A Fawley rugby club had much to celebrate with the opening of its first clubhouse.

Having shared facilities since 1935, Fawley RFC - based in Newlands Road, Fawley - now has a newly-built clubhouse to call its own.

The official unveiling took place this weekend, with Hampshire RFU President Dr Ed Neville present as a special guest while Fawley Parish Councillor Alan Alvey cut the ribbon.

Recognition of club members past and present were interwoven into the celebrations, with many key figures receiving a commemorative gesture.

Christine English unveiled a plaque for her late husband and Life Vice President Declan English, who passed away in May 2022 from cancer, while the Billy Do Bar officially opened in memory of Life President Bill Davies, who died this year.

The afternoon kicked off with a showcase of rugby from Fawley’s age grade sides, both girls and boys, ages 6 to 16 years. 

This was followed by the Fawley RFC 1st team taking on the 17th Port and Maritime Regiment, Marchwood Dolphins, in a game that was described as ‘epitomizing the family spirit of rugby’ by organisers.

A special touch after the match was that the Dolphins' Fijian teammates led a shared hymn – something that is a strong part of their culture and a traditional way of thanking and paying respect in sports.

Spectators unanimously agreed that it was a beautiful gesture and aligned with rugby’s values.

Jamie Burton from New Forest District Council and Jill Tomlin from Dibden Allotments Fund, who were both instrumental in obtaining grants for the club, were in attendance for the game.

The Wayne Morris Trophy, commissioned by Marchwood Dolphins for Morris’ immense service to both clubs, was presented to Fawley RFC’s Man of the Match, Ed Uglow.

Music duo "Into the Dawn" provided live music for the after-match celebrations that ran on into the evening. 

According to the club, the building of the clubhouse was thanks to the 'generous support of local businesses, in particular PC Building Supplies, Gracelands, Trant Engineering and Holbury Tool Hire'.