History of the Club

History of the Club

Little did Des Pastore know when he attended the AGM of St. Bede's College Association in 1954 that he would become a founder member of a new Rugby Club. He was a former player for Sale and for Cheshire.

The Captain of the College's First XV said he would start an Old Boys Club and Des agreed to help. So he gathered former pupils from clubs in the Manchester area and hired a field on Mauldeth Road from a farmer. Using his influence he obtained fixtures that included the reserve teams of Sale, Birkenhead Park and Bradford. Under the captaincy of Denis (Rusty) Ryan they won 23 games out of 31 and were semi finalists in both the TOC H 7s and the Shell 7s.

Adjoining the farmer's field was the abandoned Chorltonville Tennis Club that had become the property of The Manchester Guardian Bowling Club. Being an ex employee, Des contacted them and offered to do up the Clubhouse if the Old Boys could use it during the winter. They agreed and in 1957 St. Bede's bought the land and the Clubhouse. The club expanded rapidly but they had only one Rugby pitch. Under the captaincy of Pat Chamberlain, the club had a successful run for three years. In 1962, 63 and 64 they played a total of 102 matches and won 73 of them.

It was obvious that a new ground was necessary and in 1965 Des formed a sub committee to find one. Ged Kendrick, an Old Bedian and a solicitor, noticed that a sports ground in Didsbury was for sale. It consisted of 16 acres of playing fields with a wooden clubhouse. The going price was £13,000. With the help of the Sports Council, plus the sale of Chorltonville, the Old Bedians Association and a benefactor, the ground was purchased. At the suggestion of Lal Delaney, the Old Bedians Football Club was invited to move to the new ground and to share the facilities.

1966/67 saw the first rugby season at Millgate Lane. The Old Bedians Sports Centre hosted the Glengarth 7s and inspired by this ran it's own 7s for the next 20 years. By 1968 it was running teams plus Mini Rugby and a Veteran XV. In 1989 when Tom Evans was Chairman Des Pastore was made President 'honoris causae'.

Keith Marsden was chairman from 1990 to 1993 and it was during this time (April 91) when car thieves torched a stolen car behind the clubhouse. The spread of the flames engulfed the building and destroyed it. This provided the inspiration for the member clubs to work together and a management committee was formed to work on 'Project New Building'. This team with the guidance of Keith and Vin Rossall (President 92-93), together with the help of a very co-operative builder, used the insurance money to build a new 2 storey brick and concrete clubhouse with facilities that are envy of clubs of all codes in the Manchester area.

Due to strong Irish connections of the membership, discussions began which led to the Oisin Gaelic Football Club joining centre and assisting with the viability of the new clubhouse. Oisins became members when a revised constitution was approved.

The 1st XV now compete in North Lancashire Division 2 and the club also fields a 2nd team every Saturday throughout the season in the University of Salford Intermediate League Division 4 South.