Richmond FC is a club with a rich history and a tradition of providing access to rugby for a wide range of players. Last year boys and girls from the age of 5 yrs to the age of 75 yrs played for Richmond teams and our women are also enjoying considerable success playing for the Richmond Women First XV.
One of the notable things about this club is our genuine commitment to the game of Rugby which is regarded, and rightly so, as being even more important than our commitment to the evolving success as we move up through the various divisions.
As the number of schools teaching rugby reduces each year, so our commitment to mini rugby remains steadfast and vital. As the number of senior clubs reduce the number of teams that they turn out each week, so Richmond remain committed to turning out 6 men’s teams and our women’s First XV team has been the top national women’s team for the last 3 years. This we believe is our responsibility and we are committed to continuing this tradition.
Last year we enjoyed great success and were duly promoted to National Division One. This was achieved just 12 years after the Rugby Union had seen fit to take Richmond FC from the Premiership to level 9. This was a decision that was hard to understand and still does not sit well with many of our club members. It is a measure of the club that throughout this period we have continued to provide mini rugby for boys and girls, 6 men’s teams and women’s rugby with no interruptions.
I joined the club in 1977 and had the good fortune to play for Richmond First XV, Vikings, Saxons and Normans, the Richmond 7s and also represented Surrey, London and England as a Richmond player. I am a Richmond man. I finished my playing career on a tour of Cuba in 2001, with the Richmond Heavies. This was a “punishing” tour both on and off the field and a great way for me to hang up my boots.
Finally Richmond Athletic Ground is a busy and friendly place to be throughout most weekends. We have a healthy following and on Saturdays you will find the bar and the stand are fun places to “hang out”. On Sundays we host about 600 minis and youth, with rugby from 5 yrs upwards. The parents are welcome to stand on the touchline or have a coffee and read the papers. It is a great way to spend Sunday mornings.
I look forward to serving as President and meeting as many of you as I can through the course of this season. It is going to be a lot of fun!