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Golden anniversary for Thetford RFC

PUBLISHED: 16:31 27 January 2010 | UPDATED: 21:54 07 July 2010

Thetford Rugby Club has a golden opportunity to celebrate - for it has been established for 50 years.

A 50th anniversary ball is being held on March 27 so any former members, supporters or Vice-Presidents interested in the event should contact Lisa or David Tanner on 07846 697928 for tickets.

Thetford Rugby Club has a golden opportunity to celebrate - for it has been established for 50 years.

A 50th anniversary ball is being held on March 27 so any former members, supporters or Vice-Presidents interested in the event should contact Lisa or David Tanner on 07846 697928 for tickets.

A club spokesman said: “We would like to thank our founder members at the beginning of the club's life as well as the players throughout the years and present who have and continue to play or support the club.

“We would also like to thank our many VPs and sponsors who continue to support us and enjoy this wonderful club that we have. Also, thanks must go as well to members that have served tirelessly on the committee over time.”

The club was formed in November 1959 by a group of enthusiasts headed by John Clark, David Cunningham and Bill Jennings.

It was a small number that decided to go ahead, but their enthusiasm compensated for the lack of numbers. It's certain that more non-players than actual players attended the early meetings at the Anchor Hotel.

After a few meetings they were registered as a club on January 6, 1960. Without the continued support of playing members from RAF Barnham and Honington in the first few years of the club's existence it is doubtful if it would have survived continuously up to the present day.

Not only were there great difficulties experienced in obtaining sufficient players, they struggled to find somewhere to play.

The first trial games were played with make-shift arrangements at Castle Park and at the Thetford Grammar School playing field but thanks to the first president, the Lord Fisher, the club then played for two seasons at Kilverstone.

After termination of the arrangements at Kilverstone, the commanding officer at RAF Barnham came to their assistance.

When Barnham closed down it was extremely fortunate that facilities for the game were made available at RAF Feltwell and Honington.

After a lot of hard work the club finally had its own ground and pavilion, opened on October 1, 1972 by E G Tweedy.

Thetford Rugby Club finally had a place to call their own.

Since that time the club has evolved year after year. The pitch became pitches and the flints became fewer and then installed they installed the fantastic floodlights. They also allowed the Thetford Independent Football Club and Thetford Athletics Club use of the ground.

Thetford now host many Eastern Counties and Norfolk games at the club, ranging from juniors right the way up to the senior matches.

The rugby overall has been up and down over the years but at their peak Thetford were in the lower London Leagues for several years.

The club certainly has plenty to celebrate.

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