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Club History

Bognor Rugby Football Club was originally formed in 1922 and was called Bognor and Chichester Rugby Club. Games were played at Fish Lane, Pagham and at Felpham, near the George Public House. Fixtures were ceased in 1939 because of the Second World War. When rugby commenced in 1946 it did so in Chichester and the rugby players were quite reluctant to travel from the Bognor area to play their rugby and not surprisingly the Club was called Chichester Rugby Club.

The energy to reform a rugby club in Bognor came from within Bognor Cricket Club. In 1964 the Cricket Club became aware that if they used their facilities all the year round, it would generate more income and offer another sport to the town. The Cricket Club had a Yorkshireman playing for them who was an enthusiastic rugby league man, called John Norris.

John went to the local school, which was then the William Fletcher School and found a group of school boys that not only were enthusiastic to play for Bognor, but they were not short of ability. They also brought along friends from other schools.

John Norris set about organising fixtures for the 1965/66 season and if fixtures were not available on Saturday, they were arranged for Sunday and opposition from London was tempted down from London Hospitals. By 1967 they had enough players for a second side and by 1969 a third team was added with considerable success.

A forth team was added in 1975, known as the Bognor Buccaneers, and again produced enjoyable rugby and of course strengthened the Club, being a mixture of veterans and youth.

In 1976 the Junior Section was formed and from modest beginnings has grown and become the backbone of the club. Justin Fitzpatrick started his rugby career in the under 8's and now plays for Dungannon FC, Ulster and Ireland, with 16 caps for Ireland so far. When Paul Curtis was a colt he commanded a place in our first team before playing for England Colts, Roslyn Park, Harlequins and England "B".

There were many "growing pains" being experienced at what had become Bognor Cricket and Sports Club, where hockey and squash had been added to the organisation. The Rugby Club was unable to play home fixtures until October and fixtures had to be complete by the end of March. The one pitch at Hawthorn Road was a major problem with a growing junior section and four senior sides.

In 1992 Arun District Council was keen to relocate sports to specific locations in the town. The ground at Hampshire Avenue was offered to Bognor Rugby Club, with enough space for three pitches. The Rugby Club converted football changing rooms and a public toilet into the Clubhouse we enjoy today.

In recent years the changing facilities have been expanded to accomodate women and increase accessibility. The junior and the youth section remain very successful and the club continues with four senior sides.

Bognor Rugby Club's strength is that it is a 'Community Club'


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