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Chairmans BLOG

Posted 30th March 2015

I am totally thrilled to see the enormous amount of hard work and efforts finally being rewarded in the shape of promotion for our first XV back into the London Leagues.
This however, is not just the result of the team that played on Saturday alone, this is the result of the whole senior squad working tirelessly as one unit, one team with one goal which was achieved in style.
So to all of our senior players, you should be very proud of yourselves, however the hard work will soon be upon you again so enjoy the break when you get it!
To the coaching team, you stuck to your guns and showed that your style of play and methods of technique paid the dividends you desired.

There is a real buzz around the club, minis and juniors touring and having a great time, the colts getting stronger and stronger, three senior sides playing on a Saturday and more and more supporters returning and joining the club.

I hope the town is a proud of this great club as I am !

Well done to all
Fraser Brooks

Posted - Monday 8th September 2014

Welcome, welcome one and all and I hope you are ready for another fun filled and exciting season here at the only home of rugby in Eastbourne.

It never surprises me just how much work goes on in the “Closed season” so a huge thank you to all those that have continued to work tirelessly throughout this period.

But was has been happening??

Well over and above a hugely successful O2 touch rugby campaign, of which at one point we were the only club in the county that was officially accredited, we have had a little bit of work done at your clubhouse.

When I say a little, I actually mean major. The old girl has had a complete face lift with a new lounge area being created (removal of the coffee bar). The works are due to be completed towards the end of this month and the feedback I am hearing from those that have had a “Sneaky Peak” has been overwhelming!

Now to matters on the park, for senior squad their preseason preparations could not have gone better, opting to challenge the players with two games against clubs in higher leagues than ourselves. Firstly we welcomed Hastings and Bexhill RFC to “The Fortress” and in a “Roll on roll off” type game the end score line was 43-3 to Bourne, then an 18 man team visited Bromley RFC (one of the favourites for promotion in London South East 3) and won 31-29.

A combination game of our Nomads and the Phoenix XV welcomed Heathfield RFC and ran out 5-0 winners. So far so good but now for the real results to matter as our league games commence this week. Let’s get a big crowd out and show our players the support they deserve this Saturday.

On Sunday, I was blown away again as the minis and juniors returned back to the club for their registration day, the place was a mass of eager boys and girls AND mums, dads, grannies and grandpa’s all really looking forward to getting stuck back in to those early Sunday mornings……….. Good luck !!

There is SO much going on at the club in terms of on field and off field activities that I really hope you embrace all of these changes and have a thoroughly enjoyable season and be part of YOUR club.

It only leaves me to say “That once you have read one rugby joke, you really have seen a maul”………………. They won’t get any better, trust me.

See you Saturday and Sunday.

Posted - Monday 7th April 2014

I woke this morning to learn the tragic news of the sudden death of Peaches Geldof, no matter what somebody’s background is, the reality of losing a child is unbearable and a pain that will be with the family for the rest of their lives is unmeasurable. My thoughts and prayers are with them at this devastating time.

I must apologise for the lack of “Blogs” just recently, this has been due to an enormous amount of “Behind the scenes” work that has been going on at the club. To my fellow Directors I thank you all for the long hours that all have put in just recently.

Some of you may be aware, others not, but we are bidding for an RFU grant to completely transform the club house. Yes that old building that often goes un noticed and is sometimes taken for granted needs a bit of help! Whilst I cannot report on whether we have been successful in our bid (as we haven’t heard yet) it is fair to say that more must be done to improve the facilities that are used by all. The makeover plan is to make the club house a far more welcoming , warmer, lighter and brighter place for you to enjoy your stay at the club. Our aim is to get heating installed, carpets in areas fitted, the roof insulated and even the possibility of removing one end of the bar to create a cosy lounge area! This all takes money, time and planning and YOU the club member will enjoy the benefits. SO, TO YOU THE CLUB MEMBER, CAN YOU HELP?? Are you planning on a fundraising project and as yet are uncertain of who or what to raise money for?? If so please bear the old girl in mind. AGE GROUPS: You, your supporters, your parents, you all use the club house and if you agree that it is now way past it’s sell buy date, Can you do your bit for the club by arranging events where the much needed funds can be raised?

