Luctonians Sports Club celebrates 70 years of Rugby
Luctonians RFC began as Old Luctonians in 1948.
Predominantly a collection of old Lucton School boys, the side played its initial season in a field behind the Angel Inn in Kingsland, and whilst as humble as those beginnings may have been, the club could boast of having contained our one and only ever current England International at the time in Douglas Brian Vaughan.
The club moved just up the road into Mortimer Park, and what is now our home, in 1967, creating a site that consisted of two playing fields, changing rooms and clubhouse.
In 1987 the formation of the leagues saw Luctonians placed in North Midlands Division 1 and we would remain in this division until 1994, where we secured our first promotion as a club. The side went unbeaten through the 93/94 season, as they did through 94/95 and then 95/96, to secure what was at the time a Courage League Record of 43 consecutive league victories that stemmed from November 1992 through until October 1996.
The early to mid 90s were a hugely influential time for us as a club, because whilst the 1st XV were setting records and pushing the club on at the top end, the club took on its first full time employee in Club Administrator Simon Green-Price and we also began our very own Mini and Junior Section, which would go on to be the foundation for producing the vast majority of our National League players today.
The three consecutive promotions of the unbeaten side had raised Lucs to Midlands 2 level, and we would remain here until 2001, when, coached by ex-Scottish International Stewart Jardine, we won a playoff at home against Wellingborough 20-13 to secure promotion to Level 5 and Midlands 1 Division and here we would stay until 2010.
Whilst the 1st XV stayed at the same level for a while over this time, the club as a whole continued to progress, as more land was bought for pitches, to keep up with the expansion of the place through particularly the mini and junior section. In 2003 the club also launched the Sun Valley Project, which was the beginning of what is today our Cargill Community Programme, which provides multi-sports coaching, for schools across Herefordshire and surrounding counties.
The club was very much growing as a force on a local level and this was reflected with four North Midlands County Cup victories in five seasons between 2004 and 2009. The other major achievement of this time was the construction of today’s clubhouse and changing facilities in the 2006/07 season, which allowed the club to move forward on a commercial level to the medium sized business that you see today.
Nine seasons at Level 5 on the field, had resulted in two promotion playoff defeats to Macclesfield (2003) and Huddersfield (2008), but in May 2010, the club would finally reach the National Leagues at the third time of asking in what was probably the club’s most important victory to date, away at Stockport 10-18, under the guidance of Stuart Bemand, Richard Henwood and former Gloucester man Viv Wooley. Promotion to this level brought a new approach from the club and Alex Davidson was brought in as full time Director of Rugby.
In seven years at Level 4, Luctonians have had some very memorable days, from beating both Fylde and Loughborough Students at Mortimer Park in our first season within this league, to beating Leicester Lions in front of a crowd of over 1100 to secure survival in the final game of the season in 2015. The club’s highest league finish to date was in 2012 as we finished 5th within this division.
Off the field the pre-match hospitality lunches are now becoming things of legend across the leagues as we sell out 150-200 lunches before every home game. The completion of the grandstand in 2013 also allowed the club to properly cater to the ever growing support that is received on a Saturday afternoon. Last season the club finished 12th in National League 2 North.