Newark Rugby Club

From Nottinghamshire comes Newark RFC, a side laced in history.

The first recorded evidence on a Newark rugby side dates back to 1891 when a Newark XV beat Nottingham, and many matches followed over the subsequent years. However the Great War saw the clubs activities cease for the majority of the conflict.

But in 1919 an official meeting chaired by Rev. H. Gorse led to the official foundation of Newark Rugby Football Union Club.

The club grew over the following decades but thanks to another World War many records were lost, but in 1950 Newark found itself a new home at Kelham Road, and with the conversion of an old army hut into changing rooms, the addition of a bar and the introduction of electricity to allow floodlights, the Kelham Road ground quickly became one of the most well equipped stadia in the county. This led to Newark becoming the home of the county side in 1966.

In 1985 major extensions to the club were undertaken, helped by an enormously successful fund raising effort, and ten years later floodlights were erected on the second pitch to allow a better focus on the youth set up.

During this time Newark produced one of the finest players ever to play rugby union. Dusty Hare, who started his fullback career in the Newark youth set up, went on to become the highest scoring player in rugby history, amassing 7,337 points in a career in which he played for Nottingham, Leicester Tigers and England, for whom he managed 240 points in just 25 tests.

Other stars which started their careers at Kelham Road include John Wells, Greig Tonks and Tom Ryder, who all went on to lead distinguished careers in professional rugby.

The legends may have left but the Kelham Road trophy room has found new silverware. In 2008 and 2009 Newark won the coveted Three Counties Cup, marking the club as one of the premier rugby sides in Nottinghamshire.

Currently playing in the Midlands 1 East division, Newark regularly run four senior teams, plus a highly successful mini and youth section comprising over 500 boys & girls, which brings the clubs total membership to over 800.

At the time of writing the 2009 champions sit 8th in the table, relying on away form to help their title push as they struggle to find their winning ways at home.

But with such an established history and recent cup triumphs, you would expect that it won’t be long before Newark RUFC are making history once again.

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