Broad Street Old Boys Rugby Football Club was formed in 1929, although its history goes back much further, to when Broad Street School was opened in 1911. Many years later, we dropped the ‘Old Boys’ from our name, and Broad Street became one word.
In 1929, after the school had won the Coventry F.C. Shield, one of the oldest trophies in the world for school-boy rugby, the ‘Old Boys Club’ was formed with the help of Harold Temple Suddens ‘Pop’ Suddens, the school sports master and (school headmaster in 1931). With seven former schoolboy internationals, it was a formidable team. In fact, the school went on to have twenty-two schoolboy England players and three senior England players, Ivor Preece, Ernie Robinson and Phil Judd. Over the years, the club has provided numerous players at all age levels who have gone on to represent England, The Midlands, Warwickshire, Coventry & Mid-Warwickshire, and several of the senior clubs in the game, such as Leicester, Coventry and Rugby.
When the ‘Old Boys’ was formed, a farmer’s field at Bedlam Lane was the home ground and this was used until after the Second World War. After the war, the club rented grounds in various parts of the city, eventually using the Memorial Park as its base until the 1950’s. A site for a new ground was purchased in Henley Road from a Colonel Bushill in the early 1950’s. Raising the money to purchase the ground and to build the club-house was an enormous task, but it was a very proud day for all involved at the time, when Cliff Harrison, President of the Warwickshire R.F.U., opened the club in 1955. Over the next few years the club extended, but it was obvious that the facilities at Henley Road were no longer large enough to cope with the number of teams, and in 1970 the club entered into an agreement with Alf Youell of Youell Investments, to sell only the pitches at Henley Road, and to relocate to a new ground and clubhouse at Brandon Road.
The new ground was opened in 1973 by Bob Weighhill, Secretry of the R.F.U., and it was named the Ivor Preece Field, in honour of Ivor Preece, England and British Lions, who was also our Club President at the time. The club retained the Henley Road Clubhouse and we still run it as a thriving social club with over three hundred members.
Once again, we out-grew our facilities at Brandon Road, and have now relocated to the other side of the Coventry Eastern Bypass, to the new Ivor Preece Field. Alf Youell was also heavily involved in this move, along with Persimmon Homes, the purchasers of our previous ground. The new ground was opened by the great rugby world cup winning captain Martin Johnson, captain of England, The Lions, and Leicester Tigers.
We are justifiably very proud of our new facility, and with it’s modern clubhouse, 250-seater stand, car parking, five senior pitches, [two floodlit], Mini and Junior pitches, and forty-six acres of ground, we are here to stay for a long time to come!
Broadstreet Rugby Football club is now firmly established as one of the top fifty clubs in England. Our commitment to the game of rugby football is total, and the ground relocation is just further evidence of the ambition that the club has. We are a well run club with a very strong committee which includes some of the most talented administrators in the game, supported by an excellent coaching staff.
On the playing side, we regularly field three senior sides and one colts team during the season, and we now have strength in depth throughout all of our sides. At under-age level, we run one of the most successful Mini and Junior sections in the country, with over 200 boys and girls of all ages being coached by a willing band of qualified coaches. We also send coaches into several of our local schools and universities to help them with coaching and also the preparation of representative teams.
The club saw success in the nineties winning their first Warwickshire cup and going on to repeat that success a further twelve times, progress through the RFU league system has been tough at times with the level of rugby played improving at all sides following the advent of the game going professional. The club have been promoted to level 4 of the RFU league system on 3 occasions, the latest following promotion in 2013-2014 to National League 2 North under the guidance of Director of Rugby Paul Harcourt, a name familiar to most around the club following in the footsteps of father Bob.
The side promoted made progress and for the first time in the clubs history managed to match the level 4 opposition throughout the season and 2015-2016 sees the side maintain their status in National League 2 North.