Eastbourne visit is trip down Memory Lane for Harlequins rugby star

Harlequins, England and British Lions rugby star Joe Marler, who began his career playing in the blue and gold of Eastbourne, paid a nostalgic visit to the Park Avenue club to meet up with his former coach and mentor Will Stadler.

Monday, 5th April 2021, 10:30 am
From left, Kerry Cook, Joe Marler and Will Stadler at Eastbourne RFC
From left, Kerry Cook, Joe Marler and Will Stadler at Eastbourne RFC

He spent time talking about his formative years playing for the town’s mini and junior teams, as part of a Sky documentary to be broadcast later this year.

The documentary will not only chart Marler’s playing career, which includes 66 England caps as a prop forward, but will also discuss his views on mental health.

The former Heathfield Community College student has had well documented battles with depression.

Eastbourne Rugby Club president Kerry Cook said: “It was good to welcome Joe back to our club where it all began for him.

“Will Stadler had a great influence on his life in his younger days and coached him from the ages of 10 to 16.

“The visit brought back many happy memories for Joe as he walked around the Park Avenue clubhouse and pitches.

“Hopefully he’ll be able to come back again soon to see the current crop of minis and juniors in action and to attend a clubhouse lunch in his honour.”