Walkers unite

Sale Sarks WALKING RUGBY FESTIVAL takes place 12pm – 3pm, Saturday 11th August. If you’re interested in playing and forming an Eccles RFC team, or coming along to support, please contact Hilary Berry hilary.berry@hotmail.co.uk for more information.

New Committee 2018/19

At the AGM in June a proposal was put forward and accepted that only the Officers of the club should be elected on the night, and the rest of the committee should be appointed at a later date, following review and discussion. Duly the following Officers were appointed:

President – Paul Thorpe
Chairman – Mark Greenhalgh
Secretary – Mark Baines
Treasurer – Mike Bateman
Fixtures Secretary – Don Edmondson
Club Captain – Mark Greenhalgh

Over the last few weeks I’ve been speaking to members from various sections of the club to gather their thoughts and feedback on Committee and how it operates. The vast majority of that feedback is that they are happy and thankful for the Committee’s efforts, but there were two opportunities for improvement that were mentioned on a number of occasions:

  1. Committee meetings put too much focus on reporting on what has already happened, rather than forward thinking.
  2. There are too many people at Committee meetings and/or they last too long, which is discouraging new people from getting involved.
Based on this I met with my fellow appointed Officers to discuss how we can address these concerns. Below is our proposal:
  1. There will be no reporting in Committee meetings. Reports from each section will be provided by and distributed to all other sections by email.
  2. Committee meetings will focus on club-level objectives, plans and events. Objectives will be agreed in the first meeting of the season and progress monitored each month.
  3. More focus will be placed on sub-committees, to discuss the topics relevant to them in more detail. The frequency and attendance of sub-committee meetings will be monitored by the Committee. The make up of new and existing sub-committees will be confirmed in due course.
  4. The mandatory attendees at each Committee meeting will be:
    • President – Paul Thorpe
    • Past President – Andy Brunt
    • Chairman – Mark Greenhalgh
    • Secretary – Mark Baines
    • Assistant Secretary – Heather Thorpe
    • Treasurer – Mike Bateman
    • Marketing & Comms Officer – Chris Gaffey
    • Men’s Rugby (including Colts) Rep – Sam Simpson
    • Women and Girls’ Rugby Rep – Katie Houghton
    • Mini and Juniors’ Rep – Paul Fleming
    • Ground and Pavilion Rep – Ted Nicholls
    • House and Social Rep – TBC
    • Duke of Edinburgh Rep – Hilary Berry

The new attendance structure ensures that each section of the club is represented while keeping the attendance as efficient as possible. Any club member is still welcome to attend Committee meetings should they wish to.

The proposal was reviewed by the previous and potential Committee members, and accepted unanimously. The attendees will be invited to the first meeting of the new Committee on Monday 6th August.

I believe that these changes will address the issues raised, continue to support the inclusivity of all sections which we value so highly, and put us in a strong position to move forward. I am excited to work as part of the new Committee and looking forward to what we can achieve this season.


Mark Greenhalgh


Eccles RFC Summer Social BBQ. All welcome, especially new faces. Next Saturday 7th July, sizzling from 1pm onwards. (Yes, should they get that far, that could be a England v ? in FIFA World Cup Quarter Final, and could well be on in the clubhouse if you ask nicely ).

County recognition for Eccles

Lancashire County RFU have recognised the efforts of Eccles RFC twice within the pages of its Annual report for the 2017/18 season.

Under ‘WOMENS & GIRLS RUGBY’ is this endorsement from Chairwoman Helen Duggan for our Ladies section –
“Eccles fought a hard battle to avoid relegation from the Championship North 1 ensuring that Lancashire women have a team representing within every level of the current league structure, key to how we can develop rugby going forward.”
In the same report, under ‘COLTS RUGBY’ is this acknowledgement from Chairman Alan James for our hosting of the Lancashire Colts Cup Finals –
“To Paul Thorpe and the team of Volunteers at Eccles, “what a day”! The first time Eccles RFC runs out of beer!! Albeit late in the evening when the crowds where leaving. Your expertise in running the event showed from start to finish; thank you and well done to you all, a true community rugby club.”

Praise indeed.

The full report: http://lancashirerugby.co.uk/images/Annual_Report_2017-2018.pdf


Simpson Returns.

