Manor Park Old Boys was originally formed in 1960, celebrating its half centenery this year at the Village hotel in coventry.
Special guest speakers Darren Garforth and Martin Corry were joined by founder member Kieth Chadband who regaled the 160 guests with the following....
Well I have to look back about 50years for this and I expect that I will leave something or somebdy out,but here goes:
When we all left Manor Park Grammar School in 1955/6 a few of us wanted to continue playing Rugby as we had had a good school team. Rugby in Nuneaton in those days was dominated by Nuneaton RFC and the Old Edwardians. A few of us ended up with Nuneaton RFC and we began playing with Nuneaton Saracens, which was their 3rd team in effect.
The Old Eds viewd us with suspicion and never gave us a second glance. Nuneaton RFC in those days was run by the Holmes Brothers of which Wally was the best ( I think he got an England cap once)
Nneaton Saracens was a mixture of old Nun RFC players and other odds and ends and us who had come straight from school. It never was a great team but it enabled some of us the carry on playing Rugby. Around 1958 a few of us started talking about an old Boys Team. You probably don't realize it but Manor Park was a Secondary Modern School which got uprated to Grammar School status and we were the first year in the school at that level, so when we left school we were the first out as it were. We had a few games in 1958/59 mainly against the School team and Nuneaton Old Eds 3rds
Around the end of 1959 , after much discussion,we decided that it was time to start out on our own and Manor Park Old Boys was formed. We had no pitch, no shirts, no clubhouse in fact we had nothing. We ended up meeting on a regular basis in The Railway Tavern, behind the station,on a Tuesday evening. So one evening we had a sort of general meeting and Manor Park Old Boys RFC was born. I was elected Captain / Secretary and other members of the Committee were Keith 'Jammy' James. Terry 'Ginger' Day, John Stain was elected Treasurer . There was also Keith Naylor, Keith Whitehall and others who I can't remember. Jack Thomas from Nuneaton RFC was very helpful and gave us lots of encouragement
Since we didn't have any shirts to play in, I wrote to the Warwickshire RFU. to ask if they could give us a grant. I had a reply from Colonel Tom Clay, who was president of Warwickshire RFU who said they did not give grants, but enclosed a cheque for £25 as a personal gift to help us get started. This enabled us to buy a set of shirts. I then began trying to get fixtures against local teams, most of who were in Coventry area. Our first few games were against teams like Old Coventrians, Trinity Guild, Pinley and Rugby St Andrews. Gradually we bgan to get more fixtures, but it was a couple of years before we had a fullish list. It was quite difficult in those days, as only a few of us had cars and we used to travel to games by Bus and train. God knows how we survived. but we did. We used to play our home games on the Pingles fields at Weddinton and change in Higham Lane School
Now when I look back and realise that Manor Park RFC has been going for 50 years I just can't believe it. Although I was there at the start, My career took me away from Nuneaton after about 3 years, so its the people who remained that must get a lot of credit. people like
Keith James and Ginger Day. I don't know if they are still associated with the club, but I would love to see them all again
I am really glad and happy that the Club has survived the way it has and look forward to seeing every one at the 50th Anniversary Dinner