Ventnor Rugby Football Club History

Situated on the south coast of the Isle of Wight, Ventnor Rugby Club enjoys one of the most dramatic and picturesque grounds in the country. The pitch and clubhouse are located in the base of a natural bowl that cuts into the slopes of Week Down to the north with panoramic views of Steephill Cove and the English Channel to the south.

Renowned for its sociable welcome to visiting teams and casual spectators alike, Ventnor First Team currently play in Hampshire Division Three while the Second Team will play in Hampshire Merit Table 3.

Early History

Ventnor Rugby Football Club was founded in 1936 when Roy Smith, Manager of the National Provincial Bank in the town and erstwhile Captain of Glamorgan Wanderers, decided that rugby would be the ideal pastime for the youth of the area. Also being Scoutmaster for the 3rd Ventnor Scout Troop, he was in an ideal position to enlist the senior scouts for his team, persuading them that their particular skills could be better utilised in pursuit of excellence in rugger, rather than soccer.

A pitch was found at Baycroft Farm in Wroxall and through the good offices of Arthur Phillips, the father of Jack Phillips who found his niche as hooker in the team, the Club obtained kit, which was all black, and headquarters at The Star Inn, Wroxall. Showers were available in the form of a tin can looped over the washing line in the yard of the pub. The Captain was Bill Barber. Since the recruits to the team were raw in all aspects of the game, initial matches were against Ryde School. However, the new Club soon found itself travelling to the mainland to play against the likes of Havant and United Services. Return fixtures were arranged and when United Services first visited Wroxall new recruits were found. Apparently, drinking after rugby matches was commonplace in that day and age (of course, that would never happen nowadays . . . .) and four sailors, who had failed to extract themselves from The Star Inn on the Saturday, remained loyal to the cause and played regularly both on the mainland and on the Island. This influx of talent improved standards immeasurably; in fact until war intervened and the Club was disbanded.

Club Reformed in 1974

The Club was reformed at a meeting held on Saturday 25 May 1974 at the Castle Hotel, Sandown. At this first meeting of the Club the rules of the Club were formulated, officers elected and Club colours of all white with blue stockings agreed. By the date of the next meeting on 3 June 1974 the new Club had moved to The Central Hotel, Ventnor, a fortuitous choice indeed.

The Central Hotel was to remain as the headquarters of the Club for fourteen years. Jack Phillips (our pre-war hooker), who was elected the first President of the Club, was the owner of the hotel. The landlady in the early years was Margot Beaumont. Now according to several of the original members of the reformed Club, Mrs Beaumont was instrumental in helping the Club obtain and maintain a strong fixture list from the outset. The reason for such an influence was the quality of the after match food served by Mrs Beaumont. A three course meal was the norm and many teams were willing to travel to Ventnor just to sample the cuisine. Hot meals were also provided on training nights, an enticement which helped swell numbers considerably.

A full fixture list was arranged for the first playing season in 1974/5. Under the captaincy of Len Down, the Club played home matches at Ventnor Middle School. The first match was against Havant Mariners on Saturday 28 September 1974 and a win by 8 points to nil was recorded in the record books. One week later and the first home match against US Saracens also resulted in a win, this time by 21 points to nil. The opposition was obviously confused by the slope. By Christmas the Club had completed 11 matches with 191 points for and 108 against. The second half of the season proved less auspicious than the first.


On 6 February 1975 at a meeting in The Central Hotel, Emile Rouby proposed that a tour to France be undertaken during the next season. There was a general agreement on the matter and he was delegated the task of finding suitable opposition. Some months later, Monsieur Rouby was on a visit to the South of France and happened to stop at a small bar called Café de Paris in Bollene in the Provence region. Two short sighted French Clubs had already turned down his approach for a game but, undeterred, the intrepid Monsieur Rouby noticed a Bollene Rugby Club sticker in the café and enquired if any representatives of the Club were present and if they were interested in a match against Ventnor. Within half an hour, the President of the Bollene Club was in the bar, plying Monsieur Rouby with Pastis. Thus was born the connection between Ventnor and Bollene which has lasted to this day.

By that time, the Club was using the new pitch at Watcombe Bottom and the cellar in The Central Hotel had been converted for use as a clubroom. The clubroom was a facility which was better than that enjoyed by many of the clubs who provided opposition for Ventnor, but the fact that it was divorced from the playing area meant that there was an inevitable progression of ideas and efforts towards providing a clubroom alongside the pitch.

Eventually, after years of planning and fund raising, the new pavilion was opened in 1988 and since then the Club has gone from strength to strength, now catering for all challenges from Minis to Vets.

Once the new clubhouse at the ground was opened it gave a renewed impetus for the club, with two sides regularly playing. A mini section was also formed.

Meanwhile the senior sides were growing in statue and experience. Not only did the French connection continue with Bollene rugby club but touring to mainland England was also squeezed in, with trips to Harwich and Bath. Although accommodation was a little lacking (sleeping bags in changing rooms or gymnasiums), the cost of approximately £10 per head was very reasonable. This was supplemented by compulsory fines to all tourists at the court session on the way home.

