150th Season Update

With the end of the 23/24 season and the fantastic achievement of the first team in securing promotion to National League 2, we can pause for a short breath from rugby before turning our attention fully to the 150th anniversary season officially beginning in September. That we can now proudly say we are a National 2, level 4 club could hardly be a better foundation for the celebrations to come and is testament to the players and staff as well as the longevity of the club and all of those involved over a century and a half.

But even as the empties are cleared away and the trophy securely placed in the cabinet, preparations for the new season are picking up speed. Before I describe these, it is worth reminding everyone the aims of the overall programme – to raise money to improve as many of the pitches as possible to benefit every member of the club.

Plans are now well advanced for a mini and junior rugby festival in the opening weeks of September, and you will soon be seeing advertisements for an Oktoberfest at the rugby club. We haven’t run one of these events for a few years, but it promises to be a fantastic set-piece event to bring members and the local community together at Priory Park. It is likely to be very popular so watch this space. Other events already confirmed are a wine tasting evening and an end of season black tie event and the possibility of an evening with a famous British Lion. There is a schedule of other ideas that are maturing including quiz nights, race nights and hopefully a sportsman’s dinner. Some of these need people to organize and we will be approaching individuals or groups over the coming weeks. However, if you have any ideas for an event that you would like to run on behalf of the club or your section, please do contact me.

We have also approved the first tranche of merchandise to commemorate the season. Initially, these will be lower cost items such as branded water bottles and bucket hats. Jim’s Jerseys are producing a really smart retro design rugby jersey in cotton (remember those folks) and we are approaching O’Neills to discuss additional branding on their range of T-shirts, hoodies and so on. These will all be available for the start of the season and we plan to release more exclusive gifts such as tankards, jewellery and other clothing as we approach Christmas.

Finally, I want to mention we are going to start a 150th season tile wall in the entrance area to the club. Club members, families, local businesses or any other organisation can buy a tile which will have their name on it (or any other wording they want) to show their support for the club in perpetuity. Already we have a tiler and a talented local calligrapher confirmed so if you are interested in securing one of the early tiles in the prime central locations, please do contact me.

Normally at this stage of the year, it’s nice to take a breather from rugby and give the liver a rest but already there is a palpable sense of excitement for next season. I look forward to announcing further details over the coming months and to working with new faces to make the forthcoming celebrations the success they should be.

Pete Harper

President

MRUFC

#maccrugby

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