THE EARLY YEARS
Droitwich Rugby Football Club was founded in 1972 by a group of local rugby enthusiasts. Its original members didn't want to travel further afield to Worcester or Bromsgrove for home matches, so they became part of the St. Peter's Field Association. This allowed them to share the town's cricket pavilion and use the school for changing facilities.
Not long afterwards, the club established new headquarters and two pitches at the rear of the Vernon Arms pub in Hanbury, where they converted some stables, installing showers and changing rooms. Droitwich RFC played here for a number of years and established themselves as a growing ‘small’ club. A change of ownership at the Vernon made it no longer viable as an HQ.
The club then relocated to King George V playing fields, entertaining guests at the Freemason's Arms and then at the Old Fire Station. The latter on lease from the council was converted into the clubhouse, with bar, creating a unique atmosphere.
HAPPY TIMES ON HANBURY ROAD
It was during this nomadic period that the club identified and acquired a plot of land zoned for playing field use along the Hanbury Road. This was developed as the club headquarters and officially opened in 1984.
Droitwich RFC spent fourteen, happy years on Hanbury Road and this was the time of greatest expansion in the club’s history. The advent of league rugby in 1986 enabled Droitwich RFC to measure their development in real terms.
Another great leap forward for the club was the establishment of the Minis & Juniors section in 1990. Initially there were around 20 youngsters between the ages of 7 and 16, playing other local clubs with similar sections.
It was the rapid growth of the Minis & Juniors section (to around 100 youngsters by 1995) that provided the impetus to make the move to our current HQ.
ON THE MOVE AGAIN
With the town of Droitwich Spa growing rapidly during the 1990s, Droitwich RFC’s site on Hanbury Road came increasingly under the eye of local property developers. After much debate within the club the decision was taken to sell and move on.
In April 1998 Droitwich played their last game at the Hanbury Road ground and prepared for the largest, and potentially most daunting, move of their short history.
Funded by the £1.9 million windfall from the sale of the old ground, Droitwich RFC moved a mile up the Hanbury Road to its current home.
THE GLYN MITCHELL MEMORIAL GROUND
The Glyn Mitchell Memorial Ground, named after one of our founding fathers who did so much to acquire and develop the ‘old’ Hanbury Road ground, was officially opened on August 29, 1998.
The new ground is purpose-built and features four full-size pitches, two of which are floodlit, as well as a number of specialised mini & junior pitches.
The clubhouse, bar and changing rooms are excellent and bear comparison with the facilities of many clubs in higher leagues.
DROITWICH RUGBY CLUB GOES FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH
The club has taken great inspiration from its new surroundings and has gained two league promotions since taking residence.
The thriving Minis & Juniors section gives tremendous hope for the future.
Continued success is far from guaranteed, but, with hard work, Droitwich RFC can go from strength to strength.