Let me tell you my favourite memory of the Jules Ladoumègue Stadium in Massy…
6 April 2018. Match night at the RCME, another much-awaited confrontation in this ProD2 season.
Our modest team is playing at home against Biarritz in the last match of the 2017-2018 season. Playing to retain a place in category ProD2, a big first for our relatively young team (club established in 1971).
I arrive at the stadium at about 6.30 and the sun is shining. Spring has arrived and the sun shines in our minds too as Massy celebrates its maintained status. People arrive little by little and I greet them all.
At 7.15 pm, the bars are getting full, business is booming in the shop and the queue is building at the cash desk.
At 7.30 pm, we can feel the atmosphere gradually building. The fan club is ready, as are the drums and banners, and the stands fill up. There are lots of children this evening.
It’s the turn of the young rugby school members to invade the stadium for a lap of honour and congratulations to the pro section for their exceptional season. Flags and rugby shirts form a sea of blue and black. As for me, SYMA, I’m the RCME mascot and I’m enjoying the parade.
This is Massy, where young and old, girls and boys, players and volunteers all form one big family. They really live up to their slogan, “Un Club, Un Cœur, Une Famille” (one club, one heart, one family)!
Just 10 minutes to kick-off. Tonight, the 3,000 seats have sold out and the stadium is full. The Biarritz supporters are present, just a hundred or so of them, so we should have fun in the stands too. The away team needs points this evening, but Massy is playing purely for the pleasure of the last match. This should be good.
Then the match begins. A close match, just like the overall season. Biarritz plays well but our Massy players show incredible determination and stand up well to the French rugby experts.
And the result is perfect, the match goes our way. We score and, when required, defend like the devil. We feel we can win. And we do!
We have to celebrate this. The bar fills up for what is to be a very long night. Celebrations are imminent. I came on foot and intend to make the most of it. It’s fabulous being able to chat to the players, the staff and the club members!
I’ll be late home tonight. We may have lost track of time but we’ll have enjoyed this moment to the full. Rubbing shoulders with the players and coaches at a moment like this is a real privilege. A privilege shared by everyone at the RCME.
Stade Jules Ladoumègue