Alton Rugby Football Club

Club History: The War Years

Alton RFC Club History

Pre-war games were played at Whitedown Lane, changing at the Market Hotel. In those days home teams supplied their own referees, Alton's for many years was Mr Griffiths.

The strip was black jerseys, white shorts and red/black stockings with a hand embroidered badge. Post-war this badge was changed to include a swan above it. In 1961 it was decided to change to a red jersey, dark blue shorts and black stockings with white tops. These jerseys were obtained from the Gloucester Regiment, by Hugh Winter.

Tours took place during the thirties to Bologne (packet steamer from Portsmouth) and we were one of, if not the last club to tour Europe prior to the outbreak of WWII.

Fixtures pre-war started in October and finished in March. The fixture card for 1937-38 shows old adversaries, Portsmouth, Trojans, Newbury, Chichester, Petersfield, Camberley, Old Guildfordians and some others who no longer exist.

After the war the Club struggled to get started, but was resurrected in 1948 due to the efforts of E.S. Kench, G. Brook and Alan Stoodley. Finding it hard to get players the Club in 1953 was renamed Alton & Farnham. With only one pitch in Anstey Park and one in Farnham Park, a second pitch in Farnham, down by the gas works, was later used.

The Club by 1962 were running 3 senior sides and on 18th Feb 1971 a colts team was formed which would prove to be extremely useful in later years. On 11th Dec 1972 an EGM was called where it was explained that in order to get the councils blessing for a clubhouse, the Club should be known as Alton RFC. This was duly passed and fund raising (which had been going on for several year prior to this meeting) was redoubled and the members built the clubhouse as it stands today.

It was officially opened on Sunday 8th September 1974 by W.G. Brock, founder member and a Vice President. A match followed between Alton Vs Presidents XV.

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