So, what’s been happening in the world of rugby at “The Bourne”?: We have hosted two touring sides this month, North Dorset RFC and Syston RFC both sending wonderful letters of thanks for our hospitality. Think how many more clubs would be attracted to us if we had that shiny new club house !!!

Our first XV play their final game of the season this Saturday at Park Avenue, 3pm Kick off against league leaders Pulborough RFC this will be a thriller!! There is a pre match lunch and all are welcome, 3 courses for just £13 with the raffle going towards our “Club House Appeal”.

Over 30 people attended the Patrons dinner at The Victoria pub and I hear a great time was had by all. ( Just think, one day these dinners could be held at the rugby club!!)
Good luck to our Under 14’s on their tour to Torquay and we hope for more silver ware from this highly impressive age group.

The Nomads travel to Heathfield & Waldron 3’s this Saturday and The Phoenix (3rd XV) have the short journey to our friends at Hellingly. Good luck to you all.

LADIES NIGHT: This year we will be having our annual Ladies Night at the Eastbourne Yacht club on May 17th PLEASE SEE JANE FOR DETAILS, it’s going to be cracker !!!! places are limited so please get in touch with her ASAP !!!!!

Finally, Unfortunally I was walking home from the club last night when I was attacked by a man with a Power Tool, There was I minding my own business, then all of a sudden “BOSCH” !!

And on that bomb shell,
See you soon


Posted - Monday 3rd Feb 2014

I seem to be thanking an awful lot of people lately, I guess it’s because I notice the little things that make a difference as well as the big noticeable gestures, this week’s huge thank you goes in fact to another rugby club. On Saturday we were pleased to be able to host Shoreham RFC V Cinque Ports RFC ( good old Martins Field!!) and my thanks must go to all the players from both sides but in particular to Shoreham.
I understand they won their cup match, but my thanks is that each and every one of them made the effort to stay after the game, enjoy their food (which they were most complimentary about) and watched the England international for the whole game. This put a good amount of funds across our bar, dare I say felt like the old days, you know the days when visiting clubs stayed for a jar or three after a game!! Thanks Shoreham.

Well the game itself for me was fairly exciting, I just wonder if this team was made up of players, playing as individuals and still in their own clubs style of play. Look at Robshaw, trying in my humble opinion to off load the ball far too often when the simple set and go was the right option. Lawes impressed me and made many hard yards, Hartley didn’t do much wrong, Goode was ordinary but the player that impressed me was Cole, so much behind the scenes work that often goes un noticed, bit like running a rugby club !!
You have got to give it to the French, they have a simple “Let’s go forward and take a chance rugby”, something I can still remember them doing back in the early 70’s!

At one point every chair, step ladder, persons knee was being sat on, on Saturday, it literally was standing room only, to those that braved the weather, thank you!.

Sadly the weather won in the end and due to flooded pitches and training areas all training and games were cancelled on Sunday. Whilst I appreciate this is extremely frustrating, we must, must at all times never put a person’s safety at risk and when there is standing water this becomes extremely dangerous. If anyone has a problem with this then you know how and where to find me. Safety first, it’s that simple!

I have a fairly full diary this week, with meetings every evening for something or another all of them though based on moving this club and our facilities forward.

And finally ……………….

Snow White returned to the cottage to find it had burned down. Distraught, she searches for the dwarfs in the forest and hears a lone voice chanting, "Scotland to win the 6 Nations”, Scotland to win the 6 Nations”, Scotland to win the 6 Nations." On hearing this, Snow White gave a little sigh of relief as she knew that at least Dopey was safe.

Enjoy your week, enjoy your rugby.


Posted - Tuesday 28th Jan 2014

What a fantastic weekend that was !!
With the rain trying its hardest to cancel games across the county, I was delighted to see our pitches holding up (just) for our first and second teams to entertain our friends from Crowborough RFC, the reason why our pitches were holding up is because of sensible management of them at training sessions during the week. THANK YOU!

