So much rugby club history gets lost over the decades, making it difficult to track origins or events. However for Black Country club Dudley Kingswinford a labelled notebook in a storage container verified that this of all years is their centenary.
“We can pinpoint the club’s beginning to May 1920 because of a book found in a box stored in a container,” said Brian Platts, the club’s youth representative. “The notebook had a label with dates on the front. It contains minutes of meetings, accounts, fixture lists and details every game we played for the first two seasons, including team selection, scores, and scorers. It even covers refreshments provided after the games.
“For the season 1920/1921 we played under the firm’s name, Harper Bean, in 1921/1922 we moved to the county ground in Dudley and became Dudley RFC. After a move to Penzer St in Kingswinford in 1926 we became Dudley Kingswinford RFC. In 1962 we made the move to our current ground Heathbrook in Wall Heath.”
With a thriving youth section, three regular senior men’s teams, a social team, a veteran XV and a ladies’ team, Dudley Kingswinford RFC were doing well, their 1st XV won their league and promotion to Midlands Premier, their Ladies XV also won their league, gaining promotion to Women’s NC 1 Midlands.
There was a lot to celebrate, but due to the pandemic they could only look back on a great season through our website and social media, although they have created a DK100 range of kit.
Said Brian: “I’m aware that there are any number of teams in the same position, but not many will be having their 100th birthday during the pandemic. After a great season on the pitch all celebrations were put on hold.
“The club decided to go ahead with the DK Centenary Wall, with a small band of volunteers getting together pre-season to construct a wall, built into an old railway embankment which runs the length of the 1st XV pitch. This will also serve as a memorial, with plaques on the blue steel sheets commemorating members who made a significant contribution to the club over the last 100 years and through the next 100. We approached Luke Perry, a well-known local sculptor and artist who works with steel. His work, featuring a player and club badge are forged out of steel, appropriate as our tagline on our kit is “Forged in the Black Country” celebrating the industrial heritage of the area.
“With the current situation as it is, we don’t believe that we will get an opportunity to celebrate this year.”
In the meantime, DK Falcons U16 players Ed and Ewen, together with eight other Wolverhampton Grammar School students, took part in the Coast 2 Coast 2020 Challenge, running 187 miles in 24 hours in circuits of a 4.7mile track and smashing the 3,000 target for the charity Brain Tumour Support by a current total of over £7,300.
This followed a static bike challenge raising money for the Children’s Heart Unit Fund by the club’s social side the Old Boars, a cause close to them as the niece of one of the players is waiting for a heart transplant.