A second French connection was attempted, with Deauville in Normandy, and although Ventnor gallantly lost both 1st and 2nd team games, for the entente cordial, it was probably the fighting that put the opposition off from returning the fixture.

In the 1978/79 season, Ventnor had sufficient players to form a second fifteen. From the records available, it seems that more matches were cancelled than actually played and, of those played, the vast majority were lost. But there was one momentous occasion for Captain Mike Buttle and his team to celebrate. On Saturday 14 October 1978 the second fifteen beat Old Park Warriors by 52 points to 4. Strangely, the first fifteen had no match on that particular Saturday. Even more strange, the Old Park Warriors disappeared from the fixture list, never to return.

To the Present Day

It was at this point that the most notable of Ventnor achievements was made. In 1995 the RFU introduced a national cup competition for the lower ranks, called the Pilkington Shield. Ventnor duly entered playing teams from as far as Kent and London, and winning! Suddenly Ventnor were in the last 16 of this national contest. The local BBC came to film training sessions, interview players and coaches. The club was splashed over local papers and even mentioned in “Rugby World”. Ventnor’s Waterloo turned out to be Kingsbridge, Devon. The team played well in a mud bath, but were unsuccessful, although the three coach loads of supporters didn’t seem to mind whilst in the bar afterwards.

To cheer themselves up, Ventnor embarked on yet another foreign tour – this time to Spain. This was a seven-a-side tournament in which such teams as Leicester were present – a slight mismatch. But what a weekend!

In 1998 the club had another memorable achievement, in the local Hampshire Cup competition, winning the plate against Southampton Institute.

The following year – 1999 – was the 25th Anniversary since the reformation of the club. This year saw Ventnor highest (to date) league position of 2nd in Hampshire League 1.

Through careful management, Ventnor Rugby Club faces a secure future, guided by an energetic and proactive committee. Currently a full floodlight system is being installed at the pitch at Watcombe Bottom providing a unique facility for an Isle of Wight Club.

Without ever losing the essential social and community essence of grassroots rugby, Ventnor looks forward to an exciting future.


