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Scunthorpe’s rich history told by Norman Angell

Scunthorpe RUFC was founded in 1929 when the club rented a field from a local farmer at a cost of £8.00 per season with the proviso that the goal posts be moved after each game so that the animals could return to graze.

Scunthorpe Rugby Club has come a long way since those early days; days when there were a total of 33 players on the books in an era which viewed the world of rugby throughconfused eyes, so much so that the local press referred to the “First Eleven” during the clubs first season. There was gradual growth during those early days and by 1933 there was a grand total of £4 3s 7d in the bank. In common with many clubs the post war years saw rapid growth and development and in 1952 came the news that was the greatest step in its development, the securing of its own ground. A certain Mr.J.R.Heslam, donated the ground and paid for the playing area to be levelled and made it fit for both rugby and cricket. He also gave the ground his name, which has become so well known in the recent history of Scunthorpe Rugby Club – Heslam Park.

During the 50’s and 60’s rugby at Scunthorpe depended upon the influx of players, mainly Welsh, to the local steelworks. However, in 1960 an U-19 Colts side was introduced which harnessed the talents of local schoolboys for the first time. This was to produce the future first team. Two splendid seasons in the early 70’s Brought the Notts, Lincs and DerbysCup to Scunthorpe for the first time. This period also saw the emergence of Mike Lampkowski who was to go on to play for Headingley and England.

The club then began to grow, more teams were fielded, tours were organised, and new playing, changing and social facilities were added. In 1977 Mini and Junior rugby was started and has brought vast numbers of children to the game of rugby in Scunthorpe, which in turn has provided a continual flow of talent through minis, juniors, colts and to the senior sides.

Other players with representative honours are:
Mark Hyde – Hooker England 16 Group 1986.
Steve Heath-Drury – Hooker England 16 Group, Colts, and U-21 1989-1993.
Tim Robinson – Full back – England U21 1996.

Honours list:
Midland Premier League champion s 2000-01, 2015-16, 2018-19.
Midlands Division One East champions 2009-10

The club currently run three senior sides, Colts, U-18 and a Mini and Junior section which included girls.

Scunthorpe RUFC and Hull RUFC, despite their geographical closeness, have never met in league rugby as Hull’s rise has been through the Yorkshire leagues and Scunthorpe’s through the Lincolnshire leagues. However they have played several pre-season friendlies over the years and the clubs have enjoyed a good relationship.

This season Scunthorpe have found it hard to adjust to the higher level and at the time of writing have lost all their eleven league games this season. Despite this, it is a pleasure to welcome them to the Ferens Ground and we look forward to a good game of rugby football.

Norman Angell

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