DHTML Menu, (c)2004 Apycom

Club History

In 1927, members of Dunstable Grammar School formed a rugby section, based at Fensomes field in Leagrave. Unfortunately, following the initial commitments, the number of regular players dwindled forcing the closure of the club after only three seasons.

In 1948, a small group, B.J. Reason, J. Baker, G Sandiford, J. Hamilton, F. P. Rowe and F. M. Barncroft, made a new start, securing a new ground at French's Avenue. They later moved to Skimpot Lane in Luton, home of the now defunct Ceasar's Palace.

In 1954 a great step forward was made when a ground in Bullpond Lane was leased. The opening was marked with a match against an East Midlands invitation XV.

In 1957, club members erected the original pavilion using ex-war department huts from Whipsnade Zoo. This became a focal point and enhanced the club's reputation as the only one in the area with its own facilities and easy access.


In the sixties, with support from the Dunstable Schools Authorities, it was possible to use the schools facilities for some of the season. With the demise of rugby in schools, and other changes to the school sports programme, these facilities became less readily available. To make up for this, there was much appealing to the council for extra facilities, but to no avail.

It was eventually decided to purchase a new ground at Bidwell Hill in Houghton Regis, the club's present site. A new and dynamic committee was formed with the task of raising the funds required to provide Dunstablians with a new home, purpose built facilities and state of the art pitch floodlighting. The bulk of the funds was raised through the sale of the Bull Pond Lane site for a housing development.



In September 1985, the Club celebrated the opening of the new clubhouse, which were at the time, the best in the county. The Club hosted an International XV which included six past England Captains to mark the opening, and also hosted matches against an invitation county side and a touring side from Akron USA.

The club was officially opened by Hon. Life President John Reason and Alan A. Grimsdell, whose wise words at the ceremony were “bricks and mortar does not make a successful club only results do!” The club standard at that time of change of grounds was rather poor and when the leagues started in 1988 we lost no time in dropping a league.

Many stalwarts of the club had other ideas and slowly but slowly the standard started to improve by encouraging former youth members to return to the club.

From the mid 1990s the success was evident and another milestone was reached when the committee agreed to employ a professional coach. This coincided with the great teams under the captaincy of Damian Daize and when under coach Colin Jackson culminated in 1999/2000 winning the Intermediate cup at Twickenham. The success continued and in year 2001/2 we played at the highest level ever in the clubs history in Midland One and have attained a fourth position in a league that proves to display a good standard of rugby.

Youth Rugby

For over thirty years, Dunstablians have had a youth policy which in the past has proved extremely beneficial As a result the Club was recognised as the most successful in the East Midlands with three appearances in the premier knock out competition final within our area and numerous other trophies.

Today that policy still exists and the Club can boast some exciting talent rising through its ranks. Last season's under 16 squad remained unbeaten for the third successive season. Having beaten Bedford and London Welsh, the team played hosts to the visiting French Schools champions and on a wet and windy mid-week evening, played some excellent running rugby, beating the visitors in style. The current championship winning first team squad has 25 of the thirty members originating from the youth teams.

Not only is the club securing its future, by providing this facility it is giving local children the opportunity to play sport, make new friends, meet people from all walks of life and learn the traditional values based on the philosophy of rugby which has been down over the years. Dunstablians have youth teams for all children from seven to nineteen, all of whom meet on Sundays from 10:00am until 12:00.

Golden Jubilee

Last year was our 50th season and the fairy tale script could not have been taken from the "Boy'sOwn" manual. The 1997/98 playing season saw the best ever season for the Club. Having never been taken seriously by other stronger local clubs, the Dunstable squad led by captain Damian Daize played some excellent rugby to reach the final of the Bedfordshire Cup where they were narrowly beaten by the top team around - Bedford Athletic. Unperturbed, the young Dunstablians marched on to become league champions, losing only one league game during the campaign. As a finale, the Club won the Stockwood Park Sevens for the second time.

The Club has been fortunate for a number of years in having been sponsored by Initial CityLink. Managing Director, Dave Crawford, provided the backing for the celebrations which saw the Club host a prestigious boxing evening for 300 guests, a sportsmen's dinner with Jack Charlton for over 350 guests and the Grand Dinner and Dance for over 400 past and present playing members, which included founder members and united old players from South Africa, Canada, Portugal and many other parts of Europe. The Club's official guests included local MP Sir David Madel and the Mayor, Councillor Mrs Sylvia Powdrill.

Dunstablians Today

Today's members, unlike our founders who originated from the old Dunstable School, are an exciting collection of mixed nationalities and from every corner of the United Kingdom. The playing side of the Club is young and vibrant and full of character, boasting five senior sides. The Club committee has an excellent mix of ages groups which includes President Ross Barrington and Fixtures Secretary Dai Gabriel, who were both playing for the first team in 1953. This mix helps to ensure an objective view is always held while running the Club.

The rest of the membership includes the parents of the youth sides and their families. With very much a family environment, the club insists on holding onto the traditional rugby values and promoting sport for enjoyment and reward through success, not payment.

The clubhouse and grounds provide an excellent venue for functions with parking for over 100 cars. The Club is open to social members who simply want to be part of a club and use the exceptional facilities. Telephone 44 (0)1582 866555 for more details.

DRUFC is also the home to the Dunstablians Rugby Club Male Voice Choir who meet weekly. They perform many concerts each year, mainly for charity. They have won several music competition awards.

The Bedford chapter of the Harley Davidson Motor Bike Club meet on the second Monday of every month and hold regular social events in the clubhouse.