Club History & Vice Presidents 1 of 2

1. Club History - Work in Progress


1926 - Chichester City Rugby Football Club was founded. Based on enthusiasm from supporters of the Chichester School Rugby team at Langley House, West Street, the school chaplain, the Reverend R G T Gillman, called a meeting to discuss the formation of a senior rugby team in Chichester. The Dolphin and Anchor was used as the clubhouse and bar. Under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Colonel Coates the club flourished. The team included Jack Clemens, Russell Hillsden, Tiny Humphries, Cecil Herniman and Jack Treger. First season opponents included Portsmouth Casuals, Fareham and United Services Portsmouth. Home games were played at Lavant, Chichester Police Station, College Lane and Somerstown.

1928 - Club reorganised as Chichester and Bognor Rugby Football Club to encourage expansion.

1934 - The club amalgamates with the West Sussex County Officers Club and is renamed as Chichester Rugby Club.

1939-1945 - World War 2 halts rugby.

1939 - Chichester City Council acquired the land that forms Oaklands Park for £11,000. At this time, it comprised of residential buildings, a farmyard and farm land. In the early part of the Second World War a massive water reservoir was built which could be used to provide water to fight fires in the event of a blitz. It had been built to the dimensions of an Olympic sized swimming pool. Hay-making was also a prominent sight in this area throughout the duration of the war. After the war the park was opened up for sporting use. The first club to be offered facilities at the park was Chichester RFC

1946 - Home ground established at Oaklands Park.

1947 - Post-war rugby starts to accelerate with an excellent playing record of 15 wins from 18 games in our first season.

1949 - A second XV is formed, winning 19 of their 29 games played.

1963 - A prefabricated clubhouse opens at the bottom of Oaklands Park.

1970 - A new clubhouse costing £13,000, designed by Peter Harrison, is opened by local MP Sir Christopher Chataway. The old clubhouse moves across the Park to the Archery Club (it is still in use today).

1975 - The Club’s Mini and Junior rugby section is founded by Ken Hopkins.

1976 - The clubhouse is extended, at a cost of £16,000, to accommodate the growing player base.

1976 - Derek Wyatt (ex Chichester 1st XV player) capped by England. Derek played for both Bedford and Bath.

1977 - A golden jubilee dinner is held at the Dolphin and Anchor.

1985 - John Breach scores 49 tries for the 1st XV (a club record). Scores 35 and 25 tries in following two seasons. 49 tries in one season remains a club record.

1987 - CRFC celebrates 60th anniversary with a dinner at the Dolphin and Anchor.

1987 - Leagues start and Chichester are placed in Sussex Division 1.

1990 - Chichester are promoted to London South East 3 after winning Sussex 1.

1992 - Simon Bradford capped by England A U18.

1994 - Women’s rugby starts at Chichester.

2001 - 1st XV play in the National Cup competition for the first time against Sutton and Epsom.

2001 - CRFC are relegated to Sussex 1.

2002 - CRFC win Sussex 1 and, led by their inspirational captain Ben Polhill, reach the final of the Sussex Cup losing narrowly to Worthing.

2002 - Youth and mini rugby continues to be a major success at all age levels. The 1st XV are promoted to London South East 4.

2002 - A 75th anniversary May Ball is staged in a marquee at Oaklands Park.

2003 - Danny Gray (CRFC 1989-1995) awarded first professional contract at Bristol RFC.

2003 - The Sussex Cup final sees Chichester lose an enthralling match to Haywards Heath after extra time by 39 - 32. Haywards Heath were in a much hig