John D'Eathe and Tokkie Smith

The production of the book became a family collaborative affair. The author, John D’Eathe, played the occasional game of rugby at school in England just after the Second World War, more at college in London but embraced the game as a way of life in Hong Kong.

They played together regularly and Tokkie was a close friend, totally devoted to rugby in the Colony. John moved to Canada but continued as a visitor to Hong Kong and followed Tokkie's founding of The Sevens. 

So it was indeed a shock many years later to discover Tokkie had been almost forgotten by rugby. There was an air of avoidance and intrigue about it all and mutters that it was contentious.

After leaving Hong Kong, lawyer and real estate guy John, enjoyed a very successful career in North America but while not the retiring type could devote the time to researching what had happened to Tokkie. It became a fascinating story and involved international travel and meeting many new friends and reviving old friendships. As it went along it attracted its ‘family’ team whose appreciated enthusiasm and support made publication of Tokkie's tale possible.

Club captain Dig Bennet, Tokkie and John

Club captain Dig Bennet, Tokkie and John

Some picture from the past


Author’s team, Club Dragons, Blarney Stone Sevens Shield 1961 winners beating out Tokkie’s Club star side


Almost at the line, just a few years ago in an empty Hong Kong football club stadium where their first Sevens were later held


Author in foreground shows his best side playing for Hong Kong against the Australian and New Zealand Commonwealth Brigade in 1960

The Tokkie production team

Kevin MacDonald, Editor


Bob D’Eith


Lane Middleton


Oliver Mallich

Oliver Mallich and John discussing the wesbite

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