Orrell RUFC Covid Recovery A Black & Amber Future

by Orrell RUFC in Orrell, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 1st February 2021 we successfully raised £16,005 with 184 supporters in 76 days

The Covid pandemic halted income for our community club. Already homeless, renting facilities, getting funds has never been more important.

by Orrell RUFC in Orrell, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Well, we did it – and then some!  Our total on-line was £16,005 but our overall total with our cash donations and a fabulous last-minute donation from Dr1ve Medicals was an amazing, never-dreamed possible, £19,160.

We wish we could say a huge thank you to each and every one of you personally but unfortunately, we can’t so for now please accept the heartfelt gratitude and thanks for your support, kindness and most of all your donation to our campaign from everyone at Orrell RUFC.   This will make a huge difference to our Club and will ensure that the black and amber will continue for a very long time!

There is lots of work going on to ensure that we can not only return to rugby but return safely in whatever controlled conditions and with whatever guidance and protocols we need to follow.  There is also lots of other work going on during the downtime.  We’ve updated our 5-year business plan; we’ve produced a Return to Rugby Plan (so that whenever we are giving the green light, we are ready to go; our website and social media channels are being updated; we’re updating and reviewing our use of the RFU Game Management System and our data protection policies to name a few.  

We also extremely busy with our Joint Venture with Winstanley Park Cricket Club, developing our home and pitches at Winstanley Road.  We are working really hard to make this happen and are progressing and updating our grant applications and fundraising (where we can) to achieve the dream.  Our application to Sport England for a major grant is currently on hold due to the pandemic but this gives us an excellent opportunity to improve and update our business plan to accompany our application; so, things are still moving ahead on this.

So, lots going on and the future is not only black and amber but exciting and moving forward apace.   We will, of course keep you updated with progress on all our projects, when we can eventually return to rugby and where and how.

In the meantime, let’s support our NHS and key workers and the fantastic work they are doing during these very challenging times, by staying home, following all the guidance, protecting the NHS and staying safe and well.

Yours in sport

 Tony Havlin & the Executive Committee on behalf of everyone at Orrell RUFC

Our vision for the future is to become a hub at the heart of the community used by all ages, offering a range of participation sports, health and wellbeing activities or just for personal social interaction to be used and enjoyed by all the community 7 days a week.

A Place We All Want to Be.

We Need Your Support Now More Than Ever

The impact of Covid-19 has resulted in us losing our rented facilities on which to train and play, our access to other facilities closed and no income/revenue for the last six months. We still have no idea when we can dust off our boots and get back to rugby.

This interruption in income seriously jeopardises the future of our Club, not just the planned grounds maintenance we had hoped for in order to improve our facilities on games days but also the ability to provide fitness and training facilities for our players and ensuring we have a Club/home/ground to come back to post-Covid-19.

Saturday matches were also a chance for our local community members to get together, catch up with old friends and, for some, a chance to get out of the house. During the pandemic, as some may be shielding, they have not had that chance to get out and enjoy something they love.


We are therefore calling on our local community, club members, supporters, our local residents and businesses to try and help get us through this crisis and get us back on track.

Our club is entirely run by a family of volunteers. These volunteers deliver over 3000+ hours per year in volunteer time, maintaining the facilities, delivering community and social events, running the bar and merchandise shop on match days, coaching, safeguarding and child protection, managing fixtures and training schedules, memberships, the club’s finances, governance and grants.


Whilst the generosity of volunteers keeps the club running, maintenance and development costs money. To cover our costs, the club is largely reliant on memberships, sponsorship, match-day revenue and social functions.

Not only did all this come to an abrupt halt in mid-March with the Covid-19 outbreak with the facilities forced to close but we are now having to seek and secure other training facilities and support from other sources – which costs money.  With no return to rugby and no fundraising or events allowed in the foreseeable future this will cause a considerable drain on the Club’s limited finances.


What Will We Do with Your Support?

Before lockdown, the club were planning to upgrade the playing facilities at our home ground facilities (St John Rigby College); installing drainage and improving the pitch in preparation for the start of the new season and provide a second pitch on the outer fields for our 2XV and 3XV home games.  


However, the lack of income from the current season means that this will now not happen. In addition, due to the closure of the College, the open age teams need to find somewhere else to train, keep fit and remain together both mentally and physically.

As a community club, we are very conscious of the effect on the mental and physical well-being of not just our players and members but the community as a whole without access to sports and the companionship and friendship that brings.


