Beckenham RFC – October 2019 column

The excitement is growing at Balmoral Avenue. Beckenham Rugby Football Club was founded on October 19th, 1894 with 25 players playing in red and white hoops. On the weekend of the October 19th this year we have a massive 125th birthday celebration planned .and you are all invited.

On Friday 18th, we host a French side, and roll out our BRFC vets (over 35s) at 7pm, with a curry social afterwards. On Saturday and Sunday we will be showing the Rugby World Cup quarter finals with breakfast in the mornings. Saturday is our focus though, with a ladies match at 1.30pm, completion of the inaugural iron man (125kms swim, cycles and run by our very own Dan Silvester) at 1.45pm. Then, in advance of our 1st XV match against Orpington side Westcombe Park, we will have 125 of our youth side forming the mascot players’ tunnel. After the game we have a fantastic auction at 5pm and local band the Love Handles should kick off at 6.45pm.  Take a look at our website or Facebook pages for more information.

So, from the early days when we used the Three Tuns as the headquarters, hosted Bowie practice sessions and counted cook Fanny Craddock’s husband as one our players, we have changed a lot. We’re proud of how far we’ve come; producing two full England internationals in WT Cave and Elliott Daly, countless Men’s and Ladies Kent County players and England representative honours won by current 1st XV players James Cleverly (Mens) and Akina Gondwe (Ladies). Today we have over 1,000 members playing in 24 age groups in our prominent Blue and Gold and our Men’s 1st XV are consolidating in London 1 South after winning promotion last season.

We were also one of the first clubs, in 1984, to introduce rugby for children and in 2012 we formed our first Ladies side. Now we have boys and girls from U5s up who are all dreaming of playing for their respective 1st XVs. Their ambitions are supported by and army of volunteers and very supportive parents, all part of the Blue and Gold Family.

Our ambition this season is to extend our clubhouse ahead of the 2020-21 season to include a larger kitchen and players dining room. This will improve our facilities and our margins which means we’ll continue to offer great rugby infrastructure with the cheapest membership subscriptions in London and the South East; rugby is about the size of your heart not the size of your wallet.

To build our clubhouse extension we are raising £150k. We’ve made a good start and all the fundraising this year will contribute to that goal. Thank you to all the local residents and businesses who have contributed thus far and we look forward to seeing you at Balmoral Avenue in the near future.