About Farnborough Rugby Union Football Club (FRUFC) - The History of Farnborough Rugby Club
The Early Years.
Farnborough Rugby Union Football Club was formed in 1914 and was originally known as the Royal Aircraft Factory (RAF) Rugby Union Football Club.
The RAF became the Royal Aeronautical Establishment (RAE) in 1918 and the Club changed its name to the RAE RFC. During its early history Club members were drawn from people working at the RAE. During the 1939/45 war the RAE played a key role in supporting the armed forces. As a result, there were always plenty of RAE workers in the area and the Rugby Club continued to flourish. During this period the Club even supplied players to wartime England teams in the absence of the many players who served in the armed forces.
Later the establishment became the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE). The association with what is now the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (a government agency under the umbrella of the Ministry of Defence created from the remainder of the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency when that body was part-privatised to form Qinetiq) continues. With Aldershot and Odiham being close by the Club has also benefited over the years from players and coaches drawn from the ranks of the Army and the RAF.
The seventies saw Farnborough as a town become part of Rushmoor Borough Council. An increasing number of players did not work for the RAE and the decision was made to move to Tile Barn Close and eventually become Farnborough RUFC with a proper town identity.
A Modern Club for a Modern Game
Today as ever, rugby union football remains the raison d’etre of the Club. Rugby at Farnborough is for all, three male senior sides - firsts, seconds and veterans and a ladies side as well as mini and junior rugby for under sevens through to Colts (including children with special needs).
The Club has hosted the Hampshire Elite Player Development Group (EPDG) run jointly by Hampshire RFU and London Irish (with whom the Club is a Community Partner Club). Over the last few years many Club junior players have been selected for the EPDGs.
Floodlights were installed in 2009 covering the 1st XV pitch and surrounding training areas, these are well used in the darker months.
Following achievement of RFU Whole Club Seal of Approval (WCSOA) status in 2010 – as one of the first Clubs to achieve this), in April 2012 the Club was awarded RFU Accreditation (replacing the WCSOA) status - and has been successful at every following Re-Accreditation ‘check’. RFU Accreditation (as the previous WCSOA) is awarded for proven excellence across all aspects of the Club playing and non-playing (overall management, quality management, financial control, development planning, etc.).
As the largest community club in the Borough the Club’s facilities are used by a range of other As the largest community club in the Borough the Club’s facilities are used by a range of other sporting clubs, including Rushmoor Sunday Football Club which has been with us for 40 years, the Dolphins Sub-Aqua Club (for meetings!), and at times the Rushmoor branch of the Disabled Sports Association the Mallards for events, and, as well as non-sporting community groups. Frimley Park Hospital/NHS regularly use the facilities to host courses on various medical topics e.g. the National Diabetes Prevention Programme (NDPP) – ‘Healthier You’, Midwifery, drug rehabilitation, etc. There has also been Zumba classes for seniors (!) Over a number of summers the Clubs’ facilities have been used for Nepalese Community Festivals and soccer tournaments. We have also hosted Farnham Knights American Football Club. The Club participates in Community events organised by Rushmoor Borough Council and actively supports and hosts charity events such as Order of St John and Lions Club functions. The Club has also hosted the Fijian National Rugby 7’s festival and a well- publicised Land Rover rugby match involving the smallest English Club (Decca) and has host past and present international stars including Jonny Wilkinson, Bryan Habana, Will Greenwood, James Haskell and Sir Clive Woodward.
In season 2018-2019 the Club was selected by NatWest to provide three players for their TV advertising campaign NatWest Rugby Force, and players were invited to Pennyhill Park to train with the England team.
The Club has liaison agreements in place with local Colleges, including Monday training sessions with Farnborough 6th Form College plus others. Liaison also takes place with all local primary and junior schools, with rugby sessions held. The Club runs a Summer Touch Rugby Programme to encourage new people to become active at the Club.
The Club also participates in Council organised events for the local community. Rushmoor Borough Council actively supports the Club in recognition of our community values and contributions, including our involvement with the disabled.
Following a major clubhouse extension in 1999 and complete replacement of the kitchen with modern facilities in 2010, a major refurbishment took place in April/May 2015. This involved complete refurbishment of the entrance hall and main Club room including the bar with all new decoration, new modern furniture and carpeting, improvements to lighting, audio/visual facilities including new projection and big screen, some improvement work in the lounge bar (all new decoration and big screen TV). All of the above allowing us to hire out our facilities for private functions and events as well as those of our own.
The refurbishment was made possible by equal support from local building company Total Build (and the Rugby Football Union (RFU). The RFU selected the Club as meriting a grant under the RFU’s 2015 Rugby World Cup (RWC 2015) Lead Up & Legacy Transforming Social Spaces programme. Total Build matched the RFU grant £ for £ carrying out the work to complete the project for the Club. The Club is very grateful for this support from Total Build.
This transformation of the Club’s social spaces has improved the quality of the rugby and social experience for everyone using the Club, providing more playing opportunities - especially for local people in the 14-24 age group but more importantly providing a resource to be used by the local community. The end product is a 21st Century and snug community environment for all, male and female young and old. This has helped the Club raise its profile and encourage more players, volunteers and spectators to share the special values that distinguish the sport. The Club now has some of the best facilities in the area that local people from Farnborough and other towns and villages in the surrounding area can use.
The Club does not stand still, and plans are advanced for further extension to include two additional changing rooms, an improved Club shop, and new disabled toilet facilities.
Club facilities are available for hire at very competitive rates. To hire the facilities please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Following on from the successes of the 1st team in 2017/2018 (League winners and promotion plus Plate winners), and in 2018/2019 (promotion again), the team is currently in the Hampshire Premier League. In 2018/2019 it was the turn of the Colts to bring home the silverware winning their Plate final against Gosport & Fareham 57-10 with the final being held at Farnborough. Several of this winning Colts team have now moved up to senior rugby within the Club with the prospect of greater things to come.