Chester Rugby Club book 'a labour of love'

Published date: 09 December 2013 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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THE history of Chester Rugby Club has been chronicled in a new book, written by one of the most recognisable figures from its past.

Former player and club president John Craven has penned the new book, ‘Chester Rugby Club: The First 88 years’, which charts the history of the Hare Lane outfit.

John, 76, who lives near Kelsall, played for the club during the 1960s after moving from his North East home, where he played rugby for Northumberland.

He has since seen both his son and his grandson turnout for the Chester side.

John, who represented the British Universities and the University of Durham sides in his undergraduate days, decided to pen the book after club members decided they wanted to chart the club’s journey from local to national level.

“It really was a labour of love and something that I really enjoyed doing,” said John.

“It took me the best part of a year to complete the book.

“I spent a lot of time going through the archives in the library and putting together all the information and connecting the dots.

“I even managed to get in touch with some people who had been at the club during some of its earliest days.

“Guys who were in their 90s who were recalling what the club was like in their day.

“It was a great task to conduct interviews with such fascinating people.

“The club has a strong past and is part of the fabric of the city.  “It felt right that we celebrate what the club had achieved through the years to get where it is today.”

John’s 22-year-old grandson Mike Craven is currently starring in the flanker role for Chester’s First XV, who play in the SSE National League 2 North. He represents the third generation of the family to pull on the shirt.

“It is quite something to have a three generations play for one club,” said John.

“I’ve always retained an affinity with the club and, with Mike playing for them now, it gives me just another excuse to go down and watch them and get involved.”

The book had its launch at the club’s Hare Lane ground in Littleton on Saturday.  It is £15 and can be bought from the club shop or from club secretary Mike Dangerfield  on 01244 336017.

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