History Of Linley & Kidsgrove RUFC

Linley Rugby Club started as the English Electric (Kidsgrove) works team in September 1961, when Erwin (Taff) Davies put a notice on the Social and Athletic Association board, inviting people interested in Playing rugby to attend a meeting.

At that time both the Switchgear and the new, rapidly growing Computer Department of EE had been located at Kidsgrove, and were attracting a lot of graduates and people from the local grammar schools, many of which played rugby. So it was no surprise that enough people turned up for it to be viable to go ahead and form a rugby section. An application was made to the S&AA for the use of a pitch, and also for some funding for some kit etc., and this was duly granted. We did not get a pitch for actual games, but we did get use of what was then a football pitch at Bathpool for training. We bought some rugby shirts and had a photo taken for both the Company in-house magazine and The Sentinel. After a number of training sessions we had a full training game at Goldenhill School in December 1961.

The first actual game in January 1962 was against Old Longtonians on a very exposed and sloping pitch on the old Longton aerodrome, and from then on we played most weeks until the end of the season, picking up games against the local clubs.

The 1962-63 season started with an influx of new players and continued with all away games, as had the previous one. That was until Christmas when the worst winter of the century started and continued until almost Easter. We had continuous snow and frost. We met and selected a team every week but we only managed to play a few games before the end of the season.

The next season we made real progress when we got the promise of some land in Cedar Avenue, Alsager for a pitch, and the use of an old pumping station as a changing room. It was at this point that we had enough people to form an extra team.

The Club went from strength to strength and in 1969 won the Potteries Cup, beating the local premier club, Stoke, at their new ground in Barlaston.

1967 saw the provision by English Electric of new rugby and cricket pitches at Oakhanger, just outside Alsager, together with the use of the new Social Club in Milton Park, Alsager. This was a tremendous boost for the Club and before long we were running five sides. Unfortunately various mergers and takeovers were happening at English Electric and the emerging companies- GEC and ICL were not as interested in the social and sporting activities of their staffs and the level of support dwindled. It was at this point that the Club changed its name to Linley (in 1972). Eventually the grounds in Oakhanger were sold in 1983 and the Club was forced to find new facilities. Great Chell Cricket Club offered changing and social facilities and new pitches were found on reclaimed land at Fegg Hayes. The move quickly proved to be disastrous as the pitches became unplayable after the first heavy rain, and so it was back to away games for the rest of the season.

Linley was on the move again and eventually got pitches at Clough Hall with the use of the Ski Club changing rooms for the start of the 184-85 season. The game itself was also changing with the introduction of leagues in 1987.Linley joined the Staffordshire Leagues and then the Staffordshire & Warwickshire Leagues in 1992. When these were broken up in 1996, Linley went back into the Staffordshire League, where we stayed until 2003, when we joined South Lancs/Cheshire Division Four.

2003 was also an important year for the Club, as this was when the Mini and Junior Section was formed. This has already paid dividends for the Club as in the 2008-2009 season five players who had started in the Mini and Junior Section became permanent members of the First Team. The 2008-2009 season was the most successful season in the Club's history as the First Team ended in second position in South Lancs/Cheshire Division Four, and also won the Staffordshire Owen Cup for the very first time. The Club now play in South Lancs/Cheshire Division Three.

 

 

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