History 1 of 2

1. A potted history of the Old Cats


The Club was founded at a meeting of Old Caterhamians at the Bonnington Hotel, London in January 1928 (on Friday the 13th, as it happened) when a Committee was formed and directed to find a ground and arrange fixtures.

Our history records, therefore, that on Saturday 15 September 1928, the Club burst upon the Rugger world, arrayed in jerseys and stockings of every conceivable hue and pattern, and played their first match.

The opponents thus honoured to launch us on our career were Southern Railway 'A', (now, we believe, succeeded by Raynes Park) who, not knowing that history was in the making, had the temerity to beat us 5:0 - (a converted try in those days).

The first season's home matches were played at Elmers End before the Club moved to Queen's Park, Caterham where we still retain a pitch, and subsequently to the adjacent grounds of Caterham School where we remain.

The Club grew to 2 sides in the 1930's, with the first XV winning 20, drawing 1 and losing 1 in 1931-2. After the war, the Club became 'open' and for a time used the Dene Field next to St Mary's Church.

During the 1950's the club grew to 4 regular sides, which we retained until the early seventies. Our own Clubhouse was erected in 1958 adjacent to the pitch that had been reclaimed from a 9-hole golf course under the direction and using the farm implements of the then Club Captain, Roger Hamberg. Hence the name given to the floodlit pitch.

In 1965 the premises were extended when we bought an ex-army barrack hut from Aldershot for £50. After a bit of a lull, a resurgence of interest led us to fielding 5 sides on one notable occasion in the 1978/79 season, but 4 sides remained through to the mid nineties when numbers reduced to the extent that 2 sides and the occasional 3rd and Veterans XVs became the norm.

The entire building was rebuilt in 2 stages during the 1990's to provide what we have today. The level of activity remains high with the reduction in senior sides being compensated for by the rapid growth of a thriving and successful Junior and Mini operation and the advent of our highly competent Women's XV leading their league.