History of Mistley RUFC

The club was formed in 1983 in the back of a carpet van on the way back from Brentwood Rugby Club by Rodney Baxter. Geoff Reid, landlord of The Blacksmith's Arms at Mistley Heath was appointed President because of his money raising skills and the snug of the Blacksmiths Arms became HQ to Mistley RUFC. Rodney Baxter and Natalie Tweedie [Club Secretary] approached Suffolk RFU to register the Club with just one player! Roger Wright was recruited from Colchester RUFC to coach the backs while Rodney coached the forwards.

Geoff's widow, Marie Reid, remains as Honorary Life President today.

The first matches were played at Manningtree School, but space for a pitch was soon found in the field adjacent to our current facilities. A "portacabin' served as changing rooms, and our post-match socialising took place at the old Thorn Hotel.

In 1987, a demountable classroom was purchased from the school which subsequently became the Sixth Form College in Colchester. Sadly, half way through reconstructing it on our site, the October 1987 gale flattened it. Despite the set-back, it was rebuilt to contain one large changing room with showers, and a social area.

Two years later, it was moved over the hedge to its present site on Parish Council land, and the social area was modified to include a licenced bar and kitchen. By the end of the 1990's, our facilities could not meet the new laws for kitchens and bars, and our socialising found a new home at The Anchor Inn, Mistley.

In 1995, the club took a decision to refurbish the clubhouse, and in 1996, it was modified into the double changing room layout you see today, with most of the work being done by members.

Throughout these years, we could not have survived and grown without the help and support of all those who gave their time, expertise, money and materials, on and off the pitch.

To them all, we offer our heartfelt thanks.