Full-time rugby has returned to the historic Rectory Field, five years after Blackheath FC upped sticks and moved to Eltham.
Askeans, who play in the Kent 2 league, the tenth tier of English rugby union, have signed a long-term deal with Blackheath Sports Club to move into the ground on Charlton Road, and are already making themselves at home.
Blackheath moved its first-team matches out of the Rectory Field at the end of the 2015-16 season, saying it needed to make the move to ensure its financial stability as it battled for promotion to the Championship, rugby union’s second tier.
The much-loved old ground staged international matches in its heyday, and was also a venue for Kent county cricket until 1972.
Now Askesans’ move brings regular rugby back to the ground – and the club is keen for the community to get involved. DAVID SHUTE takes up the story….
We are delighted that we have now found a permanent home at the Rectory Field in Blackheath. But it’s so much more than somewhere for us to play – we enjoy great facilities – for a start there’s 2 fully licensed long bars (I knew you’d be pleased).
We also enjoy excellent changing rooms, a seriously big stand for spectators, several function areas, a great social side and even a pool table (for anyone who the ref sends for an early bath).
In addition to all that, the ground is steeped in a long and rich history starting way back in the 1880s.
It was originally developed for cricket, football and lawn tennis and was, for many years, home of Blackheath rugby club. Five years ago Blackheath moved to a new home in Well Hall, Eltham.
For several years the Rectory Field only hosted odd games – a great shame for such a prestigious and first class ground that was once used for international sporting events. England played matches here before Twickenham was developed.
Back in the day the All Blacks, Springboks, Australian and Maori touring sides all graced the Rectory Field pitch. It was also the Kent County home ground.
But the rich history is not just rugby, the ground has hosted senior cricket and county games and is now the home in the summer months for Blackheath Cricket Club.
Other facilities include tennis courts and a new commercial gym.
Most importantly – rugby is back at the Rectory Field.
We have already settled in and we look forward to calling it our home for many years to come.
We’ve also been made very welcome and so will you be – if you’re interested in joining – players of all standards and supporters (of any standard) can call Ian (Director of Rugby) on 07957 280530.
Askeans’ next home match is against Dartford Valley on Saturday 6 November at 2pm: there is no charge for admission.
For more information, visit the Askeans website.
PLEASE SUPPORT THE CHARLTON CHAMPION
We tell the SE7 stories you won’t read elsewhere. And we’ll do the others better than anyone else. We can’t do it without your help.
– Please tell us about your news and events
– Become a monthly supporter at presspatron.com/charltonchampion
– Donate to our running costs at paypal.me/charltonchampion