Category: Youth

Chairman’s Update: 3G – Alternative Grass Pitch

In my last update I mentioned that the club was planning for the future, looking at how we continue to develop and grow as a club. A key part of those plans includes looking at delivering a 3G Alternative Grass Pitch (AGP). Even with all the work done on improved drainage this year there is still demand for all year round playing space at St Marks now and in the future.

Whilst the club will benefit from access to an AGP we are keen that this development is part of us becoming a community sports hub. To that end we have been working closely with local schools, sports clubs and the council, as part of their sports field strategy, to develop  plans and supporting business case.

Given the intended location for the AGP is alongside our current 1XV pitch we are working very closely with TW Borderers Cricket Club on plans – which include the creation of a new cricket square on the land to the south of the 3rd XV pitch and the construction of a cricket pavilion adjacent to the current Sussex square. This will ensure no loss of playing space for the cricket club.

We are well progressed on pulling together all of the technical reports required for submission of a full planning application over the next few weeks. In addition to the AGP, the planning application will also include installation of hard standing in front of the clubhouse, new storage for equipment, cricket pavilion, new cricket wicket and extending and improving our onsite parking.

As part of the preparations for planning, the club held a Public Consultation evening for residents in the neighbourhood to talk them through the plans and take on their feedback ahead of making our application.

The full suite of plans will shortly be available to all members to view in the café. We would warmly welcome you to take time to have a look next time you’re in the café.

Whilst a lot of work has gone into getting the AGP project to this stage, we recognise that planning is just the first stage. Once we have planning, we then need to start fundraising for the actual build – we have some interesting plans in development and are looking at what grants we could apply to for funding. But, we will still need help from all our members to support fundraising, so please keep an eye out for more news on that front.

The fundraising stage of the AGP project will also need a lot more support to deliver so if you are interested in helping please contact Steve Daly in the first instance on 07825 286 813.

If you have any questions about the proposed plan please send them to and we will come back to you.


Proposed Plan
Proposed paving improvements and equipment store
Proposed equipment store – front elevation
Proposed improvements to existing parking
Proposed extended parking
Proposed Cricket Pavilion

Chairman’s Message – Volunteers Needed

As we approach the end of one, very challenging, season and prepare for the next one there are a number of volunteer posts that we would like to fill ahead of the season starting.

Some have opened up as current long standing volunteers are standing down, and we thank them for their support over the years, but many are driven by the clubs desire to be better, improve our proposition and appear even more professional.

In addition there some project specific roles to help support key projects the club is embarking on.

Have a look at the details below  – feel free to contact the leads noted against each role if you want have a chat about the role or how you could help.

Fixtures Secretary Senior Squads (Contact: Mike Rigby 07793 458 856)

Purpose: To take responsibility for organizing league, cup and friendly matches for all of the adult teams at the club and ensuring the fixtures provide the right standard of rugby, reflecting the needs of your club.

 Key aspects of the role:

1. Coordination of fixtures propose a fixture list for all teams, reflecting the ambitions of the club, confirming the list in writing by June of each season. Coordination of a group of volunteers to arrange manage fixtures, if applicable.

2. Ensure information is distributed to relevant parties Ensure that the relevant lists are supplied to the RFU, Referees Societies and other relevant agencies, confirming the fixtures with opponents at least two weeks before the game and that they are provided with kick-off times, directions to the ground and, if applicable, complimentary match tickets.

3. Dealing with any unexpected problems that arise Deal with match cancellations and finding new fixtures; handle any fixture queries throughout the season.

Is this role for you? If you are enthusiastic, patient, well organized and conscientious, with a familiarity with the club and its vision and strong communication skills, you could be the source of all knowledge about upcoming matches, keeping the season alive and on schedule.

Events Manager (Contact: Nick Van O’  07977 577 906)

Purpose: To ensure that all events, such as those to provide additional investment, motivate people to attend and/or reward volunteers, are successes in order to ensure the future well-being of the club.

This role is split across two areas:

Part 1 – Is the social side of the club – Helping co-ordinate our fundraisers and working with existing volunteers to bring a full calendar together

Part 2 – Is the commercial side – Working with local businesses who hire our pitches and club house to ensure they are well looked after and this valuable income stream grows

Key aspects of the role:

1. Lead the organisation of all events Plan, organize and lead a team to deliver major events, e.g. Summer Balls, Sportsmen’s Dinners, Tournaments, Beer Festivals, etc.

