St Albans Rugby Union Club – Our History
St Albans Rugby Club formed in 1970, under the driving force of their first chairman, the late Peter Baines. It was the first open rugby club in St Albans, with many players joining from the old Electrical Apparatus Company (EAC) rugby club which played off New Barnes Avenue. EAC had just been taken over and the changing rooms mysteriously burnt down midweek, facilities which were unlikely ever to be rebuilt.
With the facilities at EAC gone initially the club used changing rooms at Westminster Lodge and a rented pitch situated just above the hypocaust in Verulamium Park. The North Western PH (now sadly a block of flats) on the corner of Prospect Road and Holywell Hill provided a club room and meals on match days, and it was not until 1976 that the club acquired the short term lease from St Albans School for a pitch and dilapidated clubhouse off Belmont Hill. The club thrived in the new setting, and by now was running 4 sides, renting a second pitch as needed off Colney Heath Lane.
1983 saw the club move to their current ground at Boggymead Springs, off Oaklands Lane, at Smallford, obtained on a long term lease from Hertfordshire CC. The club had just been given a demountable office building, which was kept in a barn near Stevenage for many months before being erected and brick skinned once planning permission was obtained. The clubhouse was officially opened by the famous England scrum half, Dickie Jeeps in October that year.
The club was by now playing with some success in the Hertfordshire B Merit Table, but with little prospect of advancement, since the clubs in the lower places of the premier merit table would not play those clubs threatening their status and so give then the necessary qualifying results. However, the introduction of the leagues in the early 1990s allowed clubs to advance based on their results, which benefited St Albans Rugby Club, which then progressed up through the leagues. It now plays at level 7 , higher than many of the county clubs who previously were in Merit Table A.
In 1995 the club qualified from over 500 junior clubs to reach the final of the Pilkington Shield at Twickenham, where they played and lost to Bedford Queens 11-10 immediately prior to the Wasps v Bath Pilkington Cup Final. Over 1000 supporters travelled up from St Albans in a fleet of coaches for what was a historic day. The club qualified to enter the Pilkington Cup itself a few years later, through reaching the Hertfordshire President’s Cup final just months before.
The club has the reputation for competitive rugby played for enjoyment rather than money, a club where friendships are built and maintained, and social events enjoyed. St Albans is a cosmopolitan club and has players, members and friends from around the world.
A number of players have gone on to test themselves at a higher level, but nearly all return to continue their careers or association with the club.
The club is currently enjoying playing in Hertfordshire/Middlesex League 1 , but has aspirations to go higher. We have two other senior sides, one of which plays in the Herts & Middx Merit Table, the other being a "social" side who play for the enjoyment of the game. The Club also has a blossoming Mini's section which is now in it's forth season and is seeing real sustained growth, running teams in all age groups and engaging in competitive rugby. We are delighted to be associated with The Beech House, St. Albans (Oakman Inns) who are the main sponsors of our Mini Rugby section.
St Albans is proud to bear the City's name and welcomes players of all abilities, as well as social members to enjoy the great game and fellowship that is Rugby Union