The continuation of our facility improvements, providing opportunities for training and fitness and being a community club are critical if we are to continue growing our open age, mini and junior section and establishing new playing opportunities for our girls’ section

Any pledges received will be used to get this all this work, back on track by providing the necessary funds to

  • Hire additional facilities for training so we can get back together to train and keep fit in our social bubbles and look after our mental and physical well-being
  • Provide other avenues of training (such as gym sessions or online training videos) and keep our players healthy and fit in preparation for the return of the game
  • Provide equipment needed coaching our Mini & Juniors in a Covid safe environment; in line with RFU guidelines.
  • Continue our work with local schools to provide an introduction to rugby through fun & fitness and our rugby taster sessions.
  • Look at providing other social activities (that may have to be socially distant) for our non-playing members who perhaps only saw a friend or neighbour at a game
  • Provide RFU approved  training & coaching courses for our new coaches to enhance our growing Mini & Junior section.
  • To start putting in place the grounds maintenance on our pitches so that when we do return to rugby, we are ready to provide first class facilities for our home games


So please make a pledge and 'past it on!

Our Story

Orrell RUFC is a very proud and much-loved rugby club, with an equally proud and much-loved history. 


Established in 1927, the Club had a very nomadic life during its first seasons; playing their home games at quite a few different pitches until the club obtained the lease of a ground and hut in Winstanley Road in 1937. as the tenants of Orrell YMCA (at a very costly yearly rental of £4). Orrell played there until 1949 when our long association with Edge Hall Road began, little did we realise this time would be our rise to the top.  In 1971–72 we won the resurrected Lancashire Cup without conceding a point, which also qualified us to take part in the following season's National Knockout Competition. In the second round we defeated the famous Harlequins and received nationwide press coverage, prompting the famous quote 'beaten by a lay-by off the M6!'

Building on such a proud history, even after we were misquoted as a lay-by off the M6, we have long supported the local community through its vision of being an excellent independent sustainable amateur Rugby Union Club and a leading provider of sports facilities in the area, recognised as a valued contributor to the local community.

Orrell Rugby is a high quality, well run club offering opportunities for all ages, genders and levels of ability; embracing the RFU core values by creating an environment and culture that promotes teamwork, discipline, respect and enjoyment and champions inclusion and diversity - whilst maintaining respect for our history and retaining our links with the past; incorporating changes in society, new ideas and new technologies and creating active communities. It has a long history of supporting other local groups in the area such as Eds (a charity for homeless veterans), Joining Jack and recently supported the first Orrell Heritage Weekend.

Whilst a top tier club, Orrell provided many Lancashire players, including Bill Lyon their current President and the late Des Seabrook who captained and coached Lancashire and coached the North of England to victory over the All Blacks in 1979. They also produced England players like John Carleton, who played in the 1980 Grand Slam team, winger Nigel Heslop, and Dewi Morris, at scrum half and other notable names such as Nick Easter and Austin Healey who both played for England.


Hoping to keep our proud history going, our 1XV will face new challenges/ opponents in the RFU North West 2 League when grassroots rugby is allowed to resume following the ongoing pandemic. Initially called the Development Team, the 2XV secured four successive back to back promotions in the Raging Bull Leagues, winning one cup final and narrowly losing out in another semi-final; and our amazing 3XV (who started life as a social/vets team) will start the season in the Nowirul Division 4N.

The backbone of any club has always been its Mini and Junior Section and at Orrell Rugby it is no different; with teams ranging from U7s through to U15s, a Colts and Girls Section; the section boasts over 120 boys and girls from U7s to U15s, we have been very successful with the Sale Sharks Player Development Programme and a number of our Junior Colts have now gone on to scholarships with Sale Sharks. Our girls’ section has gone from strength to strength with the players gaining success not only at county level but also with team rivals Wigan Warriors.  


These girls are not only superb and talented rugby players (don't forget these girls were successful in their trials and played for Lancashire after just one season) but are also fantastic ambassadors for the game and sport in general. We are very proud that these girls not only represent our Club and our girls/ladies’ section but the friendship and fun being active and taking part can be.


It goes without saying that we are also very proud that the vast majority of the current 1st XV squad came through the junior ranks, following in the footsteps of their parents and grandparents, including our current captain, Dan Huxley.

The club openly supports our players being: happy, healthy and active and taking part in other sports such as rugby league, football and cricket (or other sports of their choice) and is always willing to adapt and be flexible in terms of training and match days so that everyone can take part in whatever sport or activity they want to.   

We are also very proud of our reputation as an all-inclusive club, ensuring that everyone is treated equally and fairly and that everyone has access to sport in a manner that is relevant and appropriate to them.

