Club History 1 of 2

1. Club History

Chiswick (formerly Old Meadonians) RFC:

The club was founded in 1958 to provide rugby football for the former pupils of Chiswick County Grammar School for boys.

Our former name derives from Dukes Meadows, where the school played there also and are affiliated to the Old Meadonians Association, incorporating independent rugby, football and cricket clubs.

In the early days, the team played its matches at the school but with the formation of the 'A' XV, pitches were loaned from UCS Old Boys at Gower Road, Osterley in the early sixties. In the spring of 1962, two pitches with a clubhouse were rented from Spelthorne Sports Club in Sunbury. This move consolidated the establishment of the club as it could now boast its own bar where it could fittingly entertain visiting teams. At this time, some 20 years before the introduction of the leagues, fixture making and improvement proved difficult but the outstanding performance of the two teams was gradually recognized with fixtures gained versus current London Division 1 clubs.

During the early seventies the club moved to Riverside Lands, Dukes Meadows in Chiswick and transformed the old, dilapidated pavilion changing rooms previously used by the school into a welcoming clubhouse.

The recruitment policy of receiving Old Boys from Chiswick school came to a gradual end in the early nineties and the club responded by changing the name and becoming fully 'open' to align itself to a wider community together with increased sponsorship opportunities.
The change was celebrated on 6th October 1996 with a match versus England Classicals, which included the likes of Peter Winterbottom and Paul Rendall.

In 1999, arsonists destroyed the clubhouse and a long painstaking process was begun to re-build the clubhouse, which was finally achieved and officially opened on 6th November 2005 by Andy Ripley.

Senior Team:

Our 1stXV currently compete in Herts/Middlesex Division 1 and our 2nd, 3rd XV's compete in Middlesex Merit Tables respectively. We also run a Vets team known as the 'Silverbacks' who compete in a Vets league.

We are renowned for being a vibrant and friendly club with excellent coaching and training facilities.

In the 2012/2013 season the club won the Middlesex County Cup for the first time in our history beating Staines RFC in the final.

In the 2015/2016 season the club played at its highest ever level in league rugby in the 6th tier of the game formerly known as League LONDON 1 NW. This was achieved with a 16-13 win in the League Play Off in May 2015 away to Diss RFC.

Minis & Juniors:

Chiswick Minis started in 2011 and was the idea of Kelvin Campbell, the Club Chairman. He appointed Chiswick player Wim Hulme as Chairman. Minis started with 10 players in October, together with Simon Hallett, also a Chiswick player, who became the first coach.

The minis began with senior players doing the coaching, a challenging experience for some given they had played the day before then celebrated or commiserated after their game.

The main recruitment tool, other than word of mouth, was the famous passing board, still a regular feature at fairs in Chiswick and Hammersmith. As the minis grew, more and more parents became involved in the coaching and gaining qualifications. It wasn’t long before parent coaches outnumbered player coaches. Games with local teams began to be played, festivals were entered, tours were done and the minis became an established part of the Chiswick community.

The club embraced the RFU “Age grade” approach to playing, where the focus is on the development of the player’s skills, rather than a “win or lose” mentality. Respect for values, team playing and sportsmanship is paramount.

They have now grown to include a Junior section, which then grew to the point where it needed a separate Chairman, and parent coach Gauthier De Beer was appointed in 2022. The Junior section is now an established part of the Middlesex league fixture and looks forward to progressing to Colts before giving players the chance to progress into the senior teams.