Old Beccehamian Rugby Football Club was formed on 18th July 1933 by former pupils including Chris Fitzpatrick of Beckenham Grammar School for boys, later Beckenham and Penge Grammar School for Boys. In common with all 'Old Boys' clubs membership was originally restricted to former pupils of the school and 2-3 teams were run regularly until play stopped due to the Second World War.
After the war the club expanded and began to field 3-4 teams a week, playing most of the home games at Langley Park school in Beckenham. The club began to accept playing members who had not attended the school however to begin with they were not allowed to play for the first XV. However from around 1960 all members were eligible to play in the first team.
In the early 1960's the school moved to a new building and became Langley Park Boys School and the club still maintains close ties with the school. Our president Clive Putner was a pupil and later a master before retiring. The current headmaster is also Vice President of the club.
Further development of the club was soon hampered by not having a permanent ground and in particular no clubhouse and bar. Members would meet up in local pubs, the West Wickham Home Guard Club becoming the place for after game entertainment on a Saturday evening. In 1960, with financial support from the RFU and Middlesex County RFU the club built its first club house and bar in West Wickham, playing games down the hill at Sparrow's Den where the changing rooms were shared with two soccer teams and often by the newly formed Shirley Wanderers. After matches, members would have a steep climb up Corkscrew Hill to get to the club.
In 1972 the club came up with a proposal to pay for a new club house and changing facilities at Sparrow's Den if the London Borough of Bromley would similarly pay for new soccer changing rooms. When this was agreed the current clubhouse was built and opened in 1973 under lease from the council and with a long term licence to use the three pitches each week. More recently the club has become delegated managers of rugby at Sparrow's Den.
By the 1980s, we were running 6 senior teams with considerable success, particularly in Sevens where twice we won our way through to the finals of the Middlesex Sevens at Twickenham. The introduction of Leagues in the 1990s meant consolidation, with only 4 senior teams.
In 1999 Beccehamian RFC, with the "Old" status already removed, formed a Ladies team. The Ladies were League Champions in 2014/15 and have produced several players who have gone onto play Ladies Premiership rugby. Robbie Broadhurst was awarded "Women's Rugby Volunteer of the Year 2017 by Kent Rugby in recognition of his contribution and coaching for the Ladies team.
85th Anniversary Season 2018/2019
The 1st XV will play in London 3 South East league having been crowned Kent League 1 Champions and Kent Cup Vase Champions in 2017/18.
Ladies Rugby team also celebrate their 20th anniversary season
Following a fantastic 85th anniversary season, the 1st XV finished in second place in London South East 3, and gained automatic promotion to London South East 2 for the 2019/2020 season. The back to back promotions places the 1st XV in the highest ever league status for the club.
Mini & Youth Rugby
It was in 1967 that one of our Vice Presidents, Dennis Oakley, initiated mini and youth rugby at Beccs. Ours was the first Mini section in Kent and one of the first in the country - if not THE first. Looking through club records and some old newsletters in the early 1970s, there is reference to "Mini Rugby at Sparrows Den" where there had been "2 session so far with approx 50 boys attending". Our records have further produced a newsletter published in November 1974 which means that our official mini/junior start date is the 1974 season - 2018/19 being the 45th anniversary season of mini/youth rugby at BRFC.
We now have over 300 members in the Mini and Junior sections alone, along with a burgeoning Ladies team and the beginnings of a Girls' team. We have several boys playing at County level and at least 7 players in the Premiership who have come through our Minis and Junior sections. A fantastic achievement!
The minis section now host a very well regarded, annual Autumn and Spring mini rugby festivals attracting 15-20 clubs from across Kent, Surrey and Sussex.
Beccehamian RFC is now an open club, but still draws many new members from Langley Park and numerous other local schools. The senior playing membership is currently around 130. This is eclipsed by a mini & youth rugby playing membership.