Here comes my first “Brooksie’s BARK!” (not to anyone at ERFC). I was furious to come down to the club on Saturday morning to not only see OUR car park jam packed of cars from the football teams but also seeing so many children training all over our pitches !!YOU HAVE FOOTBALL PITCHES AND EVEN GOAL POSTS FURTHER DOWN HAMPDEN PARK…………USE THEM!!! We have taken photos of the team’s training and churning up our pitches and sent them to E.B.C.

NOW, I am a huge supporter of children playing sport and exercising and some of you will also be aware that I once made a poor living out of playing football, so it has nothing to do with their sport or kids playing that sport, MY issue is that we are having to constantly monitor and sometimes cancel our children’s training sessions, only for others to come as freely as they like to use our pitches !!! on top of that WE, THE CLUB have to pay for the privilege of it !!!!! Please have my assurances that we will be dealing with this !! BARK OVER.

Now to the matches themselves,…… (still mildly fuming) The first Xv played some wonderful rugby even with the ball being like a bar of soap, the handling was exceptional and the “ go forward approach” was really wonderful to see. The Nomads made sure that they were top of their league and too put a big win over their visitors. GOOD STUFF LADS. So as it stands, The first team are 4th in their league, The Nomads are 1st in their league and Phoenix are sitting in 3rd place… Not too shabby eh ?!

I was slightly disappointed to see the lack of numbers at the pre match lunch and for those that were not able to attend you really are missing out on some excellent food and banter and dare I say Feakins speech was hilarious!! (but don’t tell him)

Sunday, in the rain, I watched our ever impressive under 14’s play a big strong team from Edenbridge RFC and win with a lot of style and flair. I have said this before, but this is an age group to keep a close eye on. Well done to all involve!!

This Saturday we will be showing the 6 Nations games live on the big screen, so I hope to see you all there!

Lastly, I held the door open for a circus clown the other day, I thought that was a nice jester

On that bomb shell
See you Saturday


Posted - Monday 20th Jan 2014

A fairly quiet week for yours truly although both Paul Feist and myself have a very positive meeting with Eastbourne Borough Council on Tuesday about a potentially exciting new plan for the club. Whilst we are a long way from our goal, the early discussions look promising and please watch this space for further developments as they un fold….

On Saturday the first XV welcomed Rye RFC to Park Avenue and our boys were determined to “Right and Wrongs” from the week before and put in a fine display. A boy they did just that!!
The game was far from uneventful with Eastbourne notching up 58 points (including nine tries) for no return. Sadly the game saw a red card shown to a Rye player and a couple of yellow cards, but over all a good result for the boys and as they say “We build again from here”.

Much credit must be given to the Rye lads, as they in the tradition of the game, all stayed for an hour or so after the match to put a few “BoB” over our bar, even though they had just been on the receiving end of a big score and also facing a long journey home.
We have a policy at the club and that is when we visit clubs, whatever the result, we ALL stay for a minimum of 1 hour after the match. Sadly too few clubs adopt this approach !!!

I bored as many people as I could on Saturday about the new “Guinness” pumps that have been installed at the bar and I am more than happy to bore anyone who is not aware of the significance of these two new pumps and the story of “St James Gates” behind it !!!

Sunday, myself, Snell and Feaks (all dressed in our Number ones and blazers) meet with Mal and headed to the club for an early morning full English breakfast comprising of, 2 Eggs,4 bacon, Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Hash brown, Beans, Black Pudding, 3 Sausages, unlimited toast and a mug of tea all for a £5 (Thanks to Moody Cow Catering, I have said it before and I will say it again, I have been to 100’s of rugby clubs and no one gets close to the level of food we provide, it is outstanding and fantastic value !!) this set us up for the morning as we were on duty to present the whole of the minis and midis with their very own Eastbourne RFC rugby ball. For those that are not aware, when you join our club each player receives a playing shirt and a rugby ball !! Thanks to our great mates at “Winning Look”. Even the RFU re tweeted our tweet (whatever that means) and congratulated us, so we must be doing something right ……………

The pitches are just about holding up and good to see the minis and junior coaches using their “Noddles” by find suitable areas to train away from the normal training areas. Thanks all !!
This week the first team entertain Crowborough and a pre match meal will be available so please let Jane know if you would like to attend as places are filling up fast. The Nomads are away to Crowborough and Phoenix are at home to Hove, all 2.15pm kick offs.

