Littlemore Rugby Club History, Rules and Documents
A Club Built by players, For players
Littlemore Rugby Football Club was formed in the summer of 1976 – the major driving force being Mr Lynn Evans, the Head of PE at Peers School who coached the club up until the late 1980’s when he moved on to take charge at Chinnor RFC.
Littlemore started off very much as a community club and has continued to be so ever since, although it has always had the unique ability to attract players from all parts of Oxford to come and enjoy their rugby in Littlemore.
A major feat in the club’s history was the building of the Clubhouse on the grounds of Peers School in 1985, prior to this the players and supporters would adjourn to the George Public House in the village for their post match festivities where Jim and Barbara Adams proved extremely hospitable hosts!!
“And my mind goes back to our first spiritual home in the back room of The George in Littlemore (and later, unbelievably, in a shed out the back) where we would gather, thanks to the support of a great landlord Jim Adams.”
“After matches we would have a few pints and, wishing to carry on the merriment, I would invite the lads (sometimes girls as well) to our house in Marston where my wife Margaret would make huge amounts of chilli con carne to go with the beer we had brought with us. We often had a house full of hulking rugby players eating, drinking and singing but at the end they had washed and dried the dishes and cleaned the place up as if nothing had happened.”JOHN BATEY (JB)
Opening our clubhouse was a marvellous achievement but it was the end of a special era as well as the beginning of a new one!
Founding members, father and son – Kevin & Noel Heffernan, along with Cameron Wilson were the key movers behind the building of the clubhouse – which is unique in England as the first licensed premises on school grounds in the UK! A testament to their hard work is the fact that the clubhouse still stands proudly in the same place today, despite Peers School now being taken over by a private consortium and re-named the Oxford Academy.
The club has enjoyed many memorable moments during it’s fairly brief history, including Giant Killing victories in the County Cup over the “Big Guns’ of Oxford and Banbury during the 1980’s, and just missing out on Final’s appearances when losing to Henley in the semi-finals twice! The Introduction of the County Plate now named the Shield saw Littlemore at last gain some silverware when they defeated Wallingford to win the first ever Plate competition in the late 1990’s and then travel to Iffley Road in 2004 to defeat the same opposition – very much against the odds to win the Plate for a second time.
The introduction of League rugby in the mid 1980’s saw Littlemore’s performances improve, but just miss out on promotion to Southern Counties from Bucks, Berks, Oxon Premier on numerous occasions and thus perhaps stall the development of the club as a major force in the county. However, the club has always prided itself on an ethos of playing the game for enjoyment first with victory a bi-product of performance and it continues to up-hold this mantra to the present day!
However, it has not all been plain sailing with the club pulling out of the leagues midway through the 2006/07 season to rebuild from the bottom and has now cemented itself firmly in Bucks, Berks, Oxon Division 1 South after promotion in it’s first year back in the leagues.
“June 1984 was to be my introduction to Littlemore RFC; as a fresh faced, cocky young 23 year old I turned up for training on a summer evening to be met by captain Dick Rudman and a group of what looked like ‘ navvies’ who were digging holes for the recently arrived new goal posts. At this point I had my reservations as to what I had let myself in for, but thankfully the warmth of the welcome extended to me was such that from that point on I never thought to look at another Oxford club for my rugby.“
Tim Stevens club President
“When I joined the club as Publicity Officer in the first season, I felt that we needed to have a strong identity, what they call ‘a corporate image’ nowadays. Our playing strip was plain white because that was the cheapest – not much identity there! I can’t remember where the blue socks came from, we probably bought them because they were cheap as well.
Anyway, there were our club’s colours, white and royal blue. With the strong community link in the club, I felt that I should do some local history research to find some ideas for our crest.
An area beyond Minchery Farm is known as Temple Farm, and this is where I started to get interested because Temple Farm was so called because of the existence of a link at that place with the Knights Templars. Now the Knights of St. John and Knights Templars fascinated me and here was a place near (in?) Littlemore where they had had a settlement.
I approached a good friend of mine, Jonathan Rawlinson , who was an art teacher at Peers School at the time, and told him what I had found and that I wanted a shield with some kind of knight’s head on it. The cross represented Christendom, so we would put the head in one comer. Jonathan devised a series of drawings for me to choose from.”John Batey