  1. Pingback: Marketing Automation Tools

  2. Pingback: Funny Posts

  3. Pingback: Who is Urazov Nuray

  4. Pingback: top funny commercials

  5. Pingback: iherb coupon code

  6. Pingback: iherb coupon

  7. Pingback: funny painful fails

  8. Pingback: iherb coupon

  9. Pingback: DS Domination Genesis

  10. Pingback: iherb coupon code

  11. Pingback: iherb coupon

  12. Pingback: Dating

  13. Pingback: Roofing Contractors Colorado Springs

  14. Pingback: iherb coupon code

  15. Pingback: iherb coupon

  16. Pingback: code promo iherb

  17. Pingback: iherb coupon

  18. Pingback: plumber glen burnie

  19. Pingback: rock hill plumber

  20. Pingback: dentists in visalia ca

  21. Pingback: music lessons baton rouge

  22. Pingback: sprei murah

  23. Pingback: Carpet Cleaners

  24. Pingback: top commercials

  25. Pingback: National trucking jobs

  26. Pingback: 401k to gold ira rollover

  27. Pingback: kedai barangan memanah

  28. Pingback: biggest trucks in the world

  29. Pingback: What is vemma

  30. Pingback: buy viagra

  31. Pingback: Truck Driving Jobs

  32. Pingback: World ventures review

  33. Pingback: How can I make money online blogging

  34. Pingback: Annual crane inspections

  35. Pingback: best hotel in the world

  36. Pingback: teaching jobs in Italy

  37. Pingback: Advice, I need advice

  38. Pingback: cat vines

  39. Pingback: Small Business Banking

  40. Pingback: iPhone Repair Miami

  41. Pingback: Starfall Dress Up

  42. Pingback: iherb coupons

  43. Pingback: kate spade uk

  44. Pingback: salsa classes or class

  45. Pingback: salsa dance lessons

  46. Pingback: homeschooling programs

  47. Pingback: DS Domination Reviews

  48. Pingback: van damme epic split

  49. Pingback: dog waste bags bulk

  50. Pingback: iHerb.com coupon

  51. Pingback: water ionizers

  52. Pingback: Truck Driving Jobs

  53. Pingback: biodegradable dog poop bags

  54. Pingback: Crete Carrier Trucking jobs

  55. Pingback: dog vine

  56. Pingback: perfumes online

  57. Pingback: klima servis

  58. Pingback: kangan water

  59. Pingback: part time jobs for students

  60. Pingback: WEIGHT LOSS

  61. Pingback: dog poop bags for parks

  62. Pingback: age of science

  63. Pingback: Printing

  64. Pingback: Truck Driving Jobs

  65. Pingback: Solar Energy Newburyport

  66. Pingback: ionized water

  67. Pingback: Pay Bills With Credit Card

  68. Pingback: Trucking Jobs

  69. Pingback: sex cam

  70. Pingback: Hack

  71. Pingback: Tas Korea Murah

  72. Pingback: como espiar celulares

  73. Pingback: structured water

  74. Pingback: Philly Wine

  75. Pingback: alkaline water filters

  76. Pingback: animals like humans

  77. Pingback: Hunt Transportation Jobs

  78. Pingback: camsex blog

  79. Pingback: Vancouver wedding photography luxury romantic portraits

  80. Pingback: Tips Voor Hay Day

  81. Pingback: buy unlocked iphone 5s new

  82. Pingback: toothpick trick

  83. Pingback: click

  84. Pingback: part time jobs winnipeg

  85. Pingback: dog poop bags for large dogs

  86. Pingback: dog waste bags for small dogs

  87. Pingback: Joseph Caramagno

  88. Pingback: separate egg yolks

  89. Pingback: Buy sell my app source code

  90. Pingback: gagner de l'argent sur paypal facilement

  91. Pingback: water ionizer

  92. Pingback: internet business

  93. Pingback: epic fails 2014

  94. Pingback: covert hypnosis

  95. Pingback: funny commercials

  96. Pingback: My Advertising Pays Review

  97. Pingback: cheap computers

  98. Pingback: fiverr backlinks

  99. Pingback: бесплатно хинди Неудержимые 3 скачать сай

  100. Pingback: Dental Implants Seattle

  101. Pingback: smoking cession

  102. Pingback: backlink checker

  103. Pingback: What is a trade show display

  104. Pingback: Student Houses in Sheffield

  105. Pingback: how to print a picture on multiple pages

  106. Pingback: cd label printer

  107. Pingback: www.clickclonecashreview.com

  108. Pingback: Religious Jewelry

  109. Pingback: Amazon jobs

  110. Pingback: el premio es un ipad gratis

  111. Pingback: payday loans

  112. Pingback: The Best Laptop Backpacks

  113. Pingback: movie checker

  114. Pingback: cargo

  115. Pingback: Albany New York Personal Injury Lawyers

  116. Pingback: ice bucket challenge fail

  117. Pingback: ice bucket fail

  118. Pingback: epic fails 2014

  119. Pingback: ebay coupon codes September 2014

  120. Pingback: best sat nav

  121. Pingback: telefono erotico

  122. Pingback: Empower Network Dvd

  123. Pingback: amazing animals

  124. Pingback: J John Sebastian Attorney

  125. Pingback: epic fails

  126. Pingback: elektronik sigara

  127. Pingback: Robe de mariage montreal

  128. Pingback: doggie bags

  129. Pingback: Robe de mariage rive-sud

  130. Pingback: emol2

  131. Pingback: world wide tour packages

  132. Pingback: hosting terbaik

  133. Pingback: organic grocery store

  134. Pingback: semstar.pl

  135. Pingback: Pixie Clothing

  136. Pingback: teeth grills for sale

  137. Pingback: House For Sale In Melaka

  138. Pingback: taco catering los angeles

  139. Pingback: sondage

  140. Pingback: kinder surprise

  141. Pingback: make money with clickbank

  142. Pingback: dikonews

  143. Pingback: kangen water machine

  144. Pingback: http://astore.amazon.com/beka08-20

  145. Pingback: alkaline water ionizer

  146. Pingback: Incrase Savings

  147. Pingback: hosting terbaik

  148. Pingback: Episodes

  149. Pingback: myrtle beach golf

  150. Pingback: buy valium online

  151. Pingback: kinder surprise egg

  152. Pingback: SEO

  153. Pingback: kinder surprise

  154. Pingback: roofing portland maine

  155. Pingback: super deals online

  156. Pingback: Gregory Smith

  157. Pingback: warszawa super gokarty f1-karting

  158. Pingback: ekstra gokarty f1kartingteam

  159. Pingback: profesjonalnie wykończone hale stalowe lechtim

  160. Pingback: dragon ball zee

  161. Pingback: donald duck full cartoons

  162. Pingback: weight loss tips

  163. Pingback: pee pads

  164. Pingback: business class flight specials

  165. Pingback: Binary

  166. Pingback: play

  167. Pingback: cinematic wedding video new york city

  168. Pingback: Treadmill Training

  169. Pingback: treadmill workouts

  170. Pingback: stock market research

  171. Pingback: patong beach hotel

  172. Pingback: orthovela

  173. Pingback: Strategic Performance Group

  174. Pingback: mega obóz

  175. Pingback: transport ntl-trans

  176. Pingback: Here

  177. Pingback: Training camps

  178. Pingback: gecelik

  179. Pingback: kinder surprise

  180. Pingback: como abrir un correo de gmail

  181. Pingback: αποφραξεις

  182. Pingback: picture fram

  183. Pingback: kinder eggs opening

  184. Pingback: Amish Wood Milk (20%)

  185. Pingback: super spedycja train-trans

  186. Pingback: CONSULTAR PIS

  187. Pingback: http://getmyunemploymentbenefits.com

  188. Pingback: Muay Thai training camp

  189. Pingback: Timeshare Lawyers

  190. Pingback: free gold maps

  191. Pingback: pharmacie france

Comments are closed.