2. Work with other officers to set targets In consultation with other club officers, set targets for each event in terms of increased participation, funds raised, rewarding volunteers or simply having more fun.

3. Maintain a calendar Put in place a calendar of events to maintain momentum and awareness throughout the club.

Is this role for you?

If you are motivated, well-organised and well-connected, excellent at inspiring others with experience in event planning and understand and are aware of other competing activities, you could hold a position that is instrumental for keeping the club running.

Equipment Manager (Contact: Mike Rigby 07793 458 856)

Purpose: To ensure the club maintains a consistent identity across the club and ensure that appropriate kit and equipment is available for all teams. This helps set the tone for the club and our ability to function on the pitch.

Key aspects of the role:

1. Arrange and buy all equipment for the club subject to agreed budgets and need.

2. Keep an up-to-date list of all club kit and equipment.

3. Responsible for storing, arranging washing and repairing maintenance of all kit and equipment.

 Is this role for you?

If you are familiar with the culture of the club, enthusiastic and well-organised (and the owner of a washing machine!) you could hold a position that is truly essential to the club

Assistant Clubhouse manager (Contact: Nick Van O’ 07977 577 906)

Purpose: To help ensure the effective running of the Club House café. The Café is a key part of the club in-terms of offering quality service to members and visitors but also a key revenue stream.

Key aspects of the role:

1. Operate the café with optimum stock levels managing costs and wastage 

2. Work with staff and volunteers to ensure the café is effectively staffed

3. Ensure Café runs within required licencing and food safety standards

Is this the role for you?

If you are well organised, maybe have some hospitality industry experience, and want to help run one of the key parts of the club let Nick know.

Webmaster (Contact: Mike Rigby 07793 458 856)

Purpose:  To create and maintain a dynamic and easy to navigate website to showcase the club, ensuring that up-to-date information is presented attractively for visitors.

Key aspects of the role:

1. Lead on website creation and maintenance Create/update the website and design a navigation structure for players, opposition, coaches, volunteers, spectators, members, sponsors, media and other stakeholders, ensuring that there are regular updates to the news stories on the front page of the site (work with the Social Media Officer to share these articles) and the fixtures and results section.

2. Act as a point of contact for website content Liaise with the Communications and PR Manager and the club committee to publicise club events on the site and ensure the site complies with the code of conduct and reflects the values of the game.

3. Maintain the commercial side of the website Promoting sponsors, where applicable, and managing any e-business transactions that occur on the website.

Is this role for you?

 If you have good IT skills and a working knowledge of website creation and design, sound judgement and a strong attention to detail, you could hold a position where you will have the chance to be creative and put your web design and journalistic skills into practice for the betterment of the club.

Alternative Grass Pitch Project (Contact Steve Daly 07825 286 813)

In my most recent Chairman’s Update I mentioned the club was embarking on a strategic project to deliver improved facilities with the main deliverable being an alternative grass pitch (aka 3G). We are looking for a number of volunteers to help drive this key project. If any of the roles below are of interest please contact Steve.


1. Organise and administer our fundraising efforts

2. Design, create and deliver a fundraising event


1. Help design branding/style for the project

2. Design marketing collateral

Organisation Design:

1. Help with designing target operating model required to support the club going forward

2. Support implementing the agreed operating model


1. Support identifying opportunities for grants to support funding the project

2. Initial submissions and management of applications through the grant processes. 

The Academy shows its quality…

Last Sunday, Tunbridge Wells Academy headed to East Grinstead for their first game this season.

It’s been a dreadful year for team sports so all were relived to finally be playing a proper game of rugby, that is of course if you can have a ‘proper’ game of rugby with out scrums and mauls. That said we all just longed for that first game. With the extended season we saw a few players unable to make this initial game due to cricket and exams so with 13 players East Grinstead kindly leant us two players to even up numbers.

