Banbury Rugby Club is kicking off its 100th season celebrations with an appeal to fans for memorabilia

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Banbury Rugby Club is kicking off its 100th season celebrations with an appeal to fans for memorabilia.

As the centenary season approaches, the rugby club is holding two Memorabilia Days on Wednesday-Thursday, June 26 and 27 at the Oxford Road clubhouse.

Spokesman Nick Rose said: “We have been doing quite well collecting and collating pieces of information and old pictures and we’d love to hear from anyone who has anything related to the club tucked away at home.

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"We hope past members and the general Banbury public will come along, see what we are displaying and bring anything they have which may be of interest,” he said.

The earliest Banbury Rugby Club team photographed  - picture taken n 1927 - 8The earliest Banbury Rugby Club team photographed  - picture taken n 1927 - 8
The earliest Banbury Rugby Club team photographed - picture taken n 1927 - 8

"The historical artefacts will be for display but also to form part of the much-anticipated centenary book – “One Club, One Hundred Years”.

“We would be grateful for more material – anything from old photographs, programmes, press cuttings, clothing, in fact anything relating to the club over the last 99 years. So, clear out your cupboards, search the attic and venture into that garden shed and bring along everything you can find. We are being sent a newspaper clipping which someone found behind a wall when they were doing some building work,” he said.

Mr Rose said with permission, items could be photographed or scanned to add to the book or a permanent display.

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"Maybe people might like to donate their items to clear a little space at home,” he said. “Banbury Museum has also offered us an opportunity to display a selection of our artefacts in their premises for a period during the summer.”

Phil 'Monty' Montanaro, Centenary President of Banbury Rugby Union Football ClubPhil 'Monty' Montanaro, Centenary President of Banbury Rugby Union Football Club
Phil 'Monty' Montanaro, Centenary President of Banbury Rugby Union Football Club

Anyone who can’t make the Memorabilia Days but has items of interest can email [email protected] to make alternative arrangements.

Those attending will be welcomed to enjoy a chat and reminisce and to have a lite bite and a drink at the bar.

Banbury Rugby Club has elected Phil ‘Monty’ Montanaro as the Centenary President.

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Monty moved to Banbury from Gloucester in 1989 to further his professional career. A Rugby Union Football fanatic, he immediately sought out the local club and played for Banbury for the next 20 years. He represented every senior team from the 1st to the 5th XV, finishing his playing days in the veterans’ side, the Old Nicks, helping them to win three county titles in the 2000s.

A programme for Banbury Rugby Club's Second Annual Dinner, held in 1927A programme for Banbury Rugby Club's Second Annual Dinner, held in 1927
A programme for Banbury Rugby Club's Second Annual Dinner, held in 1927

Monty has also held several positions on BRUFC’s Management Committee since 1990. And in 2008 was awarded Clubman of the Year in recognition of his contributions to the Club. This was eclipsed the following year when he was made an Honorary Life Vice President of the Club. In further recognition of his devotion to Banbury Rugby Club, Monty has been granted the ultimate honour of being elected President and will assume the position for the Club’s Centenary season, 2024/25. He will be inaugurated at the Club’s AGM on July 23.

The club thanks Jamie Briggs and Conservation Resources for sponsoring this event. The opening match of the Centenary Year in August will be against the club’s first opponents in 1925, Bloxham School.