Rugby club has good season both on and off the pitch

In nine months Alnwick Rugby Club members have raised more than £100,000 towards the cost of a £250,000 clubhouse extension.

At the same time the club itself was hit by a flood which caused over £20,000-worth of damage, the annual meeting last week was told.

The fund-raising committee, headed by Penny Stewart, set an original target of £80,000, but with the flood this was raised to £110,00 and the funds have passed £100,000. The club has received grants totalling £160,000 for the work.

It was the culmination of a great season for the cub which saw them win promotion with the last game of the season from Durham and Northumberland Division One to North 1 East. The first team won 23 out of 26 league games.

Chairman Ken Fairbairn paid tribute to the fund-raisers. He also praised retiring mini and junior rugby section chairman Ian Smith.

Chairman of rugby Andrew Bell said: “The club and first team were ably led by Andrew Shell who put 100 per cent into all areas of his captaincy both on and off the field.

“Our head coach Mark Watson has been tireless in his efforts to put as much time as possible into his coaching role and to building a great affinity and spirit within the first team squad and with those, particularly Simon Manners and Alistair Gray, who assisted him.”

He reported that the seconds had had a good season, with a respectable fifth place in the league. The thirds also enjoyed a good season.

Treasurer Brian Fergie said the club’s general finances have remained in good health, with a surplus after tax of £2,897.

Life membership was awarded to facilities manager Bill Thompson for his outstanding services.

Officials elected were: President R Robinson; senior vice-president TD Hodgson; chairman and county representative Ken Fairbairn; secretary C Owen-Smith; treasurer B Fergie; vice-presidents T Burgess and S Beresford; chairman of rugby AR Bell; chairman of mini and youth rugby M Young; chairman of development and fund-raising P Stewart; chairman of facilities WW Thompson; captain of firsts and club captain A Shell.