We welcome our visitors Old Colfeians to Knole Paddock on this our annual Vice Presidents’ Lunch, a special event in our calendar.
The Colfeians Club was formed as a “closed” club by former pupils of Colfe’s School, an esteemed Grammar School in South London. The club came into existence in 1928, just three seasons after SRFC, and soon established itself as a strong outfit playing all the substantial clubs in our County, which in those days included the strong Hospital sides and a whole gamut of Old Boys’ clubs similar to “Colfe’s”.
When leagues began in 1987, Colfe’s were placed in London 3 South East, but within four years had gained two promotions and advanced to London 1 in 1991. That was no flash in the pan and they went from strength to strength, winning the Kent Cup twice in 1992 and 1994. Six seasons later they achieved their highest position with promotion to the National Leagues and remained there for four seasons.
Following relegation and the increase in the number of overseas and paid players in many clubs, Colfes decided to open their doors to allow more players to join, while still keeping close contact with the school itself. Despite this change Colfe’s suffered further relegation and joined us in London 2 South East two seasons ago. However they saw that all was not necessarily doom and gloom as the quality of rugby in Level 7 remains high and, by their own admission, the social aspect and camaraderie at this level is from their experience second to none.
To my mind one man epitomises all that is strong and beneficial within Colfeians in particular and rugby in general, and that man is their current President John Nunn. John is known through the county and Metropolitan London as someone of great standing who has worked assiduously for more years than he cares to remember for the good of his Club and our game. On a personal note I took over as fixture secretary of SRFC in 1977 and John, who was already an experienced hand at the job with Colfe’s, was always available to offer good advice and willing to arrange matches at all levels – a real diamond.
After our tight loss to Tunbridge Wells last week, we need to get back to winning ways quickly as the chasing pack could catch us soon enough. Colfes have won three of their last four matches to start motoring up the table and they always play some quality rugby. We shall need to be on our toes to best these South London Old Boys.
All VPs have earned their place at the table today and the less regular attendees know that they will receive the usual SRFC warm reception every time they come, as will all opposition and other visitors.
Other London 2 South East fixtures being played today:
- Ashford v Tunbridge Wells
- Deal & Betteshanger v Beckenham
- Horsham Old Alleynian
- Hove Dartfordians
- Thanet Wanderers Crowborough