Finally, I met up with an old Kiwi friend of mine and during the evening he shared this little one with me :-

The All Blacks were playing England, and after the half-time whistle blew they found themselves ahead 50-0, Jonah Lomu getting eight tries. The rest of the team decided to head for the pub instead of playing the second half, leaving Jonah to go out on his own.

"No worries," Jonah told them, "I'll join you later and tell you what happened." After the game Jonah headed for the pub where he told his teammates the final score: 95-3.

"What!!!!" said a furious Josh Kronfeld, "How did you let them get three points??!" Jonah replied apologetically, "I was sent off with 20 minutes to go."

Needless to say we are no longer speaking…………………….

See ya Saturday

Brooksie !

Posted - Monday 13th Jan 2014

Happy new year to one and all, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are all raring to go for the second half of the season!! To all Mini and Junior coaches and supporters, “Oh how you have missed those early Sunday morning starts………”

With the weather being so horrendous over the last week or so, it had put pay to any form of week day or weekend training, so I was delighted to see on Sunday the minis back training again, all seem to be having excellent fun with the children burning off much of their pent up energy. There were several happy faces on mums and dads watching this happen…
The juniors were working hard too and I watched a terrific performance by our under 16’s against a strong Midhurst team, it is fair to say Eastbourne had almost all the play but two intercepted tries for our visitors gave them the win, hey that’s rugby for you !!

Friday night, the club was packed to the rafters again as we held our first quiz night of the year. My thanks must go to Martin the quiz master for his excellent questions and banter together with Hugh Graham for arranging the event. To all those that came, I hope you had as good a night as I did bearing in mind my team came last !!!

I hear the third team (Phoenix) had a cracker of a game away to Burgess Hill, coming out victorious in a 7-5 thriller ! What pleased me was to see a number of past colts on the team sheet, all bodes well for the future. My son Olly was playing and whilst getting into Pete Sanders car his mum came running over, telling Pete that Ollie must buy a gum guard, she had packed his sandwiches and a clean pair of pants!! Even at 18 they are still your little babies……

The first team lost to a strong Seaford Side by 31 -18 having taken the lead. It wasn’t the greatest of games from either side, but on the day Seaford deserved the win. With 4 or 5 players out the score could have been different, but it wasn’t and we have to live with that an move on, again that’s rugby for you!!
Looking for the positive about the game, as I always try to do, is that after the game I spoke to most of the players, all of which knew exactly where they went wrong and are determined to work hard at training and put this right. With this in mind I very much look forward to the Rye fixture on Saturday, at home, 2;15pm kick off.

There are still some minis shirts that need to be collected, if you are one of them please come up to the bar. The shirts are named and it’s a shame that they have not been collected, after all you have paid for them……

I hear that some of you are doing a “Dryathon” for the month of January, I have been doing a “Weightonathon” so last night decided to join the David Lloyd gym. I have to say that the chicken burger, with bacon and cheese together with the chunky chips, washed down by a couple of pints of Amstel is almost as good as Lady B’s cooking. I could get use to this gym lark!!!!!!!!!

See you at the weekend

Posted - Tuesday 10th December 2013

Sorry for the delay in posting this blog, but the old Chairman has a touch of man flu !!

The great man has gone (not me although feeling a little rough ) Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela,. I was wondering what the world would still be like if he had never existed and it really doesn’t bear thinking about. A great man! 1918 – 2013 though his legacy will live on.

Saturday was one of those days where I was able to wear my club blazer with the upmost pride. A packed club house sat down for a wonderful three course lunch superbly presented by Moody Cow Catering ( There is not a club in the country that will enjoy better!!) prior to our first team match against Holbrook RFC. The good, the great, the bad, and Webby were all in attendance and what wonderful words of pride were delivered by our local MP Mr Stephen Lloyd and indeed his worshipful,The Mayor.

Ken Nicholls the president of Sussex RFC was also in attendance and to hear our club being spoke about in such high regarded made all those issues we sometimes have to deal with seem to momentarily disappear. This is a great club made great by some very special people(You know who you are)!!