As we headed out in the morning we were pleased for a bit of rain to soften up the pitches but by the time we kicked off this had turned into monsoon conditions, it didn’t matter we were on the pitch, ball in hand (most of the time) playing the sport we loved. With over a year from our last game it would be understandable if we looked a little rusty. However the training ground moves were spot on and we executed our patterns to the script. Each time we had possession we had a two or three player overlap, but then the weather had other ideas of any champagne rugby displays. The weather proved to be a great leveller and the team to get on top of the weather would ultimately win the contest. After a couple of forwards moves up the middle of the pitch for Wells with our big ball carriers, Jamie Phillips and Will Hawksfield an opportunity was created with space opening up yet again on the wing, unlike all our other opportunities this time the ball stuck to the hands and in went Gabriel Riordan for the first try of the game. It was a big ask kicking into the rain from the touch line, but we were on the score board at 0-5.

Max Maywood
Max Maywood

Now we knew our formation worked we just needed to keep plugging away and get the ball through the hands. Before long Innis Woodhouse, at scrum half, had connected with Reinis Zveidris and Jasper Tizzard who opened up the space for Gabriel Riordan to run in his second try taking the score to 0-10. The game was incredibly hard fought by both teams with some incredible tackles, particularly from Quinn McManus, Luca Chowdhury and Calum Scott however our only lapse in concentration came with a rarely missed tackle allowing them to score in the corner and to bring the final score to 5-10

The East Grinstead players played brilliantly and put in a proper shift on the pitch and we know we had two committed players as one of them was overheard calling us The Mighty Wells! And were only too happy to stay with us for our second game against Heathfield.

Triple try-scorer Gabriel Riordan

The rain had eased but with standing water on the pitch it meant conditions were still far from ideal and meant the link play and hands was still not there for either side. For some reason we ditched our prerehearsed plans and decided to carry the ball into traffic and not to utilise our well structured set up and get the ball out to where we had created the space. However we were still putting in some great tackling particularly from Harry Child and we could see where the next opening was going to come from so with a perfect jackal from Max Maywood the ball was carried up field by George Callow before connecting to George Owen who delivers the ball to Gabriel to run in his third try for the day under the posts.

A determined Jamie Phillips....
A determined Jamie Phillips….

The conversion took an unfortunate rebound off the post but at least we were in the lead and with only 3 ½ minutes to go surely we would be home and safe. But right from the kick off Heathfield challenged and pushed us off the tackle jack-ling the ball and turning it over. We had clearly relaxed too soon and Heathfield rumbled the ball over in the corner to level up the score, was the conversion going to be the decider, fortunately the weather stepped in and settled matters with a very fair 5-5 draw.

Innes Woodhouse

Regardless of the score it was great to be back playing rugby with great hosts and opposition.

On the 30th May Tunbridge Wells Academy will be playing their final game of the season at Westcombe Park.

Reinis Zviedris

Andy Child

Chairman’s Update

Members and friends of TWRFC,

As we have recently seen a return to rugby and sport at St Marks I thought it timely to provide an update on the club. 

Pleasing as it is to see the latest lockdown conclude and rugby resume, there is no doubt that the pandemic has touched every single one of us. Many of you have personally caught the virus, most know someone who has been significantly impacted by the virus and all of us will have felt some negative impact. Unfortunately some club members and friends of the club have paid the ultimate sacrifice and our condolences are with all their families.

 Whilst we have had little actual rugby to enjoy this year, the Board has remained focused on the Club with perhaps a greater focus on the future of the club. Our thoughts have turned to our ambitions for the club over the next 10 years and what we would like the club to look and feel like in our centenary year (2031). Whilst 10 years seems like an age away, this is the horizon we look to when we assess our broader development plans. Also, as we know time flies when you are having fun, it was only 10 years ago that I made my vets debut……..or maybe slightly longer. 

So, let me take you on a quick trip through the club and give you an update:
The Senior Section: 

We have three very divergent parts of our Senior club: The Elite squad; The Social side; and of course the Vets. But this year they have been united in playing no fixtures! There is of course a clear divergence in one matter: Training. The Elite squad have trained hard and benefitted from our fantastic coaching team…..The Vets have not trained for rugby at all but have made several videos that have entertained tremendously through lockdown. The social sides are in a happy place in the middle.

