About David Hargreaves

Communication Coordinator for Eccles RFC. See http://www.ecclesrfc.org.uk/the-club/contacts/ for contact details.

Eccles RFC 2016 Awards – VOTE NOW


eccles logo


Place your two votes now, for the club’s annual memorial awards for its People of the Year.

Vote 1.      The Chris Tickle Award for Club Person of the Year

Vote 2.      The Harry Broomhead Memorial Award

Our club is blessed with a huge number of hard working volunteers, without whom we just wouldn’t be able to continue to improve.

This is your chance to show your appreciation of their dedication and hard work.

Over the last five or six years these prestigious awards have been made to a number of our volunteers from various sections of the Club. These include Players, Coaches, Committee Members, Maintenance and Grounds Staff, Team Captains, Managers, Kitchen Staff…

1.Who are you going to vote for this year?

We welcome votes from all sections of the Club.  From its Members, Players, Coaches, Managers, Colts, Parents, Junior Section Players, Supporters and Parents and Friends and Sponsors of the Club.

Your votes are very important and also very welcome. So, please make your nominations via the ballot box on the bar.

Or, via e-mail: davenicholls_abc@hotmail.com

or by text: 07867 724264

Closing date   Wed 4th May 2016 at 7.30pm

Thank you for participating and for maintaining a proud Eccles Rugby Club tradition.

Early Birthday Present for Fossils


Ted and Jeff of the Ground and Pavilion  Committee get aroused (Ted says that doesn’t happen much nowadays with his prostate trouble) at the arrival of the new attachment that will slit, scarify, roll and brush, funded by a contribution from the RFF Groundmatch scheme.

This week Ted and Jeff will celebrate birthdays totaling 153 years. Jeff will be 70 and Ted didn’t want it published (do the maths).

Another Heart Warming Thank you

At Eccles Rugby Football Club, we are very proud and thankful of the work and time given by all our volunteers, ultimately allowing the achievements of our players young and old. Therefore receiving the following email from a parent of our U10s team put all this in perspective and makes you feel honoured to be part of the “great team” at Eccles RFC.

Hi Andy,

I just wanted to express my gratitude and how impressed both my wife and I are at Eccles RFC and in particular the U10’s team run by Paul Fleming (head coach), Paula Houghton (manager), Chris Bates (coach), and Dave Allcroft (coach).

As a brief introduction, my wife Rachel and I have three very active children, that are involved in football, rugby league, Olympic freestyle wrestling, gymnastics, and swimming week in, week out. I’m a Firefighter in Lancashire Fire and Rescue service, and in my spare time I’m head coach of Westhoughton Lions U9’s rugby league team and an assistant coach for Bolton Olympic Wrestling Club. Rachel is a secondary school teacher at Turton High School where she holds the position of head of girls PE. So as you can imagine we feel that sport is a very important part of a child’s development, with crucial life lessons from teamwork, responsibility, social skills, hard work, learning to win well, lose well…., I’m sure I don’t need to tell you the list goes on and on.

At the beginning of last season we enquired at a few rugby union clubs for our to oldest children, including two clubs closer to our address, but after speaking to a friend at wrestling, Sean McGrath from your club about the set up and the work that goes into the juniors and developing the club as a whole we contacted Paul, who upon our first meeting virtually repeated the same pitch as Sean, proving to us that this club had a strong cohesive ethos running right through the whole club, decision made Eccles was the club to be at.

Our oldest son Jack is loving being part of this team, the kids are great, the coaching is pitched just right with a good balance of fun, discipline, safety and development, I have to admit I’ve used quite a few of the drills and warm ups for my own sessions with the league lads. The management and administration side has also been tight as a drum, Paula is always on the ball with information from safeguarding to finance and any relevant paperwork, delivering it in a pleasant and relaxed way that makes the parents on the side line feel welcome and involved also. The group have also been very patient and respectful to our other sporting commitments. The rugby league and union seasons slightly overlap and the football runs at the same time we resulting in Jack missing quite a few training sessions and matches but Paul, Chris and Dave completely understand and are great not only with Jack but also letting his younger brother Tommy join in the training sessions.

If all that wasn’t enough Paul decides to take 14 young lads aged from11 to 8 on a rugby tour, which included two nights stay in an activity centre with orienteering, team building games, leap of faith, Jacobs ladder the lot. Followed by a night out at Rossendale rugby club and a day at Rossendale rugby competition. As you can imagine this took months of planning with meetings, texts, four full days of bag packing to raise the funds, t-shirts designed and ordered, DBS checks for the helpers and a considerable amount of behind the scenes work that most of us will not of even realised occurred.

The tour itself was an amazing experience for kids and parents alike culminating in a very successful tournament in which the lads reached the final, beating some well established teams such as Sale and Littleborough along the way. I have no doubt this was in no small part due to the team bonding that occurred over the weekend. I’m no expert on rugby union but I do have experience of kids sport, naturally at this age they all want the glory, to run with ball in hand and score the Trys. Getting them to pass at the right time and be first in to tackle the big lad takes some doing. Our boys where willing to put in the hard work including some of the essential unglamorous work including committing in the ruck stepping over the ball, protecting it for their teammates to use, tackling in twos and threes, mauling as a unit. All tough stuff to expect from an adult let alone a 9 year old child.

The commitment from the coaches and management has always been obvious, there have been training sessions during the closed season where Paul has driven after work from his home over in Preston to Eccles to train just 4 lads. Chris can have been working away all week and still turn up bright and early Sunday morning. Dave is always on the ball with the first aid and the first to welcome new players and parents, and I’ve never seen Paula without a clip board in her hand. But one moment that stood out was on the Saturday night of the tour at around 10:30pm when all the lads where tucked up in bed and the adults finally had a moments peace to relax and switch off for ten minutes. Paul and Paula where sat with a brew in hand discussing past players no longer at Eccles remembering there names and individual rugby attributes. Some hadn’t played for two years! That shows a passion and commitment to kids sport well above the normal standard.