Great to see our young ambassadors attending the lunch, these are the guys of the future. Demetri Aitken collected an Eastbourne shirt signed by Messer’s: Farrell, Rowntree and Catt together with a signed rugby ball and a framed certificate, as he was voted BMW young volunteer of the year…… Does it get any better than this I hear you ask ???

Well now to the match and this was certainly a game of two halves, Half time, the score was almost honours even, something like 12 -10…… Whatever was said at half time (probably cannot be repeated) but something kicked into action with Eastbourne adding 46 points to the scoreboard for nil return. Tom Redman lead by example and was rightly award the man of the match!

The evening celebrations went long into the night and we were treated to an amazing rendition of Nessun Dorma which brought the house down…. Eating, drinking, winning and signing……………..

Sunday saw two games of rugby with both the under 14’s and under 15’s winning their games with great flair and precision.


Due to my very hectic schedule over the next couple of weeks, my blog will return again in the new year and it only leaves me to wish each and every one of you a very happy and healthy Christmas.

Who is Santa's favorite singer?
Elf-is Presley!


Posted - Monday 2nd December 2013

Well another really busy weekend for yours truly.

I must start by thanking a great friend of mine and the club’s, Mr Bruce Hayter. Bruce was not only a player at ERFC but has also continued to be a great supporter of the club through thick and thin and as Senior Partner of Rix and Kay solicitors, Bruce has also been a great sponsor of this club and continues to do so. Friday night Bruce and I were guests of the Sussex F.A (yes the odd shape ball) and how royally looked after we were. Huge thanks to Bruce and all the guys from the Sussex FA.

We were at the “Active Sussex awards” at the grand hotel in Brighton to collect Eastbourne’s biggest recognition to date, the “Whole club accreditation”. This is the RFU’s “Kite Mark” and a measure of how well the club is doing. This is a real honour and thank you again to all of you that have made this possible.
For me the highlight of the evening was actually not about collecting the award, it was seeing all the other nominees and award winners getting their recognition and in particular the “Club of the year award”. This went to the “Brighton and Hove Special Olympics Team” and wow did they celebrate. To see these young and old athletes all very their own battles to deal with, get up on that stage and collect their prize was truly moving and thank god I had a napkin handy !!! (On Sunday someone moaned that the over flow was leaking again and I thought if “that’s all you have got to worry about”…) Ho hum each to their own….

So Saturday ,( a little bit bleary eyed) I saw the second XV play against Brighton third team and what a cracker. There is a real feel good with that side at the moment who are playing some excellent rugby. I forget the score, I think it was 47 -3 or something like that. The first team were not lucky losing 15-3 to Brighton two’s.

Sunday for me was spent watching Eastbourne under 14’s play Crowborough, with Eastbourne winning the game 65 -0. That is an age group to keep any eye on, dare I say, could be something quite special. Well done Chappers and your coaching team.

HOWEVER my overall HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK was………. Seeing every player in the minis wearing their new shirts. I know this caused a few headaches to say the least, but we got there in the end and my word how smart they all looked. We looked like one hell of an organised club. WELL DONE !!!

This coming Saturday is a rest weekend for the second and third teams. We are delighted to be welcoming the Mayor and our MP to the club for the pre match lunch. We are currently up to over 50 attending but I am told there are a couple of places left, let Jane know if you would like to book a place.

Today I hear is “Cyber Monday” where everyone is supposed to go online and order there Christmas presents, so I thought I would go on EBay to find the perfect gift for Lady B and I think I’ve found it!!!!
“For Sale:” Parachute. Only used once, never opened, she’ll love it ………………

Until next week


Posted - Monday 25th November 2013

The highs and lows of a rugby weekend.

For the first time, I think ever, I watched a game of rugby league, yes, I know, not one whippet, can of Tetley’s, flat cap or un cut loaf of Hovis to be seen anywhere, ( I think that covers the north) The game was England V New Zealand on Saturday afternoon and by the Lord Harry it was a corker !!! I was hooked and whilst I know as much about League Laws as I do Union, I started to understand it. In the last seconds of the game New Zealand had possession and an English player came hurtling out of traps like a whirling dervish, only for the Kiwi to side step him and go over the line. When I asked my drinking buddy “Why the hell on earth did that player rush out of the defensive line” (look at me getting technical) the reply was “He was trying to stop the territory kick as it was there last phase”………. (Or something along those lines) So the End result a Win for New Zealand……..

