A lot of fun, and some good, come out of the legendary Long Lunch

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 27 March, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 27 March, 2010, 12:00am

All the world's a stage, and there were plenty of players and jesters at the Deutsche Bank Long Lunch yesterday.

Some people have hearts bigger than Hong Kong Stadium: Dr Robert Parsons, is one of them.

At an age when most people put their feet up and the most arduous thing they consider is a round of golf, Parsons started Hope for Children, one of the charities at the annual Deutsche Bank Valley Sevens Long Lunch.

'I was in Rwanda for a month in 1994 when the genocide happened,' he said. 'I met a woman who had lost her own family and taken on 50 children who lost their families. I promised her I'd help.'

The charity now operates in 10 countries, including the mainland.

Parsons took time out with hundreds of others at the Indian Recreation Club across the road from the stadium. He was joined by the 'usual suspects' in the finance sector, who always enjoy the early start to the Sevens.

This year, Deutsche Bank laid on a medieval banquet and there was more than one court jester in the room. Former England international John Bentley, who played both union and league, was the glue that held together the banter of Welsh great Jonathan Davies, former Irish player-turned-commentator Paul Wallace and alternative rugby commentator Jed 'Jedi' Thian.

Bentley confessed to the crowd the main reason he regarded the Lions as the best team in the world was because it was made up of four nations who spent years beating each other up, them somehow coming together. 'First of all, there's the Welsh. They talk among themselves. No one understands them anyway,' he said.

'Then there's the Scots who stand around waiting for someone to buy the first drink. The Irish are waiting for the Italians and the French to turn up. And then, of course, there's the English, the best players in the world.'