Almost 300 people attended a special landmark event at Old Rishworthians Rugby Union Football Club at Copley yesterday.
The event was held jointly to officially open the newly extended clubhouse and to mark the 50th anniversary of the original building opened on the site in May 1966.
Guests included past presidents, captains and players, representatives of other Calderdale rugby clubs and members of Rishworthians’ junior section.
Special guest was a former captain, David Ludlam, whose father Harry Ludlam was one of the club’s founders and as Mayor of Halifax opened the original clubhouse at Copley.
He explained that after a nomadic existence for 30 years the club decided to build a clubhouse and after looking at 22 sites chose the one at Copley.
He declared the new clubhouse a wonderful achievement, but said the club’s greatest achievement was its thriving junior section, running games for under-fives to under-17s.
He was introduced by current club president Ray Wadsworth, who also stressed the importance of junior rugby at the club.
The event started with a special competition of ‘walking rugby’ involving teams from the first team squad, veterans, under-17s and junior players’ mums and dads.
Coach Chris Stone also presented the season’s playing awards. The most improved player was Phil Kershaw, the best newcomer was Harvey Keighley-Payne and the outstanding player award was split with Nick Faulkner receiving it for the forwards and retiring former captain Gary Morris getting it for the backs.
Morris also won the players’ player award.
Music was provided throughout the event by the trio Gourmet Music.