I’ve heard most of the arguments about the Rugby World Cup being good for the local economy - and I suppose, like most people, I am ready and prepared to put up with the inconvenience - the traffic diversions, the closed streets, the hoards of fans, the ‘porta-potty’ toilets, the crowded trains, the litter and the noise into the early hours of the morning. This the price of living next door to Twickenham Stadium at the time of the Rugby World Cup. I accept this. What I cannot accept is the apparent lack of any recognition, recompense or legacy for the thousands of people who will have to put up with it.
At every public Rugby World Cup meeting that I have attended I have asked the same simple question - What is there in it for the people who live here? Any sports facilities for us or our children to use in the future? Any landscaped areas or gardens for older people to enjoy? Any free “Fun Days” at the Stadium? Any open-top bus tours around the district by rugby super stars? Any permanent museum or gallery celebrating this important international event? The answer has always been an embarrassed silence. Tell me. Am I missing something? Are there some really exciting community things coming up that I don’t know about or is our legacy going to be no more than a scatter of empty lager tins in our front gardens and a faint whiff of urine in the wind?
– from Martyn Day