Broadstreet Rugby Club
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (October 2010)|
|Full name||Broadstreet Rugby Football Club|
|Ground(s)||The Ivor Preece Field (Capacity: 250 seated)|
|League(s)||National League 3 Midlands|
Broadstreet Rugby Football Club is a rugby union club based in the city of Coventry, West Midlands, England. In 2008–09, the team finished as champions of Midlands 1 League. The 2009–10 season in National League 2 North was their second season in the National Leagues, but they were relegated straight away after finishing third from bottom. Recently the club have enjoyed plenty of success winning the Warwickshire Cup a record thirteen times.
Their home ground is The Ivor Preece Field, named in honour of former President Ivor Preece which was opened in Coventry in 2002. Their previous ground from 1973 to 2002 was located on Brandon Road, Coventry. Previously the club played from their Henley Road ground where the club still have an active social club with over 300 members.
The Broad Street Old Boys' Rugby Club was founded in 1929 by former and current pupils of the Broad Street School in Broad Street, Foleshill, Coventry. The club's history goes back even further to when Broad Street School was opened in 1911. It was many years later that the club decided drop the "old boys'" title and merge the two words to become one and known as Broadstreet Rugby Club.
It was after winning the Coventry F.C. Shield in 1929 the old boys' club was formed with the help of the school sports master 'Pop' H.T Suddens. With seven former schoolboy internationals, it was a formidable team. In fact, the school went on to have twenty-two schoolboy England players and three senior England players, Ivor Preece, Ernie Robinson and Phil Judd who went on to captain England in 1967.
When the ‘Old Boys’ was formed, a farmer’s field at Bedlam Lane was the home ground and this was used until after the Second World War. After the war, the club rented grounds in various parts of Coventry, eventually using the War Memorial Park, Coventry as its base until the 1950s. A site for a new ground was purchased in Henley Road from a Colonel Bushill in the early 1950s. Raising the money to purchase the ground and to build the clubhouse was an enormous task, but it was a very proud day for all involved at the time, when Cliff Harrison, President of the Warwickshire R.F.U., opened the club in 1955.
Over the next few years the club extended, but it became obvious that the facilities at Henley Road were no longer large enough to cope with the number of teams that we regularly playing, and in 1970 the club entered into an agreement with Alf Youell of Youell Investments, to sell only the pitches at Henley Road, and to move to a new ground and clubhouse at Brandon Road.
The new ground was opened in 1973 by Bob Weighhill, Secretary of the Rugby Football Union, and it was named the Ivor Preece Field, in honour of Ivor Preece, England and British Lions, who was also the club's President at the time. The club retained the Henley Road clubhouse still run it as a social club with over three hundred members.
Once again, the club outgrew the facilities at the Brandon Road ground, and have now moved to the other side of the Coventry Eastern Bypass, to the new Ivor Preece Field. Alf Youell was also heavily involved in this move, along with Persimmon Homes, the purchasers of our previous ground. The new ground was opened by the great Rugby World Cup winning captain Martin Johnson (rugby union), captain of England national rugby union team, The British and Irish Lions, and Leicester Tigers. The new clubhouse has facilities, a 250-seater stand, car parking, five senior pitches, (two floodlit), mini and junior pitches, and forty-six acres of ground. The Ivor Preece field is used for representative rugby with the semi finals of the Daily Mail schools rugby played at both age groups here. England Deaf Rugby use the rugby facilities for training sessions and international matches.
Broadstreet Rugby Football club regard themselves as one of the top fifty clubs in England. The club regularly field five senior sides and one colts team during the season. At under-age level, the club run one of the most successful Mini and Junior sections in the country, with over 200 boys and girls of all ages being coached by a band of qualified coaches.
Current squad list
Winners of the Warwickshire Cup, Champions of Midlands One 2008–09, Winners of the “Don Robbins Shield” Warwickshire RFU Double Tops Midweek Rugby Competition
Notable former players
Warwickshire Cup Midlands 1 Champions 2008-09
The following players have all gone on to play for their country. Unless otherwise noted, all played for England.
- Broadstreet RFC captains' board
- Broadstreet RFC website
- Coventry Schools' Rugby Union 1896-1996 brochure
- Daily Mail Rugby
- England Deaf Rugby
- Phil Judd England Captain