Our Story – Over 50 Years Old
Our Story – Over 50 Years Old - Image

Dronfield Rugby Club was formed in 1969 initially playing their home games locally at venues including Gosforth School, Rowlinson School and Coal Aston Playing Fields. Very few records exist before 1975 when the club became more established and ran two sides. Expansion continued through the late seventies and early eighties with the ability to run up to five teams and establishing a strong link with both Jordanthorpe and Ashleigh Schools in Sheffield.

In the late 1980’s National Leagues were involved with frequent subsequent re-organisations. The highest league the club reached was in the 1992-93 season when it played against teams such as Stoneygate, Hinckley and Ampthill in Midlands East Division One. After that the club returned to more local leagues based in Notts, Lincs, Derbyshire and Leicestershire.

The club also entered national and regional cup competitions and were;
1995 Derbyshire Cup Runners -Up
2006 Derbyshire Cup Joint Winners
2010 Derbyshire Cup Winners
2011 NLD Plate Final Runners-Up

In the past when it was traditional to hold end of season tournaments, Dronfield entered many seven a side tournaments. The highlight being in 1985 in the last Buxton 7’s when they were victorious and received as a prize a Stags Head which ever since has been associated with the club and forms part of the Club’s Badge.

Annual Tours have taken place to many different areas of the country and also to Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France and Belgium. Over a period of time, the club developed links with local colleges and universities which resulted in an influx of students joining the club and playing at different levels. Overseas players represented the club coming from France, Fiji, Thailand, Tunisia, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada and the USA.

After a two year period based at the Boundary Club in Sheffield close to the Derbyshire Border, the club then moved as an interim measure to Abbeydale Park in Sheffield (home of Sheffield RFC). However in 2009 after lots of hard work involving representatives from the Rugby Club and two local Football teams, AFC Dronfield and Dronfield Town FC, the club finally moved back to its ‘spiritual home’ playing at Gosforth Fields, Dronfield Woodhouse. Once again in Sept 2005 negotiations continued to gain funding for the development of the old Gosforth School site. Involved in this project as well as the newly formed Gosforth Fields Sports Association were Derbyshire County Council, Dronfield Town Council, The Football Association, the Rugby Football Union and Sport England. The outcome was a £2.5 million redevelopment of the sports pitches and the construction of a new clubhouse run jointly between Dronfield Rugby Club, AFC Dronfield and Dronfield Town FC. Now finally established a ‘fortress Gosforth Fields’ and with an increased player base, the club once again was able to provide mini and junior rugby for all ages. This strengthened the club and provided a long term future for rugby in the area.

In the 2016-17 season Dronfield were once promoted to a higher level playing their Rugby in Midlands One (East). Facilities at the club continue to improve with the playing surfaces recognised to be of a very high standard due to the support given to the club by sponsors Premier Pitches.

In 2021-22, the final year before yet more RFU restructuring of the leagues we had home and away league victories and a cup victory over Derby, previously regarded to be Derbyshire’s premier club.

The changes that came about at the beginning of season 2022-23 meant that despite appealing to the RFU for re-consideration, the club found themselves playing 1st XV League rugby in the RFU Northern Division, whilst remaining in the RFU Midlands Division for 1st XV Cup Competitions, 2nd XV Leagues and Colts Fixtures!!

In season 2022-23 The 1st XV were a creditable 6th in their first outing into Northern Division Leagues and were NLD Cup Runners-up. The Colts XV were NLD Cup Champions.

The continuation of the presence of the 1st XV in the Northen Division league structure for the Season 2023-24 means that they have league matches as far away as Scarborough, Bridlington Malton and Norton, Bradford and Rochdale and have no opportunities for the 1st XV and 2nd XV teams to travel away together.

With a strong Coaching Team now in place, increased training facilities, improvements to pitch-side team shelters, sophisticated camera recording of matches to give post-match analysis opportunities and increased local publicity, the future for the Club looks very positive.

Club Sponsors