One of York’s oldest sporting clubs plans 125th birthday weekend

Rowntree RUFC in action. Photograph: Paul Lister
11 Feb 2020 @ 1.50 pm
| Sport

This is a very special weekend for one York sports club.

Rowntree Rugby Union FC will celebrate its 125th anniversary on Saturday (15 February), making it one of the city’s oldest sporting institutions.


The club was founded in 1894, during Joseph Rowntree’s time at the helm of the confectionery factory. At that time it was called ‘Rowntree Employees Football Club REFC’.

The anniversary takes place on the same day as their league game against Thirsk, which forms part of a celebratory weekend for Rowntree RUFC.

Exciting year

The original 1894 team
Club chairman Jim Baldwin said this weekend will kick off “an exciting year for the club”.

The match takes place at New Earwick Sport Club at 2.15pm. Rowntrees RUFC are encouraging old players and families to show their support by sharing memories from over the years, and wear their retro rugby kit.

The celebration is open to anyone who wants to celebrate the club and its history.

The 2019/20 squad

Over the years the club has had a big impact upon the community. Jim said:

  • We have more than 60 players currently registered for the club with six different countries represented – England, Wales, Ireland, Fiji, Swaziland and South Africa.

    We’re an extremely welcoming club, not only for players but also for their families.

    The playing structure is growing season on season and we have ambitions to maximise on this growth and give opportunity to anyone who wants to be involved in this fantastic sport.

Training takes place each week at York St John University sports facilities on Haxby Road, on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7pm – 9pm.