No regrets says Johnson after rugby dream inking

27 Jul 2021

The realisation of a dream led to a surprise discovery for Mercury Bay senior rugby’s Shayne Johnson on the Monday following the team’s McClinchy Cup final victory over Thames.

After some enthusiastic celebrations, the Tairua-based player woke to find a permanent reminder of the achievement etched on his shoulder - a tattoo of the Mercury Bay Rugby & Sports Club crest.

“I had actually totally forgotten until I had a shower, but hey you don’t win one of these every day. After 15 years I can finally say we did it,” Shayne said. “Saturday (17 July) was definitely the highlight of my career and to grab a try in the final match was surreal.”

The father of three says he has no regrets about the tattoo and will be forever grateful for the welcome and opportunity he received at Mercury Bay after Tairua were unable to field a team this season.

“It’s a decision I will never regret, the coaches and players made me feel like I’ve always been there and I made some brothers for life. Before the season started, I wasn’t sure if my body would handle another year of rugby, so I went and watched their first game and drove away knowing I wanted to be a part of their club.”

Shayne also acknowledged the huge support from fiancé, Gabby Deane, and his family over the years.

“I remember someone saying to me at the start of the year after a game, bro you’re too old for this just give up, and right at that moment I walked away thinking you shouldn’t have said that. A massive amount of hard work went into achieving this, a lot of hours training in the dark. This season taught me if you can believe it, you can achieve it, just never give up on your dreams.”