Game in honour of the Sheepfield pitches

Sheepfield rugby pitch at Alnwick Rugby Club.
Sheepfield rugby pitch at Alnwick Rugby Club.

A special game of rugby is to be played to mark the final whistle sounding on pitches at Alnwick Rugby Club.

The Greensfield outfit is losing the use of two of its five pitches in February, as part of the town’s new high school development.

The area which is being lost is affectionately known as the Sheepfield and to mark the occasion, Alnwick has arranged a veterans’ game against Berwick.

The Sheepfield holds fond memories for many. Club chairman Dennis Hetherington said: “The field is rig and furrow land from the open-field system of farming which produced ridges and troughs.

“Effective it may have been for farming, it left much to be desired as a rugby pitch.

“Legs would buckle as players ran up and down the rigs and furrows and they played havoc with line-outs; okay if your line was on a rig, not so good for those in the furrow. Scrums were also interesting.

“Rightly named the Sheepfield, players often returned to the dressing room with more than grass stains on their kit.

“Many would agree with a visiting coach when he said that ‘you’ve never really played rugby until you’ve played on Alnwick RFC’s Sheepfield’.”

The veterans’ match, sponsored by The Alnwick Accountants Ltd, will be played at the club on Sunday, February 1, at 1pm. People are encouraged to come and say goodbye to the Sheepfield.

Although the game will be competitive, the veterans’ team (over 45) is a new concept at Alnwick, giving ex-players a chance to put on their rugby boots again.

Dennis said: “The veterans’ games make for a great spectacle. There is no entrance charge and the bar will be open. If any ex-players would like to come back to re-live a few memories, they will be made to feel very welcome.”

For more information, call the club on 01665 602342.