international day, you will appreciate how difficult it can be to get something to eat and even a pint as everywhere is heaving, but Paul had booked a room where guests could come, enjoy some lovely food and a relaxed pint or three.
Armed with my Canon 5D I took photos of groups at the tables and turned around to find myself face to face with one of my rugby heroes, the great Phil Bennett. Just behind him was Garin Jenkins, another icon and local hero of mine, and I spent the next hour photographing them with the guests, listening to Phil Bennett recount tales from rugby years gone by and thoroughly enjoying myself. A couple of times I had to pinch myself as I couldn't believe that this was work!
Phil Bennett and Garin Jenkins were both brilliant and spent time talking with all the guests and having their photographs taken. They were true gentlemen and it was a pleasure to meet them both. Some guests found themselves a little tongue-tied when finally meeting one of their rugby heroes!
As kick-off time approached, the guests who had tickets disappeared to the stadium leaving a group of us in the room watching the game on a big screen with easy access to as much beer as we could drink.
As history tells us, Wales totally thrashed Scotland, helped by Stuart Hogg being sent off early in the game. It was a fitting end to a fantastic day.
Since then I have worked with Paul at another hospitality event held when Wales played New Zealand in the autumn. There I met the great Frank Bunce. And on Friday night, I will be with Paul at the Parc Thistle Hotel in Queen Street, Cardiff where he is holding another large hospitality event and I will get the chance to meet and photograph JPR Williams. I can't wait.
It is a fantastic way to spend pre and post match and I would recommend it to anyone who doesn't want to battle the crowds in the bars and clubs of Cardiff. All we need now is for Wales to beat the English!
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