Rugby club switches venues and names to move into ‘exciting new era’

Peterlee mayor Mary Cartwright and Horden RFC president John Groves, with back from left, treasurer Joss Fenwick, Peterlee Town Council sports development officer Sharon Pounder and chairman Trevor Thubron.
Peterlee mayor Mary Cartwright and Horden RFC president John Groves, with back from left, treasurer Joss Fenwick, Peterlee Town Council sports development officer Sharon Pounder and chairman Trevor Thubron.

A historic rugby club is changing venues in a move which will also see it step into an “exciting new era” under a new name.

Officials of Horden Rugby Club are hopeful of a bright future as it relocates to Peterlee’s Eden Lane from Horden Welfare Park.

It is a first-class facility, and this represents an exciting new era for the club

John Groves

From next season, the club – founded in 1925 – will be known as Horden and Peterlee Rugby Football Club.

An agreement was reached between the club and Peterlee Town Council, who granted a 30-year lease of Eden Lane, the ex-home of Peterlee Newtown FC, and more recently the two-year base of South Shields FC until last summer.

Horden RFC will play its last game at Welfare Park today as they take on Medicals in the Durham Northumberland 1 league. They are set to finish fifth.

Club president John Groves has insisted the move provides the best chance of progress, both with the senior team and the thriving youth set-up, which sees up to 120 youngsters train every Sunday.

He said: “The club has outgrown the facilities at Welfare Park and we were unable to agree a long-term lease, meaning we couldn’t apply for any funding. The move is massive for the future of the club.

“One or two of the elderly members have been a bit reluctant, because we’ve been in Horden for 91 years, but we have tried to reassure them. It is a first-class facility, and this represents an exciting new era for the club.

“It will be an emotional day today to play our last game at Welfare Park, but this is the best decision for the future of the club.”

The club is looking for potential sponsors for next season. Interested parties can call 07736085362.