Oi Brooksie !!!! I hear you scream “Why in the name of Jobe” were you not watching the Eastbourne game?? Well a sad back true fact is that our visitors had called the game off… Why? We are not sure but I have a feeling that the dreaded “Shortage of players” is showing its head again.
So, if there is a growing number of clubs across this great county and the other one that begins with “K” with a shortage of players to put out two or three sides, then how come we are fielding three sides?? I suspect we are not doing anything more than other clubs but I do believe that we have players playing because THEY WANT TOO, they are having FUN.

My thanks must go to the managers of the Rodmell pub who allowed Me, Jane, Cally and the “Oaf” Webby into their establishment on Saturday evening. After ordering every starter on the menu (Thanks to Jane not being able to make her mind up) which was about 14 dishes “The Oaf” finally passed out with his “Chicken Sizzler” ending up in my lap !! = New Jeans ruined!!!

Sunday afternoon was a quiet affair and I sat down to watch the Paddies against the Kiwi’s and my word did those Irish teach New Zealand how to own the breakdown, it was an incredible game, one that the Irish had done everything to win it bar one thing “You never underestimate New Zealand” !! Yet again in the last seconds of the game, the Kiwis took the bragging rights.

And now to the cricket………………………………………… sorry I can’t…………………..

Well done to the Nomads and their 48 -7 win over Hastings and Bexhill, I hear that we played as we trained which was very pleasing for MC.

This weekend, the Nomads are at home to Brighton, the Firsts are away to Brighton and Eastbourne Phoenix are away to Seaford, wherever you are make sure you have FUN!!

Ollie, my son was working the bar on Saturday when this chap came up to him and said” “Do you have any helicopter flavoured crisps?" Ollie shook his head and said, "No, we only have plain."


See you Saturday


Posted - Monday 18th November 2013

Welcome, welcome, welcome to my first ever Chairman’s blog !! (How modern) I’m not sure about my picture!! Captions on a postcard please….

I hope you find my drivel sometimes interesting, other times humorous and maybe just maybe a bit thought provoking.

Last weekend I spent the day with my back to the club house and watched what can only be described as one of the most exciting games of rugby I have ever seen at Park Avenue. Our first team entertained a young and well organised Cranbrook XV. Both sides wanted to demonstrate why they should move to the next round of the junior vase trophy and with honours even at half time, there was no telling who would advance further. After what seemed like a day and an age the final, final whistle blew with Cranbrook running out winners 34pts to 32pts. ( I thought we had won it in the last play of the game….)
My first thoughts after the game was “You really couldn’t ask for more, well maybe a kicker”…..

Great to see the 3’s (Phoenix) playing regular rugby again and a real sense of “Wanting to play”, they are having a well-deserved rest this coming weekend, but I’m sure they will be down for a beer or two…

The club house was almost full to the brim with international rugby being shown on the big screen, although it did strike me that the game I was watching was far more exciting, oh well each to their own.

Sunday, again with my back to the clubhouse this time due to having one or three the evening before and not being able to face the sight of the Harvey’s barrels , I watched our under 14’s become run away winners, in an excellent game between our friends at Heathfield, then I hop footed over to Martins field where a close under 16’s game against Heathfield saw Heathfield take the honours.

What struck me was that having watched parts of 4 games of rugby or 8 sides if you like, both seniors and juniors, was just how good the handling was.. Then I went home and watched the Scotland game, hey ho nuff said…..

“I’m not a celebrity but want to live in a jungle” or” I was a celebrity and is this a jungle” or whatever it is called, is back and I don’t mind telling you, I love it! For me Steve Davies is in the frame ( there’s the humour I mentioned earlier) or maybe the young lad that can’t tell the time might be worth a punt……… is it me or does he look like a better looking Joe Tobin???

I was at Twickenham two weeks ago and whilst I was getting some cash out of the hole in the wall, a dear old lady approached me and asked if I could check her balance…………. so I pushed her over…

On that bomb shell, more drivel from me next week.

Ta da


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