History 1 of 3

1. History


It is rumoured that rugby was played in Romsey in the late 1890's as it was reported that ancient Salisbury RFC fixture lists of the time indicate matches against a Romsey side. (Rumours that one S. Lind was scrum-half in those early matches are, as yet, unsupported)
Records show that the very first fixture list for the newly formed Winchester RFC for the 1929/30 season shows a match against Romsey which they won 32-0. It is reported that the first social gathering of Romsey RFC took place at the Dolphin Hotel in 1930 when it was elected to retain the same blue and gold hoops that are used to this day.
After the war, rugby did not reappear in Romsey until 1964 when a Sunday side known as the Royal Tobys, playing at Embley Park School and using The Old House at Home in Love Lane after matches, came into being. The name Royal Tobys was derived from Bass Charrington Royal Toby Ale and the Royal Tobys were elected to the RFU on 1st September 1976.
The Tobys continued with great success right through the 70s and changed their name to Romsey Royal Tobys in 1980, moving to the Tudor Rose in the Cornmarket at the same time. For the 1980/81 season they went undefeated together with a run in the Hampshire Cup that ended with a quarter final match with Havant who went on to win the final. As a result for the 1981/82 season the teams became Romsey RFC on Saturdays and the Toby Jugs on Sunday mornings.
The 80's were another successful time for the club, 1983 seeing the club move to playing at Romsey Sports Centre for the first time and in 1988 the last of the Sunday morning rugby and with it the end of an era.
1987 saw the club move again, this time to the Abbey Hotel and the 90's saw continued success and the start of the Romsey Wasps Minis and Juniors together with the occasional 3rd and veteran's team fixtures.
From the very beginning there was always talk of the day when the club would have its own ground and clubhouse. Over the years, fund raising was always directed towards this end together with raising thousands of pounds for local charities.
The dream became reality and with the help of a substantial grant from the Foundation for Sports and the Arts, the groundsman's flat at Romsey Sports Centre was converted into our current clubhouse, opened in 1996 by Robin Smith, Hampshire and England cricketer and former Romsey RFC club player.
Having a clubhouse of it's own has been the springboard for a new successful era for the club and Romsey RFC now boast over 100 years of history. Established as a Hampshire Division 1 side, running 2 other senior sides and a successful Minis / Juniors section, Romsey RFC is seen by many as currently one of the most successful sporting organisations in the town.