Blackheath Rugby Club’s sporting legacy at Rectory Field could soon be confined to the history books as the club seeks to switch grounds to boost funds.
The side, founded in 1858, has boasted the title of the oldest open rugby club in the world since 1862 but may be set to embark on a new chapter at its second pitch, Well Hall.
The men’s first team is currently flying high in the second-place spot in National League 1 and has whipped fans gathered at the Charlton Road ground for its home games into a frenzy with a handful of last-gasp victories.
Yet the issue of cold hard cash seems to have come into play for the south east London side known as “the first great independent” rugby club.
President Des Diamond said the committee had put Blackheath's financial situation under the spotlight and believes revenue needs to be increased “just to remain where we are as a National 1 club.”
An Open Evening with the Executive Committee will be held on Thursday, January 28, at Well Hall, where members can quiz the men in charge.
In his matchday program on January 9, he said: “With a view to doing this we are planning to trial one, possibly two, league matches at Well Hall later this season and desperately need you to buy into the concept to help secure our club’s successful future.
“If all goes well it is probable the whole league programme 2016-2017 will be played at Well Hall.
“After 35 years of association with the club my heart says ‘we can’t make this move’ but my head says ‘we must’.”
It is believed the three matches scheduled for April will be the ones trialled at Well Hall.
This means clashes with Hull Ionians on April 2, Coventry on April 16 and Blaydon on April 30 will all see fans head to the Kidbrooke Lane ground.
The proposals have attracted support from Andy Foulster, who posted on the club’s website to share his views.
He wrote: “As much as I love the historical significance of Rectory Field, this is the best option for the long term survival and success of Blackheath FC.
“I hope that all members will support the committee’s decision and realise that they are doing what is in the best interest of the Club and are securing its bright future.”
Members meeting 7pm, January 28, Well Hall, Kidbrooke Lane