GRUFC 1889 - 2007
A Glossop Rugby Club existed at the end of the nineteenth century. Records kept in Glossop Library show that in the season 1889/90 the Club played 28 games, winning 20, drawing 2 and losing 6. Fixtures at this time included Broughton Park. However, there are no records of any games being played after 1894, and it appears that the Club ceased to exist some time in the 1890s.
The Club was revived in 1969 in the lounge of the Hare and Hounds pub and the man who started it all off was Peter Ford and the original members were all members of Glossop Mountain Rescue Team.
It was quite amazing the number of players who came to the original training sessions held in a yard opposite the Drovers Arms. We attracted players who were banned, players from professional Rugby League and a nucleus of players who had once been very good but were now getting on a bit.
The first game since reforming was a friendly game played against Rochdale. The last recorded game the Club had played in 1894 had been against Rochdale Wanderers. The players decided to form themselves into a Club and began playing regular fixtures from September 1969. By mid-November the Club had attracted sufficient members to form a second XV.
The Club moved to the present playing fields in mid 1970, originally renting the field but an agreement to purchase was concluded in August 1970 and the purchase actually took place on 1st July 1972 assisted by a loan from the RFU and a grant from the Sports Council.
The original “Clubhouse” (in reality changing facilities) was a wooden hut obtained from the Army barracks in Aston-under-Lyne at a nominal cost. It was erected by members at the end of 1970 in the bottom end of the ground in the corner of Hargate Hill Lane and Glossop Road. Unfortunately the Club overlooked to obtain detailed planning permission prior to erection and was ordered by the Council to remove it. Despite protestations, the Council remained firm. However, ever resourceful, what was originally destined to be a facility to protect unsuspecting, passing Glossopians from the dubious delights of underwear being exchanged for jockstraps was turned into the best 5th November bonfire night the Club has ever seen!
The Season 1970/71 saw a marked increase in membership and playing success. Three teams were fielded each Saturday and the first team won more than they lost. In August 1971 the Club’s application to become a member of the Rugby Union was accepted.
The previous Clubhouse was erected in 1974 by the hard work and sweat of members at that time. It was intended that the facility would last no longer than 15-20 years before it needed rebuilding. However due to a lot of patching, a lack of funding and much heartfelt love of the old building the place endured and continued to serve its members and the local community well.
Nevertheless in the early 2000’s it became apparent that something had to be done. Escalating repair costs and deteriorating conditions underlined the need for change. Once the drainage and floodlight projects were completed attention turned towards raising funds for the new Clubhouse. Although a considerable amount of money was raised by members’ activities the final goal seemed to be way in the distance until a generous sponsorship deal was offered by the Manchester based accountancy firm, Ford Campbell. This together with other grants – notably from High Peak Borough Council – enabled work to commence in 2005.
Inevitably the work was beset with problems and delays – although it has to be said not to the same extent as Wembley Stadium! Undoubtedly the eventual successful outcome was due in no small part to the expertise, efforts and huge time commitment of our Chairman, Rob Stewart. It would not have happened without him. In recognition of his contribution the Committee (in his absence) decided to name the new players’ bar, “The Stewart Bar”.
(Thanks to Rich Parker for the info. If anyone else has any more infor
mation on the history, and the playing side of things then please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, thanks.)