Centaurs RFC

History of the Club

The Club was inaugurated as Lyons R.F.C. on 16th May 1923. The founder Mark Bogod was elected Secretary and Club Captain. The first match was played on 13th October 1923 at Lyons Sports Ground, Sudbury against Metropolitan Police 2nd XV, incidentally their first fixture, resulting in a win for the Club.

The 1939-45 war years apart, the Club spanned 45 happy years at Sudbury until in 1968 J. Lyons and Co. sold their sports ground thereby threatening the Club's existence. However the future was secured when Cyril Brandon was instrumental in negotiating our move to Osterley and thus on 3rd May 1968 Centaurs R.F.C. was formed as an open club.

The ground at Osterley is owned by University College School, Hampstead. We shared the ground with U.C.S. Old Boys R.F.C. until 1979 when they moved back to the school playing fields and we became long term tenants of the school.

The first season, 1979-80, on our own at Osterley saw our most successful 1st XV since the unbeaten side of 1932-33. The team won 29 out of 38 games and reached the 4th round of the Middlesex Cup losing 14-0 to Saracens.

In 1985 the Club enjoyed its first ever appearance at Twickenham when our 7-a-side team distinguished themselves by qualifying for the Middlesex County Clubs Competition.

1987-88 saw the inauguration of a National League system with the Courage Clubs Championship. The Club responded by winning promotion and we maintained that League status until 1998.In 2000, the amount of rent required by UCS combined with the other running costs rendered the continued occupation of the ground at Osterley financially unviable. Centaurs RFC therefore surrendered the lease at the costs of its remaining assets. However, the Club was allowed to retain sufficient funds to enable a re-location to Richmond where we rented a Council owned pitch adjacent to the Athletic Ground and ran one side playing in Middlesex League 4. The Club continued to run a side until 2003 but the poor changing facilities provided by Richmond BC caused the number of players to dwindle to such an extent that it became impossible to field a team.

Such was the strength of the past playing membership, the Club has continued to operate as an association and re-build our reserves which are used for charitable purposes. We would still be interested in any group or organisation that would like to play under the Centaurs umbrella.