The Elite squad has recently resumed training and in fact recently enjoyed a friendly game of touch with TJ’s. They will shortly break for the summer before returning early for pre-season training. We have a couple of pre-season friendlies lined up and are very optimistic of a full season of competitive rugby. Most will now be aware that we have been joined at training by Ben Kayser who has given a real added dimension to forwards training. I also recently advised that Simon has departed to pursue new opportunities, Stuart and Dave are busy establishing our new structure for the new season. We have also started the drive to build a squad for next season and please do spread the word of our club, its ambition and culture. Thanks to all our senior coaches and players. We can’t wait to see you back in action next year.

It’s good to be back – Elite Squad training

The Youth section:

This year has been extremely different for our youth section. No fixtures, no festivals, large periods of no physical training and lots of online activities organised to help our members through lockdown. In case you have not heard, as he has told just about everyone he has met, Tommo has successfully managed to take our Under 6 age group (years reception and one) to 150 members. This is just outstanding and demonstrates the strong local demand for getting kids active. It also shows the tremendous role we provide to our community. We now have over 730 youth members and it has been great to see so many of them back at St Marks recently.

The reason for the success of our youth section is very clear: The incredible volunteer coaches that support every single age group. These ladies and men get qualified, plan sessions, complete endless admin, prepare kit, turn up bright faced and deliver an exceptional experience for our members week in week out. Thank you.

Thank you one and all you are keeping the future of TWRFC very much alive and growing. Thanks to Laurence, Martin and Alex for Chairing the Youth and the Mini’s.

Just a few of our 150 U6 players!

The Academy: 

Following the return to play the Academy also returned raring to go but with a minimum period before we could taken on opposition in competitive games we had a lot to do to get ourselves ready.

But with the hope of games before we close down again for the summer numbers and energy at training has been fantastic. Linking up with the U15’s, who will be formally coming into the Academy set up next September, we have had some really productive sessions.

It is so encouraging to see how keen the boys are to be back and play this great sport. We are still building but clearly the fundamental foundations from which we build are stronger than ever.

Huge thanks to our first team players who are helping out and doing a brilliant job, Max Douch and Matt Spicer. Big thanks to Andy and all the academy coaches.

The Ladies section: 

Despite the lockdown the U11’s, U13’s and U15’s have all grown with new players keen to enjoy social sport. This has made the Wednesday and Sunday sessions busy and a lot of fun. The noise is tremendous to hear across St Marks.

The Over 18’s (Adults!) with new members are growing and this is all before our inner warrior session on the 9th May. The squad are enjoying getting back to sport, improving the fitness and core skills. They are also enjoying playing the new RFU adapted touch game.

As the end of season beckons the ladies section also has the Rachel Buford camp to look forward to on the 31st May. Should be a fun end to the season.

Well done Simon and all the Coaches. But also well done to all the players, you have a real sense of community and are the fastest growing section of the club.

Ladies O18 Squad showing their Inner Warriors

So lastly to the running of the club and the area we have spent time on during lock down.

The Commercial team

I would like to thank all our sponsors for their unwavering support this year. Every single one of them continued their support for our great Community club. They have helped us keep going, engage with our members and continue to invest in the fabric of the club. We also have doubled our efforts to give as much social media coverage for their support as possible. I hope to welcome them back up to the club soon to personally thank them.

We are under no illusion the ability to get new sponsors next year will be harder and hence if you are able to help support Simon Hughes and Andre Van Zijl it would be most welcomed.

The Operations: 

Membership: Has been a huge success this year as we transitioned to SPOND. No doubt this has helped us perform track and trace as well as tracking membership fees. A record year for membership collection. Thank you for your support of your club. 

Covid-19 Policies: Who would have thought we would celebrate our ability to react to the relevant Government and RFU CV-19 guidelines. But we have trained at every opportunity because we have adjusted our approach to stay safe. Thanks to all involved in keeping us legal/safe and training. 

Pitches: Well this is the first year we haven’t cancelled training for the weather!! Mainly because we haven’t been up the club in Dec/Jan/Feb. We have invested though and they are looking good.

Clubhouse: The cafe trades on (for takeaways) and the decking is a great place to carry your produce over. Hopefully these will both come into their own over the summer.