The lack of a permanent home has not stopped our loyal supporters and we have had a very healthy membership of over 500; including social members who turned up to watch the teams play come rain or shine. Sadly, thanks to Covid-19, we can no longer host our supporters or be a part of our local community and we need to keep in touch, to grow and to help keep everyone healthy, happy and active.

We regularly worked with local schools in the area, providing coaching support or hosting events such as taster days during the World Cup with our school hosts.  This unfortunately has now all come to an end due to Covid-19 and means that lots of children are missing out.



This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£25 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Seeing as 2020 wasn’t all its cracked up to be ...

Seeing as 2020 wasn’t all its cracked up to be let's try 2021 vision with our latest reward from Hepworth & Hall Opticians. Pledge just £25 and receive a voucher for £50 off Glasses or Sunglasses. Combine this with their other offer of a free eye test for a donation to our crowdfunding page and you could be “seeing” your way to a great start to the new year …….

£2 or more

£2 Feel Good Donation

We would be grateful if you could pledge your support to this historic community club and enhance our work with all our communities. For each £2 donated you will be entered into a club raffle and receive a warm fuzzy feeling that you have supported the ongoing developments at the club and helped out in time of need. All names will feature in a thank you article in the programme on the first home game of the season; when the raffle will be drawn.

£5 or more

£5 Donation - 2 Home Game Beer Tokens

For just £5 you will receive 2 Beer Tokens that can be exchanged at the bar (of any home game) for any of the extensive range of draught beers, larger or ciders. This offer is strictly limited to one reward per person - ie you can’t apply for numerous Beer Tokens (although we'd love to see you buying beer at all our home games).

£10 or more

The Reward is the Giving-I'm happy to just donate

Thank you for just donating; your generosity is very much appreciated and will be recognised in our match day programme thank you.

£10 or more

0 of 1 claimed

1/3 off Bronze Strength & Conditioning Package

Wigan Strength & Conditioning is a high performance coaching service provided for youth, adult and mature athletes as-well-as every-day people looking to improve their lifestyle and sporting ambitions, based in Wigan. Pledge £10 and receive 3 months of a Bronze S+C package for the price of two (redeemable from Wigan S+C) - usually £240 but you will A saving of £80 for a £10 pledge!

£15 or more

3 of 20 claimed

Children's Kit Lucky Dip

Pledge £15 and receive a piece of Orrell RUFC Children's Kit, ranging from polo shirts to hoodies. Free boot bag with every donation received. Items in this range retail from £20 up to £35 normally.

£15 or more

12 of 20 claimed

£15 Club Supporters Kit

Pledge £15 and receive the ultimate Club Supporter Kit: Embroidered kit bag (to keep it all in); Club Tie; Club Pin badge and an "I Follow Orrell RU" car sticker. Free Pair of Orrell RUFC Branded Oddballs with every pledge. Total package would be worth £22 if bought separately.

£15 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Pledge £15 for a free Cut & Blow Dry worth £29.50

Kindly donated by Lisa Kirkwood, Owner & Head Stylist at Maria Costello, a free cut and blow dry normally priced at £29.50. Date and time to be agreed.

£15 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Free Gel Nails Manicure

Just £15 will secure you a free gel nails manicure kindly donated by the Nails Team at Maria Costello. Date and time to be agreed. Normally priced at £25.

£20 or more

0 of 2 claimed

£20 Hair & Beauty Discount

Maria Costello Hair and Beauty are delighted to offer 50% off any hair and beauty treatment at the Salon. Specialising in a wide range of hair and beauty treatments, Maria Costello Hair & Beauty have over 19 years’ experience covering all hair and beauty needs under one roof with a lovely friendly team waiting to welcome you!

£20 or more

0 of 1 claimed

1/3 off Silver Strength & Conditioning Package

Wigan Strength & Conditioning is a high performance coaching service provided for youth, adult and mature athletes as-well-as every-day people looking to improve their lifestyle and sporting ambitions, based in Wigan, Pledge £20 and receive 3 months of a Silver S+C package for the price of two (redeemable from Wigan S+C) - usually £360 (you pay £240). A saving of £120 for a £20 pledge!

£20 or more

5 of 8 claimed

Free Sport Massage & Injury Rehabilitation Session

Pledge £20 and receive a free 1 hour sports massage and injury rehabilitation sessions Courtesy of Matt Stott Sports Therapy and Massage (Member of Sports Therapists)

£25 or more

6 of 10 claimed

£25 Discounted Club Membership

DISCOUNTED CLUB MEMBERSHP OK it’s a small discount but hey get your membership paid and it all helps the club out!

