Club History, The Official History of the White Hart MaraudersThe White Hart Rugby Football Club was formed by a group of Camberley RFC players in 1978, as a Sunday pub team to play matches against local sides. This gave some of the younger CRFC players the opportunity to play alongside the first team players in a more relaxed environment. Some of those youngsters made it into the White Hart Marauders and also into Camberley’s 1st team. For example, Simon Carter, Graham Bissett, Nigel Gascoyne, Roly K-T, Stewart Basham, & Bob Haddingham. It was a great induction to senior rugby. We played against rugby clubs and other ‘like minded’ Sunday teams such as Rumbridge Pack, Hampshire Villagers, and Bramshill Police College. When formed, the club had a constitution, elected officers and a ‘paid up’ membership.
Original WHRFC committee and founding members in 1978 were: Peter Stevens, Bob Doel, Fred Smith, Alan Thoroughgood, Brian Evans (Captain) Various other committee members 1982 to 1985 Ian Meikle (Chairman) Peter Stevens, Fred Smith, Dave Short, John CozensBob Doel, Dave Mason, Mark Cowley (Captain) Alan ThoroughgoodBilly White, Alan Solomon, John Houlston, Simon Haydon, Mike Hutchison As an aside, the White Hart was well known for its support of the Guide Dog for the Blind charity, and at one of the early meetings Brian Evans suggested that the WHRFC started collecting money for blind dogs. John Cozens who was attending the meeting suggested that it might be a better idea to support dogs that could see! The first game with Brian Evans as Captain was played against Basingstoke in 1978 with the White Hart narrowly losing. However we then went on to win many games, and in 1980 John Cozens proposed a new black jersey with the foaming White Hart Tankard. Thus the basis for a legendary rugby club was born.
The White Hart Marauders
In 1983 Ian Meikle was chairman of the WHRFC and having visited the Amsterdam 7’s the previous year with the Frankfurt Americans rugby club, told us that this was a great tournament and that we should attend. This was agreed by the committee and Ian and Billy White set out to organise the trip.The first thing that was agreed was that we would call ourselves the White Hart Marauders. The name came from Ayr RFC in Scotland as both Ian and Billy had played there in previous years and Ayr had a touring side called McEwan’s Marauders. The White Hart Marauders name was adopted by the committee and so the legend began. We also adopted the Ayr Marauders touring principles, many of which the White Hart Marauders still follow to this day For example every member of the touring party was given a tour title, and this included ‘Stormtroopers’ who were responsible for cleaning up the bus or bar areas after we had ‘Marauded’ them.
We also included the best method ever developed for keeping male adults on tour from falling out with each other – the ‘Wobbly Wig’. This simple, but highly effective idea was plagiarised by Will Carling, England captain. When Will toured with us in 1991 we had selected him on the bench for the final, and in the second half when he tried to come on as substitute the referee said to him “you have already used up all your subs, you can’t come on”. Will, of course lost his rag and as he was losing it the wobbly wig came flying out of the Marauder’s area of the stand and landed at his feet. He had to wear the wig, pay his “one diddly” fine and he unfortunately missed playing in the final which we won. When England toured Australia later that year we were pleased to read in the national newspapers that Will had introduced a new idea to the England national side. Yes, the Marauder’s ‘Wobbly Wig’ had made the big time. So the White Hart Marauders were born when we made our way to Amsterdam in 1983 for our first tournament.
Who would have thought then, that in future years we would become true international Marauders?