Havant RFC

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Havant RFC
PHRFCSt19.JPG
Full name Havant Rugby Football Club
Union English RFU
Nickname(s) Hav
Founded 1951; 63 years ago (1951)
Location Havant, Hampshire, England
Ground(s) Hook's Lane, Bedhampton, Havant
Chairman Jon Mangnall
President Nigel Campkin
Coach(es) Will Knight
Captain(s) Joel Knight
League(s) London 1 South
2013-14 9th
Official website
www.havantrfc.co.uk

Havant RFC is an English rugby union club, playing in the RFU's London 1 South division for the 2014/15 season, [1] and is a member of the Hampshire RFU.[2]

Havant currently run four senior men's teams [3] - 1st XV, 2nd XV (Dolphins), 3rd XV ('A' XV) and a veteran's side (Mariners). In addition to the senior men's teams there are two Academy teams (under 19s) and a Ladies' team who are playing in the RFUW's Women's NC South East South Division 1 for the 2014/15 season.[4] Additionally Havant Minis and Juniors run sides covering every age from infant school to sixth form.[5]

History[edit]

Havant RFC, 'Hav', was founded in April 1951 and came to their present home, at Hook's Lane, Bedhampton, two years later. The clubhouse, which was built by members of the club, was opened in 1955 by the Lady Mayoress of Portsmouth.

Ten years after its founding, HRFC was running 5 sides. In 1962 Colts were started and there were further extensions to the clubhouse. A new clubhouse was opened at the end of 1975 and in 1993 there were further extensions including the addition of an all-seater grandstand.

Early milestones in the club's playing history were the winning of the Hampshire Cup for the first time in 1974/75 and then, in 1975/76, becoming the first Junior Club to get through to the last 16 of the John Player Cup. HRFC has now won the Hampshire Cup 16 times, most recently in the 2007/08 season and have appeared in the final 23 times in the period from 1970 to 2013.[6]

The highlights of the league campaigns were gaining promotion to National League 3 at the end of 1991/92, and then finishing joint top of that division the following season, missing promotion on points difference after surprisingly losing their last match at Aspatria[7] which, had they succeeded, would have made the club one of the top twenty clubs in the country. After a difficult period in the second half of the 1990s (concurrent with the advent of professionalism), the club halted their slide in 2000/01 and fought their way back into the National Leagues the following season. They were immediately relegated, but bounced straight back at the end of the next season, and in 2004/05 managed a top half of the table finish to establish themselves at this level.

In 2005/06 HRFC consolidated their National League 3 South credentials with a mid-table finish and in 2006/07 they mounted their best campaign in recent years to finish just outside the promotion places in 3rd position. The following seasons have been difficult for 'Hav' with many players leaving the area, retiring or moving to other clubs - ultimately leading to relegations after the 2008/09 season and the 2011/12 season to get to their current level.

HRFC League Record
Season Division Tier Position Outcome
1987-88 Area League South 4 5/11
1988-89 Area League South 4 2/11
1989-90 Area League South 4 5/11
1990-91 National Division 4 South 4 8/13
1991-92 National Division 4 South 4 1/13 Promoted
1992-93 National Division 3 3 2/12
1993-94 National Division 3 3 9/10 Relegated
1994-95 National Division 4 4 4/10
1995-96 National Division 4 4 8/10
1996-97 National Division 3 4 14/16
1997-98 National Division 2 South 4 12/14
1998-99 National Division 2 South 4 14/14 Relegated
1999-2000 London League 1 5 8/17
2000-01 London League 1 5 2/12
2001-02 London League 1 5 1/12 Promoted
2002-03 National League 3 South 4 13/14 Relegated
2003-04 London League 1 5 1/12 Promoted
2004-05 National League 3 South 4 7/14
2005-06 National League 3 South 4 9/14
2006-07 National League 3 South 4 3/14
2007-08 National League 3 South 4 10/14
2008-09 National League 3 South 4 14/14 Relegated
2009-10 National League 3 London & South-east 5 8/14
2010-11 National League 3 London & South-east 5 11/14
2011-12 National League 3 London & South-east 5 14/14 Relegated
2012-13 London 1 South 6 9/14
2013-14 London 1 South 6 9/14
2014-15 London 1 South 6

Source: Havant Club Handbook Season 2012-13 for seasons prior to 2012/13

The Club Badge[edit]

The figure in the top half of the shield is that used in heraldry to represent a Dolphin. The significance to the club of the Dolphin is that the club was founded at a meeting in The Dolphin Hotel in Havant on 27 April 1951. At that time The Dolphin was in West Street in Havant where it had been since the early part of the 19th Century; stagecoaches used it as the principal inn in Havant on the road between Brighton and Portsmouth. In 1958 it was demolished to make way for the West Street Arcade - itself demolished when the Meridian Centre (since renamed Meridian Shopping) was built – and was re-sited in Park Road South. This has since been demolished to make way for a special needs home.

The bottom left of the shield contains the figures to be seen on the Hampshire badge, a crown over a rose. These figures are also used in the badge of the Hampshire RFU. This is a badge of great antiquity and was accepted in its present form by Hampshire County Council in 1895. In some forms of the badge there is a double rose – white in the centre and red on the outer edges – but the more ancient form, and the one shown on today’s badge is a Lancastrian red rose.

The bottom right contains a figure to represent a sheet of parchment representing the ancient craft of parchment making that was practised in Havant for hundreds of years and which finally ceased in 1936. There were a couple of firms still making parchment in Havant at the turn of the century, Stallards working in Homewell and Stents in West Street. Stallards finally closed in 1936 and the buildings were occupied by the building firm, Carrells. Stents became glove makers before closing down in the 1950s, their premises being taken over by the building firm, Henry Jones.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "View Club Details - Havant". English RFU. Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  2. ^ "HRFU Club Directory". Hampshire RFU. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  3. ^ "Havant Rugby Football Club". Havant RFC. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  4. ^ "View Club Details - Havant Ladies". English RFU. Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  5. ^ "Mini & Junior Information". Havant RFC. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  6. ^ "Cup Final Historical Results". Hampshire RFU. Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  7. ^ "Club calls for more support". Bradford Telegraph and Argus. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 

External links[edit]