The Future of the Club: 

You will all have seen our recent posts on how we wish to focus our attentions on future ground improvements. We have started to progress plans in this regard with brand new drainage systems going into pitches two and three. We are also progressing our thoughts for an alternative grass pitch and will provide a further update within the next two months. The latter has a thirst for volunteers and so please do let myself or Steve Daly know if you can spare a few moments to help us plan for 2031. 

So in summary:

–          Not the year any of us wanted, but we have kept on performing our valuable role in our community.

–          We have a growing youth and ladies section

–          We have a successful academy

–          We are ever closer to our #oneTWRFC ambition

–          The number of volunteers are growing but we do need more!

–          We are financially stable and operationally organised

–          We have direction and purpose for the future of St Marks.

Thank you to all our many volunteers and to everyone who keeps TWRFC at the heart of our Community.



Club Chairman


Over £100k to be invested into the pitches at St Mark’s, the home of TWRFC

As some of you will remember when I became Chairman I said we would review our investment priorities and create a route to delivering them. At the time our priorities were:

  • Improving our Clubroom in the Clubhouse
  • Improve our parking at St Mark’s
  • Improve the availability of our pitches.

We quickly reached a conclusion that with St Mark’s as our long term home our most pressing priority should be having pitches to play rugby on! So investment in pitch availability became our priority, closely followed by improved parking and then the Clubhouse.

We continue to progress our thoughts on the Alternative Grass Pitch which would sit alongside pitch 1 and I hope to update you further on that soon. Today I wish to make you aware of a significant investment into pitches 2 and 3. We are optimistic that this investment will give significantly enhanced availability of these pitches and keep St Mark’s open for rugby for a considerably longer period. We are taking our drainage back to basics with:

  • Brand new main carrier drains from the east end of pitches 2 and 3 to the small pond beside Frant road.
  • Brand new primary drainage channels (that feed into the main carrier drains) running length ways down pitches 2 and 3. These are perforated plastic drains that are connected together and run between 3 and 5 meters apart. The channels above them are filled with gravel and root-zone sand.
  • Brand new secondary drainage sand and gravel slits running across the pitches to feed the primary drainage channels.

The work is due to start at the beginning of May and the pitches will be out of action for several months to allow the grounds to recover and re-seed. Our friends at Borderers Cricket have kindly agreed to use the ‘Kent wicket’ this year while the work is completed.

This will mean that during the extended rugby season in May and the start of the cricket season (in May) the remainder of St Marks will be a little congested and we thank you for your understanding as we juggle training/fixtures to fit everyone in. It’s likely that we will have to adjust training times, and potentially move the occasional session to Saturday to accommodate.

Like all projects of this size they involve many hands and the financial support of many. In terms of the grounds strategy and engaging with contractors Roger Clarke has done a tremendous amount of work and diligence. In terms of paying for it there are many to thank: firstly the club has been saving away and sinking monies to prepare for this moment; secondly Tunbridge Wells Borough Council have offered to support; lastly the RFU and Sport England have supported us throught their ‘Winter survival fund’.

We thank you all for your support of our club and sport in Tunbridge Wells.

Come on you Wells


HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

TWRFC join the country in mourning the loss of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. A tireless member of the Royal Family but also a loving Husband, Father, Grandfather and Great Grandfather.

Best known to many as the founder of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards, a scheme that has helped millions grow and develop skills over the years including many of our own members.

Rest in Peace

TEK Group Hits Major Milestone

2021 sees 1XV sponsor TEK Group hit a major milestone of 50 years in operation. Known to many of our members for their ergonomic office chair brand Sit Smart. Through their TEK Seating and TEK military brands they also offer solutions for commercial, bus and coach, construction, agriculture, material handling, military, rail, minibus and marine markets.

TEK Group remains a local, family run business but has grown to become the UK’s largest independent vehicle seat distributor for the OEM and aftermarket.

 “TEK Group is really proud to hit this significant milestone” said Paul Fleming, CEO TEK Group. “ It’s down to the hard work and loyalty of past and present team members. Being part of the community we work in is very important to all of us at TEK Group and our involvement with TWRFC is just part of our commitment to community engagement.”

“TEK Group have been a 1XV sponsor for over fiveyears” said Simon Hughes, Head of TWRFC Commercial “Paul and the team at TEK have been fantastic advocates of the club and continued to support us through these challenging times. We are delighted to see them hit their 50 year anniversary and we wish them all the best for the next 50.”

