100 Club Spotlight – Eccles RUFC

Club: Eccles RFC

Ground: Gorton Street

League: Counties 2 Lancashire & Cheshire

Sharklinks: There are definitely a few Sharks swimming in the Eccles waters, most notably our former women’s captain Katie Houghton, who was the first woman to reach 50 caps for Sale! She celebrated alongside current Sharks and former Eccles Juniors Alicia Calton and Hollie Bawden.

Former Sale men’s players Alex Hurst and Chris Parrott also came through Eccles’ Mini & Junior section before swimming with Sharks in the early 2000s. Bringing it forward to today, our current Sharks are Senior Academy forward George Arnold, who awaits his Sharks debut, Matthew Houghton, a current Sharks Academy U17 player, and Jack Lightbown, a Sharks Academy U18 player who is training with England U18s too. We are immensely proud of our current Eccles Colts and how they represent the club. We continue to follow all our young players excitedly.

Unsung Hero: At Eccles, we are very lucky to have a huge team of passionate, committed volunteers. We’ve enjoyed a rich streak of form on and off the pitch since the pandemic and this is down to the hard work and co-operation of the club committee, members and volunteers from all sections driving our inclusive vision.

Special mention here has to go to our M&J Fixture Secretary Leeann Aspinall. Our M&J section has grown exponentially in the last three years and this wouldn’t have happened without Leeann’s expertise and patience! The hours spent every week on the phone organising everything from tri-fixtures to festivals does not go unnoticed as our teams continue to make their mark in Lancashire and beyond.

Favourite Sharks Moment: With over 200 members in attendance, Eccles Minis enjoyed a half-time, tag-rugby, grudge match against an equally committed Liverpool Collegiate team! This North West derby was played out in front of a full house at the AJ Bell and our little warriors enjoyed a packed day as the players’ guard of honour, showcasing their skills and meeting their heroes. A short walk back to Gorton Street for hotdogs from Marie made for some real memories that day for our mighty Minis!

Club Goals: Our club is about belonging. Celebrating our 125th year in 2022, our ‘one-club’ spirit places equal value on our Men’s, Women’s, Minis, Juniors and Walking Rugby sections. Anyone is welcome at Eccles in any capacity. Our long history knows the importance of hard work and our members are celebrated and valued.

We drive our homegrown ethos as it places real emphasis on developing players at all ages and stages. Our exciting principles of play are rooted in our M&J section and flourishing at senior level. Our three senior men’s teams are in contention for promotion this year. We are fielding two competitive women’s teams weekly and our Colts and Juniors are looking forward to Lancashire knockout games this month.

We’ve generated real momentum this season but there are no short cuts to success and all things prosper with hard work…“Labore Omnia Florent” as the ancient townsfolk of Eccles no doubt once said. 

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