A VETERAN rugby player says he has no plans to hang up his boots – despite turning 70.

Alan Goggin, from Brightlingsea, plays as a prop for Colchester Rugby Club’s fifth team and has been taking to the field for more than 50 years.

But the county councillor and former Brightlingsea mayor doesn’t intend to quit scrummaging any time soon.

Mr Goggin said: “Quite simply the reason I’m still going is because I can and I love it – I really look forward to playing every Saturday.

“I’m quite fortunate in that if a team turns up without a prop, they automatically lose, so I’ve already played for five other clubs this season.

“But I’ve said to the skippers that I don’t want to be chosen out of sympathy – I want to be chosen because I’m good enough.

“I’m sure one day someone will put their hand on my shoulder and say ‘Listen Goggin, do you think it’s time...’”

As well as having a love for the oval ball, Mr Goggin is just as well known for being at home on the water.

He is a former European water ski-ing champion and that sport led to his passion for rugby.

Mr Goggin said: “When it came to winter and there was no water ski-ing, I needed to do something to keep fit. I got in touch with Clacton Rugby Club and I’ve been playing ever since.

“In my very biased opinion, it’s the best team sport in the world.”

He said the fifth team gives a chance to people who have reached middle-age and think their playing days are behind them.

Mr Goggin said: “There are lots of guys who are maybe around 50 years old who have heard about me.

“They’ve seen that I’m still playing and have decided to get re-involved in the game.

“It’s ideal because they can turn up and play without worrying about the training on Tuesday or the ice baths after the match.”

Every December Colchester Rugby Club celebrates Mr Goggin’s birthday at the match which takes place closest to the occasion.

Sons Ben, 44, and Luke, 42, always play in the match with their father.

Mr Goggin said: “It’s a very special feeling to be out there on the pitch with your children.

“To play with them and to have them support you when someone from the other team confronts you is fantastic.

“They were both water skiers in their own right, but that’s a very individual sport so even if I was coaching them, I could never be out there with them.

“In rugby, I can be.”