Club History

CLUB HISTORY

Originally founded in 1992, the Club was conceived in the Fathoms Wine bar in Shoreham High Street, the now Lazy Toad, by several individuals who realised the need for Rugby in the Shoreham/Adur community, as the closest alternatives being Worthing or Hove. Through local advertising Shoreham gathered new/old players to form a realistic and lasting Club to serve the community.

At the beginning of 1993 with the proposal/seconded from Horsham and Ditchling the Club was born by being affiliated to both the RFU and the Sussex RFU, as well as the Sussex Referee Society. Negotiations with Kings Manor School for the use of their pitch was agreed and with additional agreement from the landlord of the “Red Lion” public house in Shoreham as an after match venue all was set for the first game, which took place on 25 September 1993 against Ditchling III. The membership at the first game was 30 and Shoreham won 11 – 5.

After its first season playing friendlies in the 1994/95 season Shoreham joined Sussex Division III, which raised the tempo with more serious competition. With the rapid increase in membership Shoreham were able to field a second team.

The following year Shoreham won promotion to Sussex division II by winning Sussex division III undefeated and also reaching the Sussex plate final for the first time. In recognition for their hard work Shoreham received the team/club of the year award from Adur District Council.

As Shoreham’s popularity in the community increased ladies were now joining training sessions and after a short period a ladies team was established and affiliated to the WRFU. The ladies played their first game on the 20th September 1998. Unfortunately this was to last only 3 seasons before the numbers dwindled and the side was no longer able to play.

Shoreham competed in 2 more Sussex Plate finals in 2001 and 2004, losing both narrowly to opposition playing their rugby in the leagues above.

In September 2003 Shoreham RFC launched a youth section with Gary Howorth a founder member taking on the role as youth section chairman and targeted age groups from Under 7s to Under 17’s. On May 13th 2006 the club was presented with the RFU Community Rugby Seal of Approval by RFU Chief Executive Francis Baron at its then new home of Buckingham Park. And in 2013 the club was awarded RFU Accredited Club Status.

In 2011, Katie Gray took over the role of Youth Chair from Stewart Davies, and is supported by a new Management Committee. With the youth section now well established, and a membership of well over 100 children the club feels that it has a lasting future with the development of grass root rugby.

In 2013, Mark Norris and Nigel Wilks joined the Exec as Chairman and Vice-Chairman respectively. Both had been involved in the club for some time as Youth Coaches and Registration, Safeguarding Officer and Web Administrator roles. Mark continues the role of Youth Registration Secretary, where Nigel continues to advise on Safeguarding and the running of the website.

Also in 2013, the club were awarded RFU Club Accreditation, recognising the hard work by all involved in meeting the criteria needed. This was presented by Mal Chumley the RFU RDO where Shoreham RFC were also presented the Natwest RugbyForce Pride of London & the South East award following a community vote.

The club continues to set the benchmark for best practice across all sections of the club. With exciting developments both on and off the field and continuous development of partnerships the club is looking forward to celebrating another successful 20 years of rugby.