History of the Bridge
Robertsbridge Rugby Club was founded in 1993. Rather unusually this was done on the back of a minis team that already existed in the village. Matt Eldridge contacted a variety of relatives, friends and friends of friends and organised the first training for senior players, which comprised six people at the first session! From little acorns……Within a few months the word had spread. Fathers of the minis were persuaded, new players were attracted and retired players pulled out of their wheel chairs. If you could walk, you could play. If you couldn't walk you could go on the wing!
On 23rd October 1993, wearing a sky blue kit, our first match was played against Crowborough III and a 43-14 victory was achieved. Robertsbridge Rugby Club had arrived. In June 1994 we obtained our affiliation to the RFU and were thus eligible to join the Sussex League for the 1994/5 season. The season ended with Robertsbridge at the bottom of the league with four points. Relegation was only avoided by the fact there was no where to go!
The following years were met with varying degrees of success on the pitch culminating in promotion to Division 2 at the end of the 1997/8 season. Our promotion lasted a season!
Since 1998 all but three of that team have retired and we have been building again. In the 2003/4 season, our tenth anniversary, we finished fourth in Sussex Division 3, having scored the most points in the clubs history. In the same season we joined the Kent Merit Table and finished third, having scored 319 points.
In 2003 the Bridge Babes Ladies Team were formed as a social club for female supporters of the club. The babes celebrated their first tour to Dublin in 2006.
The tenth anniversary season saw greetings and well wishes received from many sources including premier clubs and an article and picture in the World Cup edition of Rugby World. This was the first reference to the club in an international publication and it is hoped that it will be the first of many. To mark this anniversary a new team kit was obtained. This consists of the usual blue and black quarters but incorporates a sky blue quarter to commemorate the first strip worn in 1993.
In 2004/5 the club narrowly missed promotion to Sussex 2 East, finishing in second place despite having scored more points, conceded less points and winning more games than the winners. Success was however achieved in the Kent leagues with the club winning promotion to Kent B as champions.
The 2005/2006 season was a historic year for Robertsbridge RFC. On Saturday 8th October 2005 Robertsbridge fielded two teams in competetive fixtures. Games were held in both the Sussex Three East division and Kent Merit 'B'. The Bridge celebrated this historic day with two victories. The season saw the Bridge gain promotion to Sussex 2 East as League champions and win the Sussex Single Team Championship, two well deserved pieces of silverware after the busiest season in the clubs history. In Kent the club maintained their B league involvement finishing in mid table. The commitment and dedication of all involved in playing and achieving these results despite a number of serious injuries was commendable.
The 2006/7 season saw the Bridge reach the finals of the Sussex Plate but finished runners up to a much younger and faster Sussex University side.
The club has used various venues throughout its history. The Seven Stars at Robertsbridge currently serves as the clubhouse and is the social centre for all off the pitch activities. In 2005 the club submitted their first planning application to establish a clubhouse and pitch at Redlands Brook in the centre of Robertsbridge.” Over the years, the club has strived to organise playing tours to satisfy member's requirements and to introduce new players to the joys of touring. In recent years the club has visited Bournemouth, Shrewsbury, Winchester, Ireland, the Isle of Wight, Towcester, and Brackley.
The Bridge has gone from strength to strength over the years and has benefited from the support and commitment of many people. In any history it is appropriate to name a few but for whom the club would not be in its present strong position. Matt Eldridge, Bernard Davies, Jeff Mersh, Jem Eldridge, Sally King, Dave Clewley, & Bill Gammell.