- Aldridge will host eight-team tournament to celebrate clubhouse opening
- Original club destroyed by fire in 2009
North Midlands club Aldridge will officially open their new clubhouse during a weekend of rugby activities on August 24 and 25, which will include two fundraising matches for the Help for Heroes services charity.
The original clubhouse at Aldridge’s Bourne Vale headquarters was completely destroyed by a fire in July 2009.
The club survived almost four years without a permanent home but will start next season with a brand new purpose-built pavilion at their traditional home ground.
Despite the circumstances, Aldridge continued to field two senior teams almost every week and the first team were unlucky to miss out on promotion on two occasions, most recently finishing third in Midlands Five West North last season. The second XV twice finished runners-up up in their Staffordshire Merit Table.
“Having been through such a traumatic event the club has done a fantastic job to not only survive but to come back stronger,” said Aldridge chairman Alex Reed.
“A huge amount of credit has to go to the members who despite having no training facilities and not having played a home game for such a long period of time managed to stick together and generate a really strong club spirit.
“A great deal of credit should also go to the committee, who have worked tirelessly to build the new pavilion and provide the club with a superb facility on which to build for the future.
“Finally, on behalf of the club I would like to offer a note of thanks to the local and wider rugby community without whom it would have been impossible for the club to survive. Within 24 hours of the fire I had numerous phone calls with offers of assistance ranging from small financial donations, offers of training equipment, balls, playing kits and most importantly pitches to play on and special thanks must go to Sutton Coldfield RFC and Veseyans RFC, who hosted our games in our time of greatest need.”
The new clubhouse was rebuilt with the help of a £70,000 grant from the RFU Capital Investment Programme and a £50,000 loan from the Rugby Football Foundation charitable trust.
The grand opening will take place on August 24 when an eight-team tournament will be staged at Bourne Vale. On August 25 Aldridge will field two sides against Help for Heroes XVs to raise money for the charity.