Avon rugby club was formed in 1925 by members of the Avon Rowing Club who wanted to do some other exercise in the winter months to keep fit and first played at Odd Down, changing at the ‘Burnt House’ public house. The second XV followed within six years, first playing in 1931.
The club moved to Bathampton in 1936 and changed at the ‘George Inn’ next to the canal. After the Second World War, Avon RFC reformed and played at the ‘Horseshoe Ground’ at Lambridge. In 1947 the club was on the move again, this time to the Monument Field at Combe Down. A 3rd XV (Extras XV) was formed in December 1955 and a second pitch was established in 1956. That same year the Colts XV was formed, winning the Bath Junior Sevens in1957.
The club was forced to leave the Monument field in September 1971 and played for 2 seasons at the council pitches at Norwood, Claverton Down, until the corporation moved its playing pitches to Lansdown in 1973 and Avon were obliged to do the same.
One of the highlights in the clubs history came in the 1974/75 season when the Jubilee (50 years) was celebrated. Many of the former captains of the club were in attendance at the Jubilee dinner when well over 100 members had an enjoyable evening.
It had always been the ambition of the club to own a ground of its own and after negotiations to buy the present ground broke down in 1972, several alternatives were looked into but with little success. By chance, the same ground came on the market in 1978 and, after some considerable effort by the committee, ‘Hicks Field’ was purchased in March 1979, being named after one of the Club’s stalwarts who was instrumental in its purchase.
Changing rooms were erected and fitted out, only being completed on the very day of the first match on Hicks Field, on 26th October 1981. The opponents on that day were Old Sulians, which was appropriate because Avon were their opponents on the very first game they ever played.
Since that day, the ground has been steadily improved. Three pitches are now in use and a new larger clubhouse was completed with extended changing rooms, a Ref’s room and new showers. The clubhouse was officially opened with a special celebrity day, 15 international players including Rory Underwood, Ieuan Evans, Martin Bayfield, Mike Teague, Jerry Guscott, plus many other British Lions for an exhibition game against Avon XV.
Since that time to secure the future of the Club, we have now developed a thriving Minis and Juniors section in addition to a Ladies and under 17 and 14s girls section, all of whom are going from strength to strength in terms of numbers of players and encouraging results.
More recently in the late 90’s, Avon rugby club has experienced a purple patch becoming the most successful club in the Bath area. 1998 saw the Club 1st XV launch this success by winning the Somerset division 2 title, reaching the semi-finals of the Somerset Cup and becoming the Rugby World national team of the month in Feb 1998. Then in 1999, these achievements were surpassed when the 1st XV became Somerset division 1 champions and reached the semi finals of the national Tetley Bitter vase. Avon are now playing in the Somerset Premier League.
Not to be outdone, the Ladies section matched these exploits by also winning their leagues, gaining promotion in successive years (98 & 99), whilst the Minis and Juniors have recorded numerous wins in various festivals and cup competitions.
During the 2000 Millennium, Avon proudly celebrated their 75th Anniversary with a series of events throughout the year, culminating in a Grand Jubilee Ball at the magnificent Assembly Rooms in Bath. In 2005, Avon celebrated their 80th Anniversary. We now look forward to the next decade and then onto our centenary year.
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