Who we are and What we do…
Fifteen years ago Ernie Neeley, Ron Goodale and George Hinds laid the foundation of the Claret and Gold Association (C&G A).
Their wise and initial conception was to provide a rallying point for all former players and to issue an annual newsletter to keep everyone, particularly those who had moved away from the north west, informed of the clubs fortunes. It was soon discovered that many of these far flung players were spread throughout the world. This annual newsletter continues to this day and has been compiled by successive Chairmen of the C&G A. Much latterly in addition to the Newsletter contributions have been made to the Club Web Site.
Three years later in 1999 Alex Keyes assumed the role of Chairman with Ron continuing as Treasurer and Fred Plant joining the Committee as Secretary along with Barrie Owen and Fergus O’Connor and Leighton Hughes joined as Social Secretary. The Social and Fund Raising activities became more vigorous resulting in the ability to direct funds towards the Club.
When with great sadness our Chairman – the much respected Alex Keyes passed on to that “Great Scrummage and Lineout’ above – the Association was indeed fortunate that in 2005 Ron Goodale was prepared to shoulder the burden of the office of Chairman. Barrie became Treasurer along with Alan Taylor and Trevor Lewis joining and giving much assistance. With this active team membership of “C&G A’ was extended to include anyone (Ladies and Gents) who has the Clubs interests at heart, hence our “by line’ – “Former Players and Devotees of SPRUFC”. The result has been that the social scene has expanded together with the C&G Lottery accompanied by coach travel to selected “Away’ fixtures.
Our objectives remain to provide all ex players with a welcome involvement in the Club which provided them with so much enjoyment during their playing days In addition to appreciate the critical need to assist with fund raising.
Some of the achievements so far have included Provision of an “Honours Board’ in the Hardman Suite, Security Lighting, Medical Equipment, Air Conditioning in the Banquet Suite. Contributions to cost of Fencing, Decoration in Main Bar, Carpeting, Re-equipping the Gymnasium. Contributions towards Ground Maintenance Equipment, Contributions to the Juniors and ongoing commitments to contribute £4,000 towards refurbishment and refit of the Ladies Toilets. All of these bequests have achieved in the region of £26,500 to assist Club funds.
The Committee are proud of the achievements but realise that the Club commitments are likely to increase especially since the loss of revenue from Salford Reds and Swinton Lions. The “C&G A’ remains a totally independent organisation but with 100 per cent loyalty and commitment to the welfare of SPRUFC for the benefit of all members aged 7 and upwards.
To achieve these objectives we are anxious to shake off our “Saga Louts’ image even though we recognise this as a fond term of endearment. In its place we desire to attract younger former players and devotees of the club to both join the committee and support our endeavours. Some of the current committee are approaching the “80 Minute’ mark for Committee work and we need enthusiastic younger members to join us to continue the good work. A start has been made with the welcome volunteering by Rory Gildea joining the Committee – now let’s find a few more like him.