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Pitchero Club

The official West Park Leeds RUFC app



The club was founded in 1959 by masters and parents of West Park School and the Headmaster, Mr TL Mathews was the first President. In the early years the school facilities were used but a move to Tinshill Recreation ground and headquarters at the Welcome Public House were effected in 1966 and in 1969 the club achieved its first honour, winning the Yorkshire Shield. Inspired by this success the club sought to acquire a ground of its own and in 1970 arrived at the Sycamores Bramhope. The members voted to change the name to encompass the new location and thus West Park Bramhope was created.

During the 70s and 80s many successes were enjoyed including good runs in the Yorkshire Cup as well as several semi-final and final defeats in the Shield. The elusive win was not to come until 1989-90 when finally the Shield was seized again twenty years after the first win. The advent of Leagues had now arrived and to compliment the Shield win the championship of Yorkshire 1 was also achieved. In the same season that Yorkshire President, R Jessop officially opened the new stand the semi-final of the Yorkshire Cup was reached crowning arguably the finest season in the club's history. Overall, the club has achieved five promotions, a record that stands comparison with almost any club in the county.

Recent years have seen many changes in the structure of the game, not all of them for the better. The club remains determined to retain its amateur ethos and in 2003 redefined the club status as such. The club continues to build on its solid foundations and has a very exciting future ahead.

In Spring 2004 the club became registered as a Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC). In the summer of 2005 the membership voted to change the club name to West Park Leeds RUFC, as part of the development strategy. In June 2006 the members voted overwhelmingly to merge with Leeds RUFC - the amateur club formed by the mergers of Headingley & Roundhay from which Leeds Tykes eventually emerged - to form a new amateur club, WEST PARK LEEDS RUFC, allowing the realisation of funds from the sale of the Chandos grounds.

In September 2006 the prestigious Community Rugby Seal of Approval was achieved thanks to the prodigious work of Alan Simpson & a dedicated band of helpers. In March 2007, in accordance with the recommendation of the governing body, the club became registered as an Industrial & Provident Society, acquiring limited company status.

In the Spring of 2007 building work began on the development of vastly improved facilities, including a new club house, terracing, extensive floodlighting & a state of the art all weather pitch at the Sycamores. The new state of the art building was handed over in July 2008 creating a set up and facilities that are second to none anywhere in the Country.

The cramped 1960's clubhouse has been replaced with a spacious two-storey state of the art building. The clubhouse has 10 dressing rooms, a gym, officials, physio and doctors rooms downstairs. The social areas upstairs include a lounge bar, kitchen and dining area, audio-visual areas, committee rooms, offices and a shop. 240 covers can be accommodated in the function room.

The process began when Headingley and Roundhay merged in September 1992 to form Leeds RUFC. In 1997 a planning application was submitted to the council for residential development at Chandos Park. The outcome was determined in May 2007, which released the £6m to fund the transformation. In turn Leeds merged with West Park Bramhope to form West Park Leeds.

There are now over 850 members and continued success is assured. One is James Lowes, Director of Rugby at Warrington Wolves, who lives adjacent to the ground. "I bought a house in Bramhope, overlooking the ground, a few years ago and joined the club as a playing member. I was warmly welcomed and now all my family enjoy the top class facilities and atmosphere. It is terrific."

The club has four men's senior sides, a vibrant mini and junior section with all ages from under 7 to under 18 plus a girls and women's section. The Leeds Met students sides and the academy of Leeds Carnegie also use the facilities. Rugby league has also been played with Leeds Akkies fielding two men's and one women's team in the summer ensuring all year round usage.

The 1st XV pitch was completely rebuilt in 2007 and an automatic irrigation system has been installed. Three new adult and two junior pitches have been created and the old grass training area has been converted to a full size 3G all-weather pitch, ensuring quality training can take place whatever the conditions. This, the grass training area and the 1st XV pitch are all floodlit to a high specification.

England World cup winner Neil Back, Head Coach of Leeds Carnegie, commented that, "The facilities must surely rank amongst the finest in the country."

The 42-acre site has doubled in size from the original and has an advanced drainage system using an 800m3 balancing pond.

Rugby Union has moved a long way since the game allowed professionalism in 1995. The club has constituted itself as a Community Amateur Sports Club, which means that amongst other factors, players will not be paid but it does not stop any player from achieving the highest goal of playing for their country. Danny Care, one of the most recent England debutants started his mini rugby life at the Sycamores.

With such a large and unique project it is a credit to the club that all was completed within budget to open a new chapter in the club's history. New members are always welcome and membership is open to all sections of the community.

From the pioneers of the early days who formed the club and created the grounds and clubhouse, to the hard working members and players of today, West Park Leeds RUFC can rightly take pride in all its achievements.

In keeping with our commitment to mini and junior rugby many players who started at the club at very young ages have made the transition to Senior Rugby, appearing in the 1st XV or going on to achieve success in the professional game. This flow of talented young players has enabled the club to amass enviable strength in depth.

Our 2nd XV has won its merit table on two occasions and our Colts won the Yorkshire Cup in 1993. We captured the Aire/Wharfe Cup in 1998. This was also the season that following our outstanding run in the previous season's NPI Cup, we reached the semi-final of that competition, going down by three points to the eventual winners Bedford Athletic in a stirring and memorable encounter attended by a record crowd of over 1500.

A memorable day in May 2005 saw the 1st XV lose narrowly to Sheffield Tigers in the Yorkshire Shield final, having held the lead at half time. This served to provide even more incentive for success in future campaigns.

After suffering relegation the previous season, the club bounced back into Yorkshire 2 at the first attempt, being crowned champions of Yorkshire 3 in April 2009, clinching the title with a magnificent 0 v 14 away win at eventual runners up Hullensians. On 24th May 2009 the second leg of an outstanding double was achieved with a fine win 23 v 17 over Bramley Phoenix at Moor Lane, Pontefract to claim the Yorkshire Silver Trophy, the only time the club has competed for this trophy.

In the same season the 2nd XV - the Warriors - were runners up in the Yorkshire Two Merit Table, regularly meeting and beating sides operating one or more leagues higher, playing some scintillating rugby in the process. The 3rd XV - the Lions - is a mixture of youth and experience, a combinaion that suffered only two defeats in the entire season. A 4th XV is being launched for the 2009/2010 season.


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