St. Just RFC – Where it all began!
The story of St. Just Rugby Football Club began with a star-studded charity match at Pendeen on April 6, 1967. It was the first rugby match in the village for 40 years, and that day The Cornishman suggested it could lead to the formation of a junior club.
St. Just’s fortunes have been mixed, and there have been lean times as well as good. The best – so far – came at the end of last season, with promotion into the Courage Cornwall League, Div. 1, for Silver Jubilee year.
This enabled first team captain, Tim Lord, to announce at the last annual dinner. “I am proud to be the only St. Just RFC skipper to lead the club to victory!”
Spirits are high; the talent is there; and still enjoying the sweet taste of success, the players have been training hard.
Everyone in the club is pulling together – from first and second teams to junior section, committee members, club members, friends (of whom there are a plenty) and outsiders.
Pride in St. Just RFC is running high, and this is not only reflected on the field of play and in the atmosphere in the clubhouse. Outside, flower beds have been planted out, pathways have been concreted and seating installed. Renovations have been carried out throughout the club to make visitors and members alike more comfortable.
Taken from the St. Just R.F.C. Silver Jubilee 1967-92 Souvenir Programme. Original reports from The Cornishman 1992
The history of St. Just RFC versus Rucking Feasters
The Magical Lure of Feast.
The Swinging Sixties era heralded many new dawns: significantly for us it brought Rugby Union Football to a soccer stronghold at St. Just. Since 1967 I and many others have enjoyed the delights and passions of a FEAST DAY, both on and off the field. Avery special bond of friendship exists between the RUCKING FEASTERS and St.Just players, supporters and friends.
But please allow me some space for reminiscence – perchance to dream. It was a dream of Doctor Brewer and a few of his friends to form a rugby club in the far West of the Duchy. To test his belief, a match between players from Penwith and Kerrier districts was arranged at John White’s father’s field at Treheuars – what a stage to play on! It was a pleasure for me to be one of the Kerrier XV. I know that Penwith won – but only just – because, for my sins, I played at centre against Harold Stevens of St. Ives, a Barbarian at that time. Micky James also played and he insists that I wore the number 10 jersey, but that matters not.
A large crowd turned up on a chilly but dry evening and after the match the roaring log fire in the nearby Hotel was most welcome as were Warren’s pasties (whose else?). I think that Brian played for Penwith that evening, John White most certainly did.
Dr. Brewer had proved his point: St. Just Rugby Club was to be born, playing on the school field.
In the following October, I met George Keverne in Union Street, Camborne, an apt name perhaps. Rugby in general terms was in the air, and the progress of St. Just followed. Then came a remark almost to make history: “St. Just Feast is Monday week, it’s a great day, the Pubs never close.” That was enough – how about a match? “Yes,” I replied, “no problem. Are you sure about the pubs?” (In fact, I haven’t yet found that pub.)
On the Monday my team gathered outside Redruth Railway Station, schoolmasters on half-term, members of the Old Boys RFC and selected guests. Only three players would admit to ever having been to St. Just, as we set off in a convoy of cars. As we left Penzance the roads seemed crowded with cars, horses, cattle trucks. To us Pilgrims (or were we Missionaries?) panic was coming to the surface – we would be late.
The journey seemed to take longer, the road to the Square was blocked, full of happy people. Dave Thomas and John Cobner reckoned that it looked like a good gate but what shock we had. Once close to the Commercial we quickly discovered that Rugby was small beer (to coin a phrase). The Hunt in all its colours was a fine sight.
We met up with the Trudgeons and wended our way to the school. Bill Matthews, Tom Vigus and, I think, Derek Small come to mind.
The game was played and, not unexpectedly, my team won, but we hoped that our efforts had enlightened the St. Just players.
Off we went to an upstairs room at the Commercial. Jethro, then not quite such a famous name, was holding sway as we mingled. Players wives and children handed out special pasties (yes, folks, Warren’s). We almost raised the roof with songs. Doug Woolcock thought we were wrecking the place and beer ran out (but only for a few minutes).
Some went to the soccer match (some professional outfit were playing St. Just. Tea for us came from the local Chippy, then a wander round into an open pub. I do think we went into every pub that evening.
Enough said on how it all began, it was to continue. Murley, Granite, Nicholls, Keast were to become part of what are now legends, for deeds both on and off the field. A change of pitch to the narrow Cape field, a move to the Clubhouse in Holman’s building followed.
It was not long before on a very special Sunday afternoon, A Select XV played St. Just to open the new pitch (or was it a Clubhouse?). Players came from Wales, Scotland and other places outside the Duchy, such as Loughborough University.
Those of you who were present on yet another chilly afternoon will recall that Joe, one of the stalwarts, had a few words to say. Most needed to be said, Joe was going to have his say and rightfully so. British Lions, Internationals, Cornwall Rugby Officials plus mere mortals like you and me and Willie, another stalwart, had to wait. I believe that Selwyn Trevethick was the referee. He blew for the kick-off and his next blast signalled that a try had been scored. Not one St. Just player had touched man or ball. What a spectacle for all to see.
After The Lord Mayor’s Show K.P.’s other XV played St. Just Reserves. My son was referee, and I retired injured as I heard whispers of ‘Send the old man off, Ed’.
Super hospitality was again abundant: good food, plenty of good ale, loads of smashing people. Tents actually provided the setting for the sumptuous feast. Tel Mann was to entertain, ties were exchanged (Clive Burgess must still be swapping St. Just ties) Arthur Lewis and Stack Stevens mixed freely and Graham Still who came to his first Feast at the tender age of 14, now older and wiser, was in great demand.
Over the years it has been my privilege to bring teams to you, quite often I have to use the replacements law. Then came the day when George Higgins led a team to a deserved victory. Ossie Davies was the referee (I’ve not spoken to him since, the Welsh so-and-so). Irwin was to befriend him – some people will do anything to get a ticket for Cardiff! I did forgive Irwin and I recall him and Jack Osborne at Twickenham, Irwin looking to dig up turf for a new centre spot at Tregeseal. I went to R.U. Dinner that evening but I did not meet any better company than my friends from St. Just.
Now we play for the Jack Osborne Shield. Ossie Davies is not the referee, I understand that it is to be C.A.William. Perhaps Ossie will come again.
The stage is set for St. Just Rugby Club. May you win promotion, then perhaps further promotion to the Devon and Cornwall League. Come on you Saints – aim high!
Many names have come to mind, but who must I mention to avoid being hung, drawn and quartered. I’ll go for a Top Ten, not in exact order: Dymond, Casley, Keverne, Granite (what a man!), Hamer, Keast, Murley, Osborne and Stan of the Black Pig fame, with A.N. Other.
Good Luck for the future, roll on Feast Day 1989 and on and on.
Thank you on behalf of my merry men, the Port and Cheese Eaters. To those who have provided Baleswidden Pie and Kenidjack Trifle along with Cape Chip, very many thanks.
Taken from the St. Just Rugby Football Club, Feast 1988 Programme.
Today St. Just RFC is still going strong!
Over 50 years since St. Just RFC was founded, we are proud to say we’re still going strong.
A youthful team who are keen to learn and impress, this season (2018/19) has seen St. Just secure promotion. The clubhouse provides a brilliant hub for social events, functions, themed evenings and so much more!
St. Just is more than a rugby club – we’re a family! Previous players still come down every week to watch the current team, the new players sing the old songs, and there is a real feeling of togetherness in everything we do.
With a fantastic team of volunteers, committee members, club members, and friends, we like to think that we’re a club that is moving forward and has plenty more good times ahead of us!