Club Spotlight: Bolton RUFC

Founded – 1872.

Ground – Avenue Street (impossible to forget) in Bolton.

League 1st XV Play in – North 2 West (Level 7).


Conor McGrath – played for Bolton from u7 to u17 before signing for Sale.

Gareth Stocks – Arrived from Marlow, Buckinghamshire when his family relocated ‘Oop North’.  As a youngster, he was hidden in the 3rd team for several weeks until selection committee heard about him!  Played 1st team for 3 seasons, then signed for Sale over the summer.  Quickly made Sharks 1st team, playing at Centre and Fly Half against the likes of Will Carling & Jeremy Guscott.  He got 2 caps for Emerging England. As the game was turning professional, he quit rugby to concentrate on the family business.

Unsung Heroes at the Club – Like many rugby clubs across the UK Bolton run a thriving Junior section built on the hard work and dedication of a company of volunteers. These are our “unsung heroes”. Every Sunday morning at Avenue Street around 230 juniors are coached to develop their rugby skills. Bolton run 12 teams from under 6’s right up to Senior Colts. More than half of the First XV are home grown which is a testament to our unsung heroes.

Their work isn’t confined to on field activities…bacon butty chefs provide food aplenty alongside our club merchandise sellers, groundsmen etc etc.

Bolton are no different to any other club…it’s the unsung heroes that give our Juniors the opportunity to become heroes themselves.

Favourite Sharks Moment – 16th April 2011 the day Sale Sharks came to Bolton and played a Premiership game at the Reebok against London Irish. The Bolton News reported “The game saw the home ground of Bolton Wanderers become the 30th ground to host a Premiership Rugby game and a crowd in excess of 16,000 were not left disappointed.”

Sale players held coaching sessions with our Juniors as part of the build and several Bolton juniors were ball boys / girls at the big game.

Bolton’s Big News – This year the club are celebrating their 150th anniversary. They played their first ever game against Southport Rugby Club in 1872. Fittingly the two clubs are due to meet in the league this month and the fixture is set to kick off a series of commemorative, fundraising events throughout the year.

One of the highlights will be the visit to Bolton of around 70 young Italian people from Briganti Rugby Club in Sicily. Bolton reached out to Briganti after reading an article in The Times covering the burning of their Clubhouse and Team bus by local drug gangs (mafioso) after the club set up an after school club to take kids off the dangerous streets of Librino outside Catania.

The Bolton Chairman takes up the story…

“Everyone who has ever played or watched rugby will know that we have each other’s backs both on and off the pitch, so when we spotted the article our instinct was to ask how can we help?”

“What followed is the building of a remarkable relationship between the two clubs. Fundraising for the visit in August is ongoing and we have plans to send teams from our club to play over in Sicily where there is a thriving rugby scene. The future for both clubs looks very bright”

“We are looking to raise £20,000 to make sure that the Briganti youngsters remember their visit to the North West of England for the rest of their lives. If anyone reading this article would like to contribute either financially or by giving some of their time please email the club on”.

Facebook:  @boltonrugby

Twitter:  @boltonrufc

Instagram:  @boltonrufc


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