I have been challenged to justify my claim to fame over this move, so here goes. Unfortunately, it will only mean something to a narrow band of OWs.
Back in the day of “The Yank at Oxford”, he was one Pete Dawkins who Oxford played on the wing in the Varsity match.
At an attacking lineout (the wings threw in then, before Gerwyn changed it to the hooker but that’s another story) Dawkins threw a NFL torpedo dead straight over the top of the lineout into mid field where it was collected by the centre who, having surprised the Cambridge defence, scored easily .
So, at our next practice out on Littleside, where that year we had a US Military son with us by the name of Ben Eckenhoff, I asked him if he could also throw a rugger ball torpedo style.
“Sure thing, where to?”
Looking round for a safe, impossible target, I pointed out John Spanswick way over on Bigside.
Well, Ben threw the ball and it hit John smack between the shoulder blades!
When things had calmed down and John realised what had happened, he started to experiment and just then Gerwyn arrived, took over and the “Whoosh” was born.
Like all brilliant moves it was extremely simple…….
Richard Blundell, OW (1956-63)