After 147 years, the big boys leave home.

After 147 years, the big boys leave home.

By Richard Green
9 October 2014
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Permanent home secured for Professionals in Coventry

Yesterday the professional side at Wasps announced that from 2015 they will play their home matches at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, and in the following 12 months they will relocate their training facilities too. The move heralds a new chapter in the 147 year history of Wasps.

Wasps FC was founded in 1867. It is one of the oldest rugby clubs in the world. Shortly after the RFU sanctioned professional rugby in 1995, a new side, renamed London Wasps RFC in 1999, was established and it quickly became a major force in the new premier league. The original club, Wasps FC, retains a minor shareholding in the professional outfit, but with sadness we will soon watch our sporting cousins depart from their West London roots.

Nonetheless, we should congratulate Derek Richardson in securing a permanent home ground for his team, and we should not forget that without his timely intervention 18 months ago, there would probably be no Premiership rugby for Wasps at all.

As tenants, the professional squad will continue to enjoy and use the excellent training facilities that we manage at Twyford Avenue, and we will use the next 12 months to select and secure the right tenants and users to replace them. There is lots of demand.

Soon we will celebrate our 150th anniversary, and our club is in very good shape. We wholly own 23 acres of prime West London sports field, we have recently made major capital investment in our sporting infrastructure, we have strong finances, a huge membership, a wide volunteer base and robust leadership.

Every weekend we field up to 15 competitive men's, youth and ladies teams. Sundays are a throbbing mass of mini rugby players and their families. Hundreds of players use our floodlit facilities in the evenings.

Every year we produce county, national and international players. 2 of our recent leavers have joined the ranks of the professional club this year and 4 of our ladies were in the squad who won the women's world cup in August.

We tend to stay quiet about our successes, lurking in the shadows behind our high achieving cousins, but few amateur clubs would remain so modest about the achievements that we are accustomed.

This Saturday, 3 men's teams will play at home, and the toga party afterwards will knocks spots of anything in the premiership. The fully amateur first team has been quietly rebuilding, calmly moving up the RFU leagues, and true Wasp die-hard fans come to witness the honest endeavour of amateur rugby every weekend at Twyford Avenue.

Our doors and clubhouse are open. This corner of London flies black and yellow with more pride than ever, and will continue to do so for many years to come. Come and see for yourself.

Richard Green
Wasps FC

Waheed Aslam
Commercial Director
Wasps FC

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9th October 2014

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