Eccles RFC are delighted to announce the return of former player coach Sam Simpson, who will take up the vacant position of Director of Rugby and Head Coach with immediate effect. 

Sam, a native of Eccles, first played for Eccles RFC as a Junior and Colt – achieving county representation honours at U16s/U18s level – before going on to play for Lancashire Seniors, Fylde 1XV, Sedgley Park 1XV, Eccles 1XV and Rossendale 1XV. 

Sam’s credentials as a coach are equally renown and he brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the club gained during his roles with Manchester District age grades, Lancashire U17s/U18s, North England U18s Scrum Coach and as a RFU Community Rugby Coach at Wythenshawe.

Sam departed Eccles RFC in 2016 for family reasons, which unfortunately coincided with a core group of loyal homegrown 1XV players also departing, mainly for a well-earned retirement.

Speaking about his appointment Sam said “I’m very happy to be joining Eccles RFC in what will be my third stint at the club. I’ve got very happy memories of leading Eccles to two promotions and a Lancashire Plate Win in my previous role as Head Coach.  It’s been with a heavy heart as I’ve watched from a far the club’s struggle over the past two years, but I am absolutely certain Eccles can bounce straight back to achieving their goals of climbing the RFU league structure and achieving National League status in the near future. This is why I have taken this opportunity to work with the club once more and I am confident my appointment as Director of Rugby and Head Coach can arrest the slide of the past two seasons and bring a much needed continuity back to the squad and club.”

Eccles RFC Chairman Mark Greenhalgh commented “When I first met with Sam a few weeks ago it was to gain his advice on what the club should do to move forward, but as the conversation continued I could really feel his enthusiasm for the club and was impressed by the range of ideas he suggested. So when he accepted the opportunity to come on board and implement those ideas himself I was delighted. I’m very excited for what the future holds, and I and the rest of the club will offer whatever support we can.”

Paul Thorpe, Eccles RFC President added  “I worked alongside Sam in his previous spell at the club, a period which was probably the most successful in the club’s history. So we know that his brand of rugby can deliver results and hopefully this new journey will be equally, if not more, successful.”

Increasingly Social

Dear players, parents, supporters and sponsors, you can now keep up with our increasingly active and sociable club on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. You can also enjoy our films on Vimeo and You Tube. Just tap in Eccles RFC to find us and  find out what happening.

The more followers we have on all these platforms, and the more you share our posts, the more attention our news and activities get and the bigger our community becomes. You can also follow Eccles RFC from the touchline at Gorton Street. Join us.

Same Game. Slower Pace.

‘WALKING RUGBY‘, in conjunction with Sale Sharks, kicks off at Eccles RFC this Monday evening 25th June, 7pm-8.30pm.  Open to all, male or female, it’s a slower-paced game with adapted rules and 60 minutes of physical activity, ideal for those 50+.

Sharks Community Trust coaches will begin delivering the sessions at Eccles, the first venue for the initiative, thanks to funding from Sport England.  Sale Sharks Community Trust Inclusion Officer, Vicky Irwin, commented  “We are really excited to be able to grow Walking Rugby in the Greater Manchester area. We want to develop the social side of rugby and grow friendships. As a club we’re committed to making sure that rugby is as accessible as possible to anyone who wants to play”

Walking Rugby is inclusive of abilities and you require no previous skills, existing fitness or rugby knowledge to get involved (which is good news for any former Eccles RFC players).

If you’re interested in getting involved, shuffle down to Gorton Street on Monday evenings or contact Vicky Irwin Vicky.irwin@salesharks.com


Summer Recruitment Drive – Men Wanted

Over the last two years the Men’s 1XV squad has lost (at least) 18 players due to retirements, people moving away, players moving on to a higher level and more. Unsurprisingly this has taken its toll on both results and our ability to field a 2XV and 3XV. Over the summer the Club will be taking various actions to address this, and get the men’s section moving forward once again. Today we announce the first step, our new recruitment video, ‘Men Wanted’:

The video is available in many formats:

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=_Q22VumsDZM
Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/273362862
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BjnxldEBTIg/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/EcclesRFC/status/1003729802933698561
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com%2Fecclesrfc%2Fposts%2F1749762018412788

You can help out by sharing the video as much as possible, in any of the formats.

If you’re interested in joining us, as a player or a support capacity, please get in touch on mensrugby@ecclesrfc.org.uk