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History, Past and Present

In 1969 a group of local people, mainly businessman and school teachers decided to form Long Eaton RFC. In the first season only 3 games were played before becoming full members of Derbyshire RFU in 1969. The club soon progressed to running two sides in 1971, and then by 1974 was running four senior sides. In 1982 the club ran a colts section which lasted three years, and then returned to running four senior sides through until the late nineties when gradually over a number of years the club was resigned to running one side in 2008, presently the club run three senior sides. Along with the decrease in playing numbers the club in parallel lost its level of rugby resulting in them languishing in the bottom league of the three counties. The Season completed has just seen an increase in numbers and the Club win the league.

The Club has always played its fixtures on West Park, Long Eaton, and from its early days using local pubs and Parkland's Adult Education Centre for a number of years, it is now based in its own leased Clubhouse on West Park. The club has two council owned pitches, one of which is fully floodlit.

The club has peaked and troughed like many local clubs. The two peaks arguably, the mid 70’s before league rugby when Long Eaton were one of the top sides in Derbyshire and then mid to late 90’s when rising up the leagues and getting to the semi final of the Three Counties Cup.

The Present

Long Eaton Rugby Football Club is a long established club. Since 1969 the club provided four senior sides and a colt’s side. Over the last ten years a combination of player number reduction and no junior section has seen the club both slip down the league structure and also run just two senior sides.

The club has recently agreed a change in constitution and structure, removing the committee and replacing it with a management team and creating posts and job descriptions more prevalent to modern rugby.

The Club will run Senior, Colts, Junior and Mini Rugby Union.
The club is planning to get the highest approval it can gain from the Rugby Football Union.

The Club is based on West Park where it has a part of the Borough Councils changing room block, approx a third of the building, since 1995. Inside the leased premise, the Club has a communal area with a licensed bar, a kitchen, two changing rooms, Ladies and Gents Toilets and Male Showering area and we are in the process of applying for permission and funding to extend the clubhouse and add 4 new modern changing rooms and new toilet facilities.

The Club use two council owned pitches one of which is floodlit to match standard, and the club own the floodlights. This pitch is also has a crowd barrier down each side. The Club has a very good relationship with the borough Council, who use the facilities on a regular basis.

The Club has partnerships with Long Eaton, Wilsthorpe, Friesland and Chilwell Secondary Schools. The Club also works with a number of primary schools with Long Eaton and surrounding areas.

In 2014, our Chairman Chris Brookes has received several awards. His year of awards started with LERFC Club Man of the Year, soon after he received a 'Service to Sport' award from Wilsthorpe School Long Eaton Closely followed by another 'Service to Sport' award presented by Erewash School Sports Association (ESSA). In July he received an invitation to meet the Prime Minister, David Cameron at a reception at No. 10 to celebrate the work he has done to support the Armed Forces Community through rugby.

2014 has seen The Club take great strides on many levels. A new changing room extension caters for four teams and two sets of officials, a Sports Therapy and first aid room, new toilets with disabled facility and a new committee room was opened in August.

There are now 3 senior teams that are playing on a regular basis since the start of the season. Our junior section has expanded, our junior and mini section now have teams for every year group from 6 years old upward. We also have a girls section which has two teams for U13 and U15 which play many mini tournaments and matches through the season.

Long Eaton has seen the Club grow by 15% this year, our Adult playing membership is now just under 100 whilst our youth (Boys and Girls) and minis section stands at just over 200.

2015 brings new challenges. The Club has secured two more training pitches on West Park, the plan is to raise funds to install new floodlights to allow training through the winter months and free up the main pitch for matches only. More work is being carried out around the club, upgrading the patio area and pathways, creating safer areas to walk on.

The Seniors have produced two players who represented Derbyshire, Ryan Beresford (centre)and Kallan Keenan (Prop). Two of the clubs Colts, Declan Neary and Michael Hawksworth have been selected to the NLD U18 squad for the 2015/16 season and the youth section has also offered up some outstanding talent. Tom Kelly, Fin Nason and Alex Richmond from the U14's and Harvey Phipps from the U13’s have gained places on the Leicester Tigers Developing Player Programme. Phil Milton, LERFC’s Director of Rugby has taken on the RFU’s role as Community Rugby Coach for Leicestershire and the Club’s Chairman, Chris Brookes, has been appointed the Academy Manager for the Championship team, Nottingham Rugby.

There is a new coaching structure in place for the following season to enhance the Colts integration into the seniors, all players and coaches will be boosted by the fact that the club have secured the services of Conor Carey, tighthead prop for Championship team, Nottingham Rugby. Conor will be one of the forwards coaches for the Seniors and Colts, he is also joined by former Harrogate RUFC Captain, Jimmy Browne.

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