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Whole New Ball Game On Rugby Football Pitch

What would William Webb Ellis have made of the sight of the rugby posts being removed for a game of football? 

While the schoolboy converted the game of football to rugby, there will be a small u-turn this weekend when a newly-reformed soccer club moves in to the home of Rugby Lions.

The usual home crowd will only see 11 players in a team when Rugby United take to the Webb Ellis Road pitch on Saturday afternoon.

The name of the club is a reminder of the old Rugby Town which folded many years ago, and there have been several reports of it being resurrected.

The mayor, MP, a brass band and a parachutists will welcome the reformation of Rugby Town who play their first league game at 2.45pm. 

While Rugby Carnival will occupy many in the town centre, the team hope the crowds will come and support them in their first league game.Town will play West Midlands Police in the Midland Combination Division Two.

An agreement was struck to alternate Rugby Town’s and Rugby Lions’ home games so they can ground share. 

And to save the pitch, training and colts’ games will be played on another pitch

With the new team built from scratch, Rugby Town in tangerine and black have won two, drawn one and lost one of its friendly pre-season games.

Players for the new team have come from some United Counties team as well as junior sides in the town. Goalkeeper Mark Bradley used to play for the Rugby Town under-18s.

Martin Flear, Rugby Town manager, said:

“We had these junior sides but as they grew older the players left and went to play for other sides. We needed a senior side to keep them and that was how Rugby town was set up.

“Some players from the old Rugby Town have been invited back to the game on Saturday.

“It is going to be a good day, we are going to have a carnival atmosphere and we hope people from the carnival in the town come along and join in.

“Rugby United are away this weekend and hopefully people will be able to come to our home matches one weekend, and theirs the next. I don’t think people care what league you are in as long as you keep winning.

“I hope we will see 300 people on Saturday and they keep coming back. We are nothing to do with Vs/Rugby United, but between us we are keeping up the interest in football in Rugby and that has to be a good thing.”

Weather permitting, a parachutist should drop into the ground with the matchball to see the kick off and the start of soccer on the Webb Ellis Road turf.

The first big derby game for them is against Rugby AFC, the junior side of Rugby United, who are in the same league as Rugby Town. That will be on Bank Holiday Monday evening at the Butlin Road Ground.

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CWN / Sport / Football / Rugby Town / 17 Aug 00

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