Deepings Rugby Union FC was founded in 1982 and Clubhouse was erected at Linchfield Road, Deeping St James in 1987. This has become “The Home of Rugby Union in the Deepings”.
We (DRUFC) played our first full game on 4th December 1982 against a combined Bretton 1sts & 2nds, winning 44-4 and have played almost every weekend during the season since then, weather permitting!
We have always played at Linchfield Road, since inception, although in the early days the Clubhouse was the Goat Pub, but the ground has always been where it is now.
The second game was against Baker Perkins on 11th December 1982 which we won 24-4 and the third game was against a Stamford select side on 18th December which we won 38-0.
It all started during the summer, August-September, of 1982 we played friendly (or not so friendly!) seven-a-side games amongst ourselves on the Tennis Courts at the Leisure Centre and used The Goat Pub after the Games. At this time there were only 16 of us and we had no Rugby pitch as the school did not play rugby. Steven Rigby and Paul Lewis approached Brian Fitton, the then Leisure Centre Manager, to mark out a pitch for the start of the season which Brian was willing to do, but we had no funds for any posts.
By September we had raised sponsorship for a set of Rugby Posts and also a set of new shirts thanks to Foster’s Lager and Ted Tarrant of Blades Shop.
Paul Lewis provided the funds from his own pocket for the post protectors. The shirts were actually made for Northampton Saints 1st Team but had the wrong size stripes and we managed to buy them for the princely sum of £10.00 each a total of £230.00. When they arrived they had no numbers so they had to go back and we didn’t get them back until the second game against Baker Perkins. We played our first match in a borrowed Stamford Fire Brigade strip courtesy of ‘Nasty’ Nigel Adams.
By end of September ’82 we had about 20 players but lacked certain key positions Paul Lewis, Brian Fitton and Steven Rigby met at the Goat and decided to call an Inaugural Meeting and invited any interested player to attend. This happened on the Tuesday, 26th October 1982.
At that meeting the Rugby Club was formalised and a committee was appointed comprising of Paul Lewis – Acting Chair, Craig Stewart - Acting Secretary, Steven Rigby - Acting Captain, Gary Mitchell - Acting Coach, these duties were all for revue on the 12th of January 1983 which was the date elected for our 1st Annual General Meeting. At the AGM Paul Lewis agreed to take on the secretary’s job as Craig Stewart had resigned his position due to work commitment. The Captaincy was offered to Steve Speakman because we all feared losing him as a player he was such an asset to the club. Steven Rigby took on the post of Treasurer and also Social Secretary because nobody else would volunteer to do it, Keith Milchem stood in as Chairman and Nigel Adams took on Team Secretary.
Rugby Club games would now be played on a Saturday. Unfortunately we lost Andy Sharp until the next season as he had committed to the Perkins team for the season on Saturdays. It also meant that Pete Ward could not offer his services as he had refereed the first three Sunday games. We only missed one Saturday during the rest of the season and also played in Peterborough Sevens and Oakham Sevens at the end of the season. Courtesy of a very diligent John Gresham.
The Players in the first game in the 1982 season are as follows:
The Deeping RUFC badge was designed in the Crown & Anchor Pub in about 10 minutes as we had to get the order in to Glenmuire the people who produced our fist ties and jumpers, which people wanted for Christmas 1982. Steven Rigby drew a quick sketch of the Deeping St. James Bridge and Paul Lewis added the wavy ‘Anglian Water’ sign beneath it!
The club was officially formed on the 26th October 1982 at that time an application was made to the Notts Lincs and Derby RFU but was later revised to the The Hunts and Peterborough RFU at the suggestion of Graeme (Curly) Hodson who was then 2nd Team captain of Peterborough who offered us early support in the creation of the club. . There were over 200 Rugby Clubs in Britain before the RFU was formed and Deepings RUFC was one.
In no other sport will find so much rivalry on the pitch and such good friends off it, welcome to
Deepings Rugby Union Football Club