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Last Friday night may have been a bleak occasion for followers of Welsh rugby as their 2009 Grand Slam dreams were crushed by the French at the Stades de France in Paris. But at least the country’s sporting reputation was proudly upheld by one of travel retail’s most popular figures (and proudest Welshmen) – Alan Edwards, Group Business Development Director for Scorpio Distributors Ltd and Heinemann-Scorpio.
Alan was part of a generous Heinemann-Scorpio table at the annual DFNI Charity Ball held in London last Friday in aid of The Jim Corbett Environmental Primary and Junior School in Patrani, India.
Kept up to date with the gathering Gallic storm in Paris via a special text line from The Moodie Report, an increasingly angst-ridden Alan decided he must somehow restore his country’s honour. The ‘Musical Chairs’ competition at the ball offered the ultimate opportunity for redemption, especially as a number of French industry executives were taking part.
Our photo (courtesy of DFNI) shows Alan’s moment of triumph as he lands (bottom) first on the sole remaining chair in the intensely fought contest. “Now that’s what you call a grand slam,” said commentator David Spillane (background), almost rendered speechless for the first time in his career.
Alan’s victory deservedly dominated the Welsh sporting papers the next day, pushing the humbling of the country’s rugby team out of the headlines.
The Aberystwyth Argus wrote: “On a night when Welsh dreams were shorn like sheep and the national mood was as bleu as the jerseys on the Frenchmen’s backs, one brave young man… ok, brave… restored our pride as a nation. When our grandchildren gather around the fireside to hear about the exploits of sporting legends such as boxing great Joe Calzhage, rugby’s Shane Williams and our Olympic leek-hurling team of 1956, the name of our first-ever Musical Chairs champion, Alan Edwards, will take his seat (and anyone else’s that’s still available) in the great Welsh hall of fame.”
A proud and emotional Edwards later dedicated his victory to his family, whom he said had only been able to afford one chair when he was growing up. “We were a large family, so it was always a desperate race at dinner time,” he recalled. “But all that training definitely paid off for me on the big night.”
[Postscript: The DFNI Ball raised an impressive sum of more than £35,000/US$49,500 for this excellent cause.]