For more information on TEK Groups products and services:

t: 01892 515028,


Tim McCabe – a rugby history in words and images

“My Dad said, “you’d better come outside and I’ll throw you a rugby ball in the garden as you’ll be playing rugby at your new school”.

Up until that time I was just a footballer.

I joined The Skinners’ School in September 1981, and played my first training game at their Southfields pitches.

I wasn’t entirely sure what I was supposed to do, but a bit like ‘Forest Gump’ (with a quarter of the pace), I found myself with the ball.

I ran forward knocking over everything and anyone in my way. I placed the ball down and scored a try. Ian Bradbury, my Welsh form teacher and rugby enthusiast said, “you are a Hooker”.

And the following week, Mr Bradbury made me Captain.

I captained the team for the next 5 years. With my rugby prowess infinitely better than my academic record, I left.

At 16 I played my first Adult game for Westerham RFC (now sadly no longer).

Placed in the front row, against Dover. I was sandwiched between two policemen. They looked after me on the pitch and afterwards in the bar.

I then went onto join TWRFC playing colts, for a brief season. I also played U16s for Kent. However a house move to live back at my parents meant that I joined Eastbourne RFC Colts and Seniors where I also played Sussex U18 and U20s.

I started work in London in January 1990, and I then had multiple options to play. I represented various companies at Advertising 7s rugby. I also trained in the off-season at Clapham Common playing rugby netball.

From ’92 I went on to represent and Captain the EAARFC (English Advertising Agencies) and the Media Nomads. The latter a hard, socialising and touring Sunday side. We holidayed (!) in most of Europe and the USA.

I played for the Stray Dogs RFC, mainly against tough Welsh opposition and had a cheeky run out for Basildon RFC to play with my brother in law.

My ‘club’ rugby across this period was spent for 11 seasons flitting between OMT’s (Old Merchant Taylors) RFC and Old Wimbledonians. Due to work commitments I could only make sporadic training sessions in the evening, so I found myself nicely nestled in 2nd XV team Rugby.

In 2001, I moved with my family to Tunbridge Wells. I re-joined TWRFC. I played mostly with the 2nd XV and had one trip to Portsmouth for my first and only 1st XV cap. From 2005 I was eligible for Vets XV (35 years of age). And that year toured with the club to Denia in Spain – the Easter Chicken Tour (don’t ask!).

It was about this time that I got embroiled in the Mini and Youth sections of TWRFC, as my eldest Max, turned 6.

It was aso at this point that I started to get heavily involved with non-playing aspects of the club: coaching; Chairing; reffing; kitchen cooking; comparing; auctioning; BBQ’ing; tournaments, club house development and Kiwi camps.

I coached both my boy’s age groups, finally getting to play rugby with them last Boxing Day (2019). And we would have had a fantastic re-union with both age groups who are now all eligible to play senior rugby – I guess that will have to be next season now.

I retired from regular Saturday matches in 2012. The body couldn’t take the weekly punishment and the knees weren’t enjoying scrum time. However what I found was I couldn’t keep away from the sport or the club. I continued to have the odd run-out every year from then onwards.

I still play with a club side from Scotland- Waid FP Rugby Club’s Buccaneers. I have represented them on Tour, also playing alongside some of them for the Scottish Members of Parliament RFC – playing against ‘The House of Commons and Lords RFC’. Again drafting in some TWRFC club members and my Max.

My weekends in a normal season; consist of me on a Saturday morning reffing at Skinners’ (this I will continue now my boys have left the school), then going to the club to watch the 1st XV. On a Sundays I currently drop off Martha who helps run the Café (since she was 8) and I then either reff or help coach the U11’s.

The best thing about rugby is meeting your friends and joining them for a beer. Hopefully we can do that soon, and maybe, if you are very lucky, I can talk you through the try that I scored at ‘The Rec’ playing with my best TWRFC club mate Fran Colangelo!

Floreat Sodalitas – let fellowship flourish!”

