ALCESTER RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB – A Brief History
When a few enthusiasts got together in 1959 to try to form a rugby club in Alcester, among the many challenges they faced was where to find somewhere to play. Through the generosity of a local rugby-mad farmer, early games were played on a field at Kinwarton, from where the Club moved to Throckmorton Road and, finally, in 1967 to our present location at Kings Coughton.
Changing accommodation reflected the primitive nature of the Club’s early days:-. first a cowshed with no washing facilities; then a old London bus with some provision via the proximity of a river; and then the comparative luxury of the stables of the old Red Horse pub in Henley Street, complete with a temperamental shower.
When the move to Kings Coughton was made, use was made of a chicken hut on site which served well, thanks to the DIY skills of the members, but by the late 1970s it had deteriorated to such an extent that it had to be replaced. A new clubhouse was officially opened in 1984, the Club’s Silver Jubilee year, beginning the process by which the Club now has accommodation which is the envy of many clubs of more senior status.
As would be expected, the Club’s playing fortunes have fluctuated over the years.
At the start, it was a struggle to turn out one team but eventually four and even five teams were being fielded. Nowadays, where senior teams compete in leagues, as opposed to the traditional ‘friendly’ games of yore, two sides compete in their respective divisions. The undoubted success story today is the Junior Section, which regularly attracts more than 100 youngsters – boys and girls- on a Sunday morning during the season and which is encouraging for the future wellbeing of the Club.
Off the field, the Club has had some remarkable achievements, among which are attracting great figures in the game to Club Dinners, notably Mickey Steele-Bodger, then Chairman of the England Selectors, in 1968, and Cliff Morgan, the legendary Wales and British Lions fly-half, in 1993.
The Club has made significant contributions to charities through events such as marathon runs and this continues today in the 3 Pints Club, meeting at the Clubhouse three times a year, the proceeds of which go to the Injured Players’ Foundation of the Rugby Football Union.
Over its more than 50 years, the Club has amassed a large store or records and anecdotes from a wide variety of sources. A comprehensive account of these is contained in the book, ‘It’s Always Worth a Try’, published to mark the Club’s 50th Anniversary in 2009 and which is obtainable from the Club.