Kendal Rugby Union Supporters' Club
In September 1993, in what was then the national Pilkington Cup competition, Kendal were drawn to play away at York RUFC, who were in a league some way below that of their visitors. The result was a victory for York with the very last kick of the game - a big disappointment when Kendal had put in a performance which should have been good enough to secure the win. However, it had been a fine day in pleasant surroundings, and the hosts were generous. Possibly of much more significance for the Kendal club was what followed the visit. In the clubhouse after the game it was noticed that a number of the York supporters were wearing a distinctive multi-coloured tie indicating that they were members of the 'Quality Street Club'. This was s group of members, operating independently, whose sole aim was personal support for the York players.
Being attracted by this idea, a few Kendal members met a couple of weeks later in the office of Colin Baker, at the time the President of the club, where it was decided to take things further. The outline of what was intended was publcised, personal contacts made, and later that season The Kendal Rugby Union Supporters' Club was formed. A distinctive new tie in the Kendal club colours of amber and black was provided; lady members were given a head scarf. Peter Davy and the late John Kremer were the original convenors, to be joined a little while later by John Chew.
Most of the 30 or so original members of the organisation were already fully paid-up members of the rugby club itself, but in addition made a separate donation to the Supporters' Club. Not long after the new club's appeal for funds, the convenors were enormously grateful and pleased to receive a very generous single donation of £500.
At first the club's income was spent on what was euphemistically described as 'post match refreshment' for the players - in other words, beer. Later, as resources grew, the operation became much more sophisticated, responding almost exclusively to requests by the club coaches and medical staff for assistance to the teams, or, more often than not, for individual players. This was treated in the strictest confidence.
The help was much appreciated by the recipients and included contributions towards, at the higher end of the scale, medical treatment and surgery, or air fares for the overseas players . Much smaller sums might be given if this could help with availability, for example to provide baby-sitters on training nights or Saturdays, or to recompense players who might be out of pocket when travelling to distant away games and missing a Friday afternoon's pay. On one occasion a pair of new boots was bought for a player who was out of work.
As one means of raising additional funds it was decided to hold a Supporters' Club Annual Dinner in addition to the traditional yearly event arranged by the rugby club. This resulted in a series of very enjoyable occasions with tickets in high demand. The convenors were extremely fortunate in securing the services of some very distinguished speakers, including Geoff Cooke, the former England manager, and Ed Morrison, a leading international and World Cup referee. Two former England captains in Dick Greenwood and Bill Beaumont, (also a British and Irish Lions captain) also accepted invitations, as did and John Spencer, a former England international and British Lion, who at the time was a member of the Rugby Union Management Board and president of the Wharfedale club. It is well worth noting that none of these gentlemen would accept any speaker fee or expenses.
In 2008, Peter and the two Johns handed over the running of the Supporters' Club to the new (younger!) team of Frank Jameson, Ron Hayes and Nigel Pearson, who brought new ideas and drive to the club, which continues to thrive.
For the 2016/17 season the current "Management Team" is Craig Hine, Nigel Pearson, Steve Capstick and Craig Ross
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