£30 or more

12 of 40 claimed

£30 Club Kit Lucky Dip

Donate £30 or more and you will receive an exclusive piece of Orrell RUFC kit. Could be a polo shirt, could be a rain jacket, could be … a beach towel …. who knows!

£40 or more

0 of 1 claimed

1/3 off Gold Strength & Conditioning Package

Wigan Strength & Conditioning is a high performance coaching service provided for youth, adult and mature athletes as-well-as every-day people looking to improve their lifestyle and sporting ambitions, based in Wigan, Pledge £40 and receive 3 months of a Gold S+C package for the price of two (redeemable from Wigan S+C) - usually £450 (you pay £300). A massive £150 saving for a £40 pledge!

£100 or more

4 of 8 claimed

£100 for a 1/2 page in our Match Day Programme

£100 or more ½ PAGE MATCH DAY PROGRAMME ADVERTISEMENT Pledge £100 and you will receive a ½ page full colour advertisement in the matchday programme for a full season and the company logo featured on our website. Programme is distributed as far as Australia!!!

£350 or more

4 of 10 claimed

£350 Help Us to Help You with a Pitch Side Advert

We want to support local business. Pledge £350 today and we'll reward you with a pitch perimeter advertising hoarding for 12 months and the company logo featured on our website + logo featuring in the sponsors page of the match day programme for the season

£20 or more

1 of 1 claimed

A relaxing Back, Neck & Shoulder Massage for free!

Get a free relaxing back, neck and shoulder massage from the Beauty Team at Maria Costello. Normally priced at £31. Date and time to be agreed.

£20 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Robert Kitson "Exe Men"

Orrell 26 Exeter 20 It’s a long time ago that we were on the field of Twickenham against @ExeterRugby, one of the finest sides in English rugby at present. We have fond memories of that day, and they have been captured in our latest reward for our CrowdFund. Robert Kitson, Rugby Union Correspondent at the Guardian since 1999, has sent us a signed copy of his book ‘Exe Men’. For a £20 pledge you can get your hands on this signed copy!

£25 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Tea in Mayfair Hamper from Marks & Spencer

Courtesy of Properly Integrated Planning Limited, we are delighted to offer a Tea in Mayfair Hamper from Marks & Spencer. Hamper includes delights such as Rosé Vino Spumante Rosé, Gold label tea tin Scottish shortbread tin, Devon scones & British strawberry jam & Cornish clotted cream buttercream cake amongst others. All presented in a hamper. Retail Value £50.

£25 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Garden Maintenance for Just £25

A full day's garden maintenance from Jones Lawncare & Garden Maintenance. Get your garden ready for spring with a full day's maintenance for a pledge of £25 (normal rate is £105 per day).

£25 or more

1 of 1 claimed

£25 for an eye catching reward

Looking at our total you may feel you need your eyes testing and that's where Hepworth and Hall Opticians come in! For a pledge of £25 you will receive an eye test and OCT scan worth £49.50. Offer to be redeemed by 31/1/2021, We are delighted to work in partnership with Hepworth and Hall Opticians in bringing you this really great reward and thank them for their generosity and support.

£30 or more

6 of 6 claimed

£30 Orrell RUFC Padded Gilet Exclusive

Keep warm whilst watching your favourite team in action. Only 1 available in each size XS/S/M/L/XL/2XL. RRP £39-£45.

£40 or more

8 of 8 claimed

£40 Match Ball Sponsors

Why not join our growing band of reputable local business sponsors. Each £40 donation entitles you/your company to be the match ball sponsor for a first team home game, including acknowledgment and logo in the match day programme.

£40 or more

2 of 2 claimed

Round of Golf for 2 Plus Lunch Plus Buggy

A round of golf for 2, including lunch & buggy at Houghwood Golf Club – with magnificent panoramic views over the Lancashire plain and the Welsh hills makes Houghwood an interesting course to play. At par 71 and 6388 yards for men, and 5341 yards par 71 for ladies, it provides a stimulating and pleasurable test of skill. The large greens built to USGA specification are probably the finest in the area. Package would normally cost £100 for 2.

£100 or more

1 of 1 claimed

OWCSC Annual Dinner Dance: Table of 8

WN35 Music is a music journalism company based in Orrell who have offered a table of 8 at the Orrell & Winstanley Community Sports Club Annual Dinner. Get the family & friends together to enjoy a 3-course meal, some great entertainment and a chance to dance the night away. Date & venue all to be agreed (post Covid restrictions). Tickets are normally £35 a head (£280 for a table of 8) but WN35 Music will provide the table for just £100!

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