Chris Smith was one of Kingsclere Rugby Clubs original founders. The start of the club stemmed from a conversation between Chris, Roly Ellis and Ian Balding one night in 1975 at The Crown. They rallied friends around and created the club in August of that year. A few months later they played their inaugural match.
For the next 27 years Chris was the driving force behind the running of the club, as Hon Secretary, until he sadly had a stroke in 2002
In 1991 Chris played an integral part in the Fieldgate Centre being built. He was keenly aware how it would enable the club to have a proper home. A few years later he was involved in getting the floodlights installed which has allowed a much greater flexibility in the way the team trains.
Chris passed away in June 2012. His impact on the history of the club was such that it was decided to have a memorial match in his name each year. The first match was held on Oct 13th 2012 with the aim of involving as many KRFC players/friends as possible. This match set the standard with old & new players alike taking part in an event which has fondly become known as the “Old Boys Match”. Chris would have absolutely loved this.
This annual match was a great opportunity to raise funds that could then be donated to charitable causes. The inaugural match raised funds for one of Chris’s preferred charities, the Hampshire Air Ambulance. Over the years the match has made donations to a fantastic group of charities.
- 2018 – Two Saints and Newbury Soup Kitchen
- 2017 – Macmillan Cancer Support
- 2016 – Macmillan Cancer Support
- 2015 – Muscular Dystrophy UK
- 2014 – RNLI
- 2013 – SUDC Foundation
- 2012 – Hampshire Air Ambulance
In 2016 some of the funds raised were by the club to also invest in a defibrillator. This vital piece of equipment is in place today thanks to the generous donations collected at the memorial match.
This year’s match is raising funds for the Wooden Spoon children’s charity.
“Wooden Spoon is the children’s charity of rugby, funding life-changing projects across the UK and Ireland to support children and young people with disabilities or facing disadvantage.
Wooden Spoon fund a range of projects, which are not just rugby focused, supporting approximately 70 projects a year including respite and medical treatment centres, sensory rooms, specialist playgrounds and community-based programmes.”
The match this year is on Saturday, 12th October. The match kicks off at 2:00. Immediately following the match there will be a full evening of entertainment. Enjoy a drink, make that high bid for one of the great items on offer in our auction or “Dutch Auction”. Have a go at “nearest the bottle”. All the while enjoy local band “The Only Band in the Village” that will be playing throughout the night.
See you there.