I am looking for more contributions please – contact me at

Mad Bob’s Memorial match, Mr Chairman’s “retirement” game and Father Ed’s 40th Birthday Celebration!
The Kiwi Camp – started by enigmatic Martin Stanley – ex Auckland player and amazing man.
EAARFC President Tim Mott and Jean Pierre Ardour (JPA) – bookends R to L.
Dan and Matty Ingman v Max & Tim McCabe on Boxing Day. The children are the future
Fran and Sedgie joining me in Bath (yes, that try…!) playing at the Rec. It’s not pink it’s cerise….!
My last 2nd XV match v TJs in 2019. I think we drew away! I’d had a couple of lagers on the train home when Mav asked me if I’d step up!!
The SPA’nish Ball – held at The Spa (remember going out drinking and dancing!!); Dave West and Jim Scully, two fine coaches and gentlemen.
Got to play with both my boys, Max and Laurie. Stuff of dreams.
Social space – clubhouse clear up – many hands make light work!
Front row (Re)union – Dave Allan (OMTs)and Mick (TWRFC)
A run out with Skinners’ Boxing Day 2019. Coached by Jerv the swerve! Followed by £120 worth of physio.
Sedgie joining me for a run out with OMT’s Vets v Reading Rhinos.
Mav, Stefan (President Becs Old Boys and former EAARFC player) on Boxing Day. Attending 2 minutes applause for JPA’s funeral
Captain Zak and Max’s first TWRFC match
On tour in Pau with Waid Buccaneers
The EAARFC Barbarians. A mixture of mates from the advertising industry, Media Nomads and Bideford in Devon. Playing North Paris – CSM Gennevilliers Rugby
Waid Buccaneers on tour CA Pontacq
Wags and Fran
“Pop-up” shop at Tunbridge Wells Clock Tower May 2016
The Mif$hit$
Hello Sailor
They are all superheroes to me
Christmas jumpers
Good grief……
Comperes for the SPAnish Ball…..
Bruno & Olivier from Pontacq….Wonderful hosts
The Kiwis sneak behind the bar…..
Milo getting “Douched”….captions please!?
Phil “Pot of Gold” Nelson
Half time C
chicken removal
Bobby G’s White & Blue Army…..then secret party back at his with no invite for Fat Pants AGAIN!
Serious business in teh days when we could hug and drink……
“Gok on a stick”, top tourist. “Get your Gok out for the lads” and “We want Gok” just two of the chants that can be heard reverberating around the ground.
Reffing Laurie at Skinners
Cooking up a large snarler fest with Drew
Pre-season (remember that?)
Recounting my favourite Debby McGee joke….
“Are you COVID ready?”
Tour trophy- “liberated” not stolen of course.
Paul Enville – marathon supremo and First Aid Sunday life-saver
Martha McCabe….”Future Ms Chairwoman”
Club Dinner at the High Rocks
Was a good three minutes….then Sinckler left the field!
Mighty TWRFC Veterans at Ashford…..(Editor: when someone called Tim ran over the dead ball line when he should have been scoring a try #justsaying)
A valiant TWRFC 6 join Parliament Hall RFC to play against The House of Lords and Commons RFC at Richmond before the Calcutta Cup. Or ‘hands up if you look like wee Jimmy Krankie with high crutch shorts’

Chairman’s New Year Message

As 2020 has drawn to a close and we start the new year I thought it timely to provide a little update on TWRFC.

It has been a challenging year for the club with virtually no senior rugby to talk of and an interrupted and rather constrained Colts/Youth/Ladies/Mini’s rugby. Despite the adversity I’m pleased to share that TWRFC is thriving.

One of our key purposes at TWRFC is to be a centre of sporting excellence in Tunbridge Wells for all players at whatever level they are able to compete, our ability to do this has been heavily constrained throughout 2020 by both the Government and RFU guidelines. During this year our focus has inevitably shifted to maintaining a Covid-safe environment for our members, retaining our strong club-community and safeguarding the financial future of the club through these difficult times.

