Why Cobham Rugby Football Club
The Club was formed in 1930 as Old Surbitonians RFC by the first group of school leavers from Surbiton County School, as it was then called.
The school, later adding 'Grammar' to its title in the 1940s to become Surbiton County Grammar School, was always known for its excellence in sport - athletics, boxing, cricket and, particularly, rugby.
Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Old Surbitonian teams had no home ground, but often used the school's facilities in Somerset Avenue in Hook, as well as grounds in the Kingston area, including the Kingstonians' ground in Richmond Road.
Several 'Surbitonians' lost their lives fighting for their country in the Second World War, close friends and old school chums of those Old Boys who, in 1949, bought the present ground in Fairmile Lane, Cobham.
It was fitting that the ground was dedicated to the memory of those who had died ... and so, The Old Surbitonians' Memorial Ground came into existence - at a cost of £4,500, with ex-army section huts put together as a pavilion.
DIY skills provided brick changing rooms and a washing area, complete with a series of tin baths. Main drainage came a few years later. The members, who were, of course, also the players, worked hard to provide a very cosy atmosphere inside the building and 'Old Surbs' were well known for the warm welcome they gave to visitors.
By 1968, the former army facilities needed replacing and a new pavilion had to be built. Regrettably, the condition of this newer building deteriorated badly over the years and the size became inadequate for the growing membership and activities.
In 2007, work began on a new clubhouse which involved demolishing the previous structure, adding new changing rooms and completely re-vamping the inside layout to reflect the steady growth in membership of the Club, especially at Youth and Mini Rugby levels.
It was also designed to encourage other sports at Cobham and to provide safe and secure changing facilities for ladies. The new clubhouse, named 'The Peter Marsh Pavilion' after a long-time Club member and benefactor, was officially opened in September 2008.
In the 1960s, Surbiton County Grammar School was moved into the Surrey administrative area to Esher, to become, eventually, Esher College for mixed 6th-form students only.
The popularity for team games on the curriculum diminished, thus ending the natural feeding of players to the Old Surbitonians. This provided the driving force for the Club to become one of the first in the country to set up a Mini-Rugby section in its Golden Anniversary year of 1980.
From small beginnings, the Club's Mini-Rugby has gone from strength to strength and is now one of the leading Mini-Rugby sections in the country. This, in turn, has spawned a sizeable and flourishing Youth section which has produced national champions at various levels and is now producing a steady flow of young players into our senior sides. We are also proud of the fact that some of our talented young playershave achieved national honours and international representation.
The Senior teams enjoyed a highly successful history over many years, including the famous unbeaten season of 1963-64 and a Surrey Cup Final appearance in 1976, but the introduction of league rugby by the RFU placed Old Surbitonians RFC in the new Surrey leagues.
Although Club membership was now open to non-Old Boys, it became increasingly difficult to recruit new players.
Consequently, the Club changed its name in 1989 to Cobham Rugby Football Club to identify more closely with the immediate area and to reinforce the change to an open club.
However, to keep former players in touch with the Club, The Braemar Club came into existence and within its ranks are the remnants of the Old Surbitonians who still have a special place within the new Cobham Club.
Cobham RFC also regularly recognise the contribution of Club Members with the annual Value the Volunteer Awards, presented at each year's Summer Ball.
There has been success too for our Mini & Youth teams in a variety of leagues and festivals and Mini & Youth tours.
This includes a notable victory for the 2009-10 U17 team in the National Championship Cup competition.
In the following season, as U18s, achieving the significant accolade from Rugby World magazine as 2011 Team of the Year.
The 1sts, under the stewardship of Director of Rugby, Billy Davison from 2006, continued to make steady progress up the leagues.
This included with two consecutive promotions in 2006 and 2007 and in 2012 they were winners of the Surrey Trophy. In summer 2014, after 8 sterling years as Director of Rugby at Cobham, Billy Davison retired from that role and the Club appointed Mike Cudmore as the new Director of Rugby for Cobham RFC for the 2014/5 season.
During the 2015 Rugby World Cup Cobham RFC was one of only 5 rugby clubs in the Country to be designated an official Team Base hosting Italy and Namibia.
In 2015/16 season Steve Pope replaced Mike Cudmore as Director of Rugby and secured promotion for the first XV back to London South 1 for the 2016/7 season.