Volunteering your time and energy to be involved in kids sport is a great thing and I know the good ones are rewarded through the engagement and development of the children involved not any personal recognition, but that doesn’t mean good work should go unacknowledged. You obviously have a great team across the board at Eccles RFU. So I would like to thank you all, especially the U10 staff for all your great work.

Best Regards

John Costello

Andy Brunt told me, “As John alludes to at the end of his heart lifting thank you, our volunteers do what they do because they care, which leads to the rewards of witnessing the youngsters development and engagement. However even gnarled old grumps like a thank you even if they pretend they don’t, it gives everyone a warm feeling – until someone complains again – ha”.

“As well as Paul, Paula, Chris and Dave who deserve a really special well done with this one, everyone who in any way contributes to the running of the club from the coaches and managers, volunteers working in the clubhouse, on the pitches, doing a raffle, running a line, bringing the flags in, etc, etc, etc etc, I really could go on for ever, should take a minute to bathe in a warm glow of satisfaction at this pleasant email. Then get back to working for one of the the best Rugby Clubs in England.”

At least someone involved in English Rugby is happy. ( Well, some of the time!).

Two days before the England coach Stuart Lancaster and a group of his players came to Eccles to support an All Schools event, Ted Nichols, Chair of Ground and Pavillion Committee (which means he does the most work)  had an important arrival. He took delivery of a new Trimax Striker 190 mower.


Club President Andy Brunt said, “The funding has been made possible through an RFF Groundmatch grant which will contribute to the mower cost and some other kit arriving shortly. It will stop the clumping of cut grass we got with the old mower and give a much more professional finish. It’s also bigger than the old one which will reduce the cutting time. Other than a new line marker sponsored by Ted’s son’s firm ABC Cleaning Contractors, this is the first bit of new ground maintenance kit we’ve ever had in our 118 year history! Previous purchases including the current tractor and all other maintenance kit has been bought second hand.
The other piece of kit we’re getting is a Sisis Quadraplay which has four attachments to carry out various treatments to the pitches. Given we have 21 teams using the pitches with training four nights a week we need the best equipment to maximise the usage of the grassed areas, particularly the floodlit ones”.

Oh yes it’s Ladies Night and the Feeling’s Right!

As most of you are aware that the DofE at Eccles RFC is run mainly through fundraising events. This year we are holding a Ladies Night on the 20th November at Eccles RFC to raise funds to continue the scheme for the young participants. Please show your support, tickets are available from Kath Smitham and Hilary Berry who you will find down at the club most weekends.

Ladies Night

Neil Pennington’s Garden

The postponed work party/send off for anyone who couldn’t make the funeral, at the late Neil Pennington’s garden is going ahead as rearranged this Sunday 9th Aug.

If you’d like to help, please be at club at 9.30 for lift which will set off on return journey at 3. Or go direct to get there for 10.30. Go to garden at rear of 35 Lily Lane, Bamfurlong, Wigan WN25JN.

D o E volunteers please liaise with Hilary Berry, all other volunteers please liaise with Dutty. 07802 345380. If you have basic gardening tools bring them but don’t worry if not. There will be some!

Thank you.

Eccles RFC, a World Cup standard!

Well the Eccles Beer Festival has been and gone and what a weekend it was, thank you to all those that came along and supported the event, but now we need to move on and look at the next event that is being hosted at Eccles RFC.

Trophy_TourNext Sunday, 26th July 2015, Eccles RFC have been lucky enough to be chosen to be one of the hst clubs for a visit by the Rugby World Cup. This event is being run by Salford City Council with Eccles RFC as the host location.

The event will kick off at around 11 am with a Tag Rugby Festival with  under 7s and under 8s teams from Eccles RFC, Sedgley Park and a local school. We will be having a Touch Rugby game with our Under 13s, under 14s and under 15s girls and boys teams taking part.

From 12.30 to 2.30pm the Rugby World Cup will arrive and there will be opportunity for you to have your photo taken with the trophy.  We will also be having a BBQ on the day.

Please come along to this free to enter event, bring along your friends and family and enjoy the fun.


The DofE’s Own Weekend Festival

Whilst most of Eccles RFC are looking forward to the weekend beer festival, spare a thought for those who will be away this weekend in North Wales with the clubs Duke of Edinburgh Silver Group.
Eccles RFC were the 1st rugby club in the country to offer the DofE scheme to it’s young people and has gone from strength to strength. Paul Griffiths (Director of DofE North) states that we are one of the most successful schemes in the North and the highest achievers within the Salford area. It is also why other clubs are copying our initiative..
Paul Newton, Vivienne Newton, Hilary Berry, Trev Parrott, Shaun Barlow and Ruth McGaharan will be looking after 22 of our young people as the set off early on Saturday morning to North Wales for their expedition. This is on top of the volunteering, physical and skills sections that the young people participate in and the training for the expedition…

Jaye Rowlett
Louis Ayre
Kyle Dowarka
Hollie Bawden
Megan Price
Eleanor Sydall
Alicia Carlton
Christopher Thomas
Callum Baines
Matthew Hope
Edward Mather
Joseph Gaffey
Timothy Cullen
Finlay Cox
Leon Simpson
Kane Whitehouse
Reece Walker
Connor James
Ela Acir
Ben Moseley
Josh Kilby
Adam Christey
Good luck to all of you this weekend…