In-spite of the challenging environment, we have kept the Youth/Ladies/Mini’s active at times when they have really needed it. I would like to recognise and thank all the coaches and volunteers who have worked so hard to deliver the maximum programme of rugby permitted within the constraints. Whilst I’m sure all of us in the rugby community had appetite for more, it was still great to be able to offer the rugby we did, and the positive feedback and support we received across the club was much appreciated. I’d also like to thank Martin for keeping us on the straight and narrow as regards the ever-changing and indecipherable Covid requirements. To call out a few highlights from the youth section:

  • We have record numbers of family/youth members (over 650 youth players)
  • Out U6’s hit a new record for membership, breaking through the 125 mark for an age group
  • The Ladies numbers have risen yet again with all teams playing great rugby and enjoying the game.  It’s particularly pleasing to see the advent of the Under 11s section which looks set to improve the pipeline of players into the older Ladies age-groups.
  • The Academy are back to full strength and challenging at the right levels. Even making a final… that was never played!
  • We also got the Kiwi camp away which gave lots of kids a fantastic outlet in the summer.

Prior to the pandemic, the first XV played some fantastic exciting attacking rugby resulting in a healthy (above Sevenoaks) finish to the 2019/20 season. They have established themselves fully in L&SE premier and I know they are now keen to push on and challenge themselves for promotion. Looking forward, Simon Whatling has been joined by Dave Marshall as our new DoR and Ben Kayser as our new forward’s coach. We have the best coaching team in the area and these guys should be a magnet to new members. Not sure Ben will thank me for the photo I used!  We don’t really know what the rest of the season holds, hopefully the first XV will take part in a friendly local tournament with teams like Sevenoaks, Westcombe Park, Dorking etc. Which would be an excellent opportunity to get behind your club and enjoy a celebratory atmosphere.  I am optimistic that the rest of our senior rugby and academy will ‘hopefully’ get going soon and get some rugby under their (ever growing) belts.

Ben Kayser – our new Forwards Coach

Importantly we have also kept a very keen eye on our finances. Our income has been severely impacted by the pandemic: Many of our sponsors are themselves under pressure, and I’d very much like to thank those who continue to support the club in these difficult times, Inevitably a few were unable to continue to support the club to the extent they had done previously. We also had to cancel all our usual fun (and fundraising) events; and have seen the bar sales reduced to nil. Typically, sponsorship, bar and events would account for roughly 2/3rds of our revenue. We have sought to replace as much of the lost revenue as we could, though new sources (puppy clubs, fitness clubs, school rentals etc. even a football academy), maximising the revenue opportunities afforded by the café (Thanks to Martha and crew). We were also able to secure a couple of grants and take advantage of VAT reduction and deferment schemes.  We have managed to significantly reduce our costs. Expenditure has been watched by everybody like a hawk to ensure we are as lean as possible.

Typically, membership subscriptions account for the remaining ~third of our revenue. This season we encouraged membership to be paid early and in full where possible, and helped by the switch to Spond, 65% of membership subscriptions were paid prior to the start of the season. There are still a small number of members who could help us here…. We have been overwhelmed by people’s generosity in donating funds from cancelled tours, cancelled youth balls and supporting the club in many other ways. Thank you everyone, for working hard to achieve the above. I am delighted to say despite the unusual circumstances we are in good financial health and have clear visibility of cash to see us through to next season. Special thanks as always to Don Bailey for taking on the extra work requires to afford us month-to-month forecasting.

Off the pitch, we have secured new volunteers who are doing ever broader roles for the club. Our press and marketing group in particular has grown fantastically. Thank you for some amazing articles, great coverage, good sponsor interaction and of course those fun videos. Our members also engaged in helping the locally community, and collectively raised £6,000 for Nourish and Hospice in the Weald, through the 6-nations challenge; and the U13s race between kids/parents to Rome.

Looking towards St. Mark – during 2020 we invested in the clubhouse and grounds: new PA system outside, new sound system inside, new Café, new decking and gazebo (see photo). We have kept up progress of our 3G planning application (thanks to Richard Bains). The club is progressing our development plans and with our planning consultation back (and positive) we have created a new Development committee under the leadership of Steve Daly to progress our ambitions here. If you have time to help, then do let Steve know (

Moving into 2021, all sections will continue to deliver as much rugby as the Government and RFU allow us to. We know how important this is and we can’t wait to get some fixtures delivered too. As soon as circumstances permit; we also hope to be able to gather our membership and enable some very much needed and valued social interaction. Can’t wait to get that club room open when it is safe to do so, and enjoy a pint with friends. 

And with that thought of a pint with friends I wish you all a Happy New Year. Let it bring health, happiness and lots of rugby!