First presented in 2007 the trophy, in memory of Warrant Officer ‘Soapy” Watson is presented to the team support member who has contributed over and above the call of duty. Soapy was the most consummate of team players.

Soapy Watson - "He was that rare breed who always managed to appear cheerful whatever the pressures." Image courtesy of Bob Penfold

His support of Navy Rugby was fulsome at all levels and his abilities as an administrator were outstanding. He was that rare breed who always managed to appear cheerful whatever the pressures. A great man and someone who reflected the values that are strived for in Navy Rugby.

Soapy spent five seasons involved with the management of the Senior XV, first as the assistant to Bob Penfold and then as Team Manager.  He was also the team manager for the very successful 2006 tour to New Zealand retaining the Commonwealth Cup.  However though an excellent administrator I think he would always wish to be remembered as the Inter Service winner that he was.  In 1995 the RAF challenged both sister Services to an over 35 match, the Army refused but the RAF v Navy match went ahead with the Navy team selected by Pat Patilla and the game played at Richmond Athletic Ground.  Though the game was lost it paved the way for the inaugural Veterans Inter Service Rugby Championship the following year in 1996.  With Soapy to the fore the Navy won both matches and therefore became the first Inter Service Veterans Champions.  The veterans had matched the feat of the Royal Navy Senior XV of 1920 by winning the ‘first’ and it was something that Soapy remained very proud of.  Before becoming the Senior XV manager Soapy cut his teeth as the Veterans Team Manager, a team he always kept the closest of links with.

In 2007 the Soapy Watson Memorial Trophy was shared between the two Senior XV physios. This unusual step was made due to the very special circumstances surrounding the death on the pitch while playing for the Royal Navy of 27 year old flyhalf Marine Craig Hodgkinson from Cardiomyopathy. A fund was set up Craig’s name which went on to raise over £43,000 which was used to but defibrillators. You can still donate to the online fund by clicking here.

YearSoapy Watson Memorial TrophyTeam
2019Andrew 'Jan' LaitySenior XV
2018Andy HolmesMariners
2017Jane WestRN Women
2016Gary Ibbotson and Andrew McBeathMariners
2015Paul 'Geroge' HillanMariners
2014Andrew WilcockSenior XV, U23XV
2013Abbie and Stuart MoyseRN Women
2012Wendy BriggsMariners Rehabilitation Instructor
2011Jim HunterSenior XV, U23 XV, Sharks, Mariners, RN(W) Kit
2010Dave WakefieldSenior XV, U23 XV, Sharks, Mariners, RN(W) Kit
2009Helen EdwardsRN(W) Team Manager
2008Ash CoatesSenior XV, U23 XV Analysis
2007Pippa BandSenior XV, U23XV, U21XV, Sharks Physio
2007Lynsey ColquhounSenior XV, U21XV Physio