Two Old Monmothians honoured with boat namings at Monmouth School Rowing Club

December 20, 2023

Left: Steve Pearson, right: John Griffiths, image credit: Des Pugh

Two Old Monmothians who rowed for Great Britain and Wales at senior level were honoured when two pairs at Monmouth School Rowing Club were named after them.

Steve Pearson and Jeremy ‘Jez’ Edwards both rowed for GB at the world championships in the 1970s and 1980s. Although Jeremy was unable to attend on the day, Steve did the honours of pouring champagne over the bows, along with fellow GB cap and former Master I/C rowing at the school, John Griffiths.

John Griffiths told those at the boat naming: “The two names complete the set in that every old boy that has represented Great Britain at Senior World Championships or has rowed as a Blue in the Boat Race has now had a boat named after them.

“Jez left school in 1974, and was the first old boy to go on the honours board in 1977 along with Charlie Wiggins, who also rowed at the world championships that year.

“He rowed in the lightweight 4 in Amsterdam that year and came eighth while he was at the University of London at Royal Holliway and after that did a PGC at Kings College.

“A few years later in 1982, he was in the GB lightweight 8 rowing with Nick Howe, brother of Rob Howe, former Master in Charge here and my predecessor as well.

“Steve left in 1985 and went to Imperial College. I was already there, laying the ground for him. In 1990 he rowed in the GB lightweight four, again with Nick Howe, and also OM Robin Williams, and finished fifth. The following year he also rowed in the 8 in Vienna with Monmouth RC’s Mark Partridge.

“Steve and Jez have had very successful rowing careers having been set on their way by school coach John Hartland, who set so many on their way.”

Steve, who is a top masters rower and became Wales’ oldest senior international at the age of 52 in 2019, said: “It’s 40 something years ago that I first came down to this boathouse and there I was, just in my rugby shorts and my green flash daps and this began a long love of boats…

“I had some fantastic times at school and at this boat club and then later on, with various old boys from Monmouth School. It’s been really great and it’s a great honour to have a boat named after you and I would especially like to thank John…

“When I first started rowing, you had this little calendar of the rowing events and on the back was a list of those former pupils who had rowed for GB.

“At that stage it was a very short list and as John said, the top name was Jez Edwards, so it’s even more pleasurable to be naming a boat with his name on it too.

“I hope everyone enjoys rowing in this boat just as much as I have enjoyed rowing.”

Mr. S. J. Wells, Director of Rowing at Haberdashers’ Monmouth School said, “It is always a privilege to have Old Monmothians come back to visit the club and inspire the current squad to also one day join Team GB at the world rowing championships, as Steve and Jeremy have done.”

Steve Pearson and John Griffiths with Monmouth School For Boys rowing teams. Image credit: Des Pugh