04 December 2023
From The Vaults
Clint Morales McGregor was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1952. He arrived alone in the UK in 1964, following his mother who had come over in 1960. His first school was Priory Vale, Hornsey. At Tollington Grammar School in Muswell Hill, the rugby master encouraged Clint to join Finchley RFC in 1967 where he played for an exceptionally strong Colts XV. In due course he moved to the adult game and made his debut in the first team.
For a tight head prop Clint was quick, in the club there were only two wingers that could beat him in a sprint. With his powerful physique and good hands he was hard to stop. In one 1st XV game against Wanstead they made the mistake of kicking off to Clint. He made a solo run beating tackle after tackle. The full back lined him up perfectly but Clint crashed through to score. About twenty minutes later the whole thing was repeated. The full back lined Clint up perfectly but at the last second dived out of his way (and nobody criticised him for doing it)!
It was hardly surprising that Saracens spotted Clint's potential and he joined them in 1972 Clint made many appearances for them over the next few years and was selected for Middlesex, London & SE, and the Barbarians. After an outstanding game for London, Clint was picked for the England bench for the 1979 All Blacks game (alongside an uncapped Clive Woodward). Shortly afterward Clint was selected for England in the final trial, but on the other side Phil Blakeway produced a scrummaging masterclass and the chance to play in Bill Beaumont's Grand Slam team was gone. In 1981 Clint was selected for the England tour to Argentina. He played three times and was on the bench for both internationals.
After playing away at Waterloo in the cup Clint was approached by several rugby league clubs but he was not interested in becoming a professional player. In 1979 Clint toured South Africa with a Middlesex side captained by Chris Ralston. Clint was nervous about going but was in fact very well received.
In 1980 Wasps discovered Clint was out of work and promised to find him a job if he would play for them. Just after he accepted, Angouleme came up with a really good offer but Clint felt honour bound to join Wasps. The job they had found for him was working on a building site in Milton Keynes and not at all to his liking. After three months Clint asked Angouleme if their offer was still open. They told him to fly to Biarritz (with Maurice Colclough) and within hours he was playing against Blanco and co. Clint enjoyed the French lifestyle and the revered status props have in France. In 1984 he moved to Tuelle but only managed a couple of games before knee injury forced him to retire.
He remains a member of Finchley Ruby Football Club where a collection of his jerseys are proudly displayed on the clubhouse wall.
About the Author - Clive Roberts was introduced to rugby at Kings School, Rochester. At 16 he joined Sheppey RFC, then Woolwich Polytechnic RFC and Staines RFC before arriving at Finchley RFC in 1971. He has been on the club committee since 1974, Middlesex since 1986. London Society of referees for 40 years, completing over 1200 games. He is life Vice President Middlesex County RFC and President of Finchley RFC.
24 July 2023