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Centenary-celebrating Midlands clubs to be honoured at Twickenham showpiece

01 February 2010

  • Bournville and Nuneaton OE to receive commemorative plaques
  • Midlands clubs join in stadium centenary celebration

Midlands One West rivals Bournville and Nuneaton OE will be presented with special commemorative plaques at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday February 6.

Bournville and Nuneaton OE will be at Twickenham as special guests of the Rugby Football Union because they are celebrating the centenary of their clubs at the same time as Twickenham Stadium.

England’s RBS 6 Nations opener against Wales marks 100 years since the two nations’ first encounter at the famous stadium and Bournville and Nuneaton OE will be among seven clubs whose own centenary will be marked at the historic occasion.

The Centenary Ambassadors; Rob Andrew, Bill Beaumont, Alastair Hignell and Dickie Jeeps and the RFU President, John Owen, will present plaques to Club Presidents from the seven clubs. Bournville and Nuneaton OE will be joined by Bancroft, Oxford, Huddersfield, Old Emanuel and Broad Plain.

Bournville were formed by employees of the Cadbury chocolate factory in the south Birmingham suburb and members of Bournville Athletic Club.

Though employment of Cadbury’s was a condition of membership until the early 1970s, Bournville are now an open club.

They are based at Rowheath, close to their original ground at the Cadbury Sports ground, and won the North Midlands Shield last season.

Nuneaton OE were formed on February 18 1910 as an old boys club of King Edward VI Grammar School in the Warwickshire town.

The Grammar School closed in 1974 and is now a sixth form college and Nuneaton OE became an ‘open’ club in 1955.

Nuneaton OE will be back at Twickenham on February 18 to celebrate their centenary with a celebration dinner in the Spirit of Rugby room in the stadium.

The plaque presentations to Bournville and Nuneaton OE at Twickenham Stadium on February 6 will form part of a wide range of pre-match and half time entertainment that reflects the rich history of the stadium and the match but which also has contemporary relevance.

The centrepiece of the pre-match show will be the singing of Jerusalem and the National Anthem by over 300 members of massed choirs laid out in a huge human St. George Cross with choristers drawn from local schools and amateur choirs and the London Community Gospel Choir backed by the Royal Artillery Band. Prior to this the local schools' choirs and amateur choirs will perform pre-match on the North, East and South concourses and the military band will perform a marching display on the pitch before kick-off before they all join together on the pitch.

As part of the pre match entertainment the RFU party will celebrate the bravery of injured service personnel by including in the guard of honour eight members of the armed forces from Headley Court and Selly Oak, two of the rehabilitation centres, all of whom were injured in recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq and who have overcome huge personal, physical and mental obstacles to be there on the day.

John Owen, President of the RFU, commented, "The Centenary Game is more than just a game of rugby and Twickenham is more than just a stadium. Over the last 100 years it has become part of the fabric of England and of the local community and a focal point of celebration for the game of rugby in the country and around the world.

“ We wanted to put on a show that would reflect all of that history and which allowed our community partners to be a part of it. At the same time, we have been closely linked with the military for most of those 100 years, including acting as an ammunition depot in the Second World War so the day will also allow us to recognise the fantastic work that our armed forces do every day in some of the most dangerous parts of the world. It will be a day rich with tradition."