Horden & Peterlee celebrate with game against Hartlepool XV

John Groves
John Groves

Horden & Peterlee celebrate the opening of their new Eden Lane home tomorrow with a match against a Hartlepool & District XV (kick-off 3pm).

The Colliery side have already played four Durham Northumberland One fixtures at the Peterlee Newtown FC’s old ground, winning three and losing just one.

Everyone who has given their services freely is a testament to the community spirit of Horden & Peterlee rugby club.

But tomorrow marks the official opening with a celebration match against a combined Hartlepool side.

The host club left Welfare Park in the summer after nine decades on those fields and became Horden & Peterlee RFC.

And president John Groves has paid tribute to those who made the “ important landmark in the future of the club” a reality.

“The cost of running three senior men’s teams for a year is around £30,000,” he said.

“We also run a successful junior section with over 100 young boys and girls filling the fields on a Sunday morning.

“The reason behind the move was to secure the future of those youngsters.

“Despite numerous approaches, the landlords, Horden Parish Council, declined to provide the rugby club with any sort of lease for the playing area, precluding any application for funding for ground improvements.

“I cannot find enough words to praise each and every member of the club who donated thousands of man and woman hours to transform the clubhouse from what we inherited to what we have today.

“Everyone who has given their services freely is a testament to the community spirit of Horden & Peterlee rugby club.

“I must especially thank Peterlee Town Council, particularly Mayoress, Mary Cartwright and clerk Kay Tweddle, for the professional manner in which difficult negotiations have taken place, over a long period of time.”

Groves told SportMail that those members who were unsure of the switch have been won over.

“A number of members were understandably reticent regarding the move,” he admitted. “But the majority, having now visited the new building and fields, have expressed their surprise and pleasure at what has been achieved in such a short time.”