Local rugby clubs join forces for charity at Twickenham

Toby Perkins MP captains winning team at Twickenham

Ahead of the 2013/2014 rugby season, six Chesterfield Panthers’ veterans joined forces with players from three local clubs to take on the combined might of a Houses of Lords and Commons team in a charity rugby match at Twickenham Stadium. 

The six Chesterfield Panthers players - Mark Blair, Gary Bates, Mick Gough, Christian Brailsford, Chris Tuckley and Darren Burton – joined with veterans from Dronfield, Sheffield Tigers and Bakewell rugby teams for the once in a lifetime opportunity playing on the hallowed turf at Twickenham.

Gary Bates from Chesterfield Panthers RUFC welcomed the opportunity to play alongside former opponents in the charity match saying: “Having played against the players from Dronfield, Sheffield Tigers and Bakewell at some stage in my career, it was really nice to actually play with them for a change and made the atmosphere that much better.”

The combined Derbyshire/South Yorkshire XV team was captained by Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins, a former Chesterfield Panthers RUFC second row player. The Toby Perkins XV put in a stunning performance winning by six tries to one and raising £10,000 in the process for the RFU Injured Players Foundation. 

Toby Perkins MP said:  “It was a tremendous privilege for each and every one of us to play at this amazing venue with all its history, and to support the charity.” 

Chesterfield Panthers RUFC player, Mark Blair agreed. He said: “I have had a lot of enjoyment and success from rugby as a player and coach, however playing at Twickenham was by far the greatest thing I’ve personally been involved in.”

Chesterfield Panthers RUFC has recently invested more than £1.5 million in its brand new, purpose-built ground at 2012 Dunston Road in Dunston. The investment follows the club’s move from Stonegravels to the new 24 acre home ground, which comprises three floodlit rugby pitches, a cricket pitch, football pitches, a multi- use games area (MUGA), substantial onsite parking and a clubhouse; all of which will benefit the local community. Opening in August 2013, the facilities will be available for private hire as well as for use by the club’s 400 plus members.




NIBE pitches in with Chesterfield Panthers sponsorship

Chesterfield-based NIBE Energy Systems has announced it is a proud sponsor of local rugby club Chesterfield Panthers RUFC.

NIBE MD Phil Hurley with Chesterfield Panthers 1st XV

The sponsorship has seen NIBE provide branded playing kits to the 400-strong club, which is run by volunteers. The NIBE-branded kits are worn not only by the First XV, but also across all 16 of the club’s teams, which include a ladies’ team and 13 youth teams.

As well as supporting the Panthers through sponsorship, NIBE has also offered to donate one of its market-leading renewable heating systems to help efficiently meet the extensive heating and hot water needs of its new clubhouse, due to open later this year.

Phil Hurley, managing director at NIBE, comments: “At NIBE we’re delighted to be sponsoring Chesterfield Panthers RUFC. It’s incredibly important for us to support our local community here in Chesterfield and we couldn’t think of a better way. We are huge fans of the club and proud to have our name on the players’ kits. We hope to be able to continue our support by helping to keep players and supporters warm with the installation of one of our units in the new clubhouse.”

Phil Hurley accepