Family feel to celebration of Holt Rugby Club’s improved clubhouse

England and British Lions rugby stars Ben and Tom Youngs open the newly completed extension to Holt

England and British Lions rugby stars Ben and Tom Youngs open the newly completed extension to Holt Rugby Club. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Strengthening links in the local community was at the heart of a celebration of new and improved facilities at Holt Rugby Club – thanks to the help of a few famous friends.

England internationals Ben and Tom Youngs returned to their boyhood club to officially open the clubhouse extension at Bridge Road, which is part of the club's plans for a strong and sustainable future.

Joined by their father Nick, who also represented Leicester and England, the Youngs brothers drew in hundreds of supporters for a fun day last Sunday.

As well as the Youngs cutting the ribbon to officially open the extension, there were junior rugby matches to entertain the crowds, leading up to the annual Cubitt Maule Cup fixture against West Norfolk.

That match marks the first match Holt played after being founded in 1961 and the family feel to the fun day was emphasised by nine players from that original team watching on from the sidelines, including 95-year-old founding president Logie Bruce-Lockhart, the club's founding president and a former Scotland international.

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Chairman Guy Roper, who has played an integral part in the £500,000 redevelopment work, said: 'This is a fantastic day for the club and is the culmination of three years of work by the whole committee to ensure that we provide better facilities for the families, the players and also the wider community so everybody can really buy into our rugby ethic and enjoy the day. When you have people like Ben and Tom here, their father Nick played here beforehand, and then you've got their cousins and all their relatives here playing rugby as well – it makes it such a big family day, we couldn't be happier.'

The work, funded by a mixture of donations, grants and loans from the RFU, has already seen a new toilet block, boiler system and drainage system installed, as well as the new extension – which features international shirts donated by the Youngs family and plenty of more memorabilia.

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It will be completed once the club's changing room improvements are completed, with a new physio and first aid room.

'I'm immensely proud of what the clubhouse looks like now,' said Ben Youngs. 'You can see what it's done for the club, all the people here today, it's great for the minis, great for the community and I've got fond memories of playing here.

'This is where it all started for myself and for Tom, so to come back and officially open the extension is great.'

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