Trowbridge at Twickenham: It's been a year to remember for rugby club already

Trowbridge head to Twickenham on Sunday for the RFU Intermediate Cup final

RFU president Bob Reeves and Trowbridge president Mike James at the club’s new Doric Park home in January this year

Trowbridge RFC’s 1933 XV, a year after its official formation

First published in Trowbridge
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Reaching a first cup final at Twickenham marks the culmination of a year of success for Trowbridge Rugby Club, which saw it move to a brand new home at Doric Park.

The club left its Green Lane home of 50 years at the end of last season, and has seen big improvements on and off the pitch since.

Chris Lamb has been with the club for 23 years, managing and coaching the first team, before taking on the role of finance and administration manager.

He said: “This season the whole club has gone into a whole different stratosphere.

“Whether the youngsters at the bottom end, where recruitment has gone up massively, to the U18 Colts, who won their division, or to the thirds and seconds, who have finished higher than ever before, it’s difficult to see how it could have all come together better.

“I wouldn’t have expected to do so well so quickly in a million years. I was being a cautious banker, making sure we didn’t run before we could walk, and thinking the first couple of years would be the difficult ones.

"However, I have been delighted with the way everyone has got behind the club.”

The new clubhouse is seeing regular use as a community venue, which Mr Lamb said will only benefit the team long term.

“It’s been getting rave reviews”, he said.

“It’s being used every day by the community, for wakes, parties and weddings.

“It has been a long ten-year battle to overcome planning issues and the recession, but there has been a resolve shown by a few determined people here to provide Trowbridge with something it didn’t have. It’s been a dream come true in many ways.”

Despite the prospect of silverware, the club is trying hard not to get too carried away.

Mr Lamb said: “A cup run doesn’t guarantee money for the club.

“We reckon it will cost us around £2,500 to put on the coaches for the final, but it’s not about money, it’s about generating interest in the club and supporting rugby.

“This was about trying to grow the game of rugby that was dying on its feet at Green Lane, because we didn’t have the capacity, which has now increased by a factor of four.

“I went down to Twickenham this week to look round the changing rooms, and the players will be blown away by the whole thing, win or lose.

“It will be a great day out for anyone who wants to join in, and if that encourages one or two people to think ‘I want to get my boots on’, whether four, six, or 46 years of age, really that’s what it’s all about.”

Key dates in the club's history

1881: A team from Trowbridge plays Bath and acquits itself admirably

1931: Trowbridge Rugby club is founded at the George Hotel on December 18.

1932: On January 9 a team travelled to Swindon unofficially and won 6-3

1932: A second meeting is held on January 29. Sidney Smith, chairman of Trowbridge Urban District Council oversees the official formation. Subscription is 5 shillings and match fees 1 shilling. Its home is at Hilperton pavilion.

1932: The first game at Oldfield Old Boys on Jan 30 ends in an 18-3 win

1934: Black strip replaced with current colours

1939: The club has an overdraft of  £2 11s 4d as war breaks out

1946: Only four players from pre-war years remain. Two have been killed in action and two severely wounded

1946: Rugby enthusiast FW ‘Stan’ King is released from the RAF and his passion for the game brings a new lease of life

1950: The club moves to the old barracks in Bradley Road

1963: The club moves to Green Lane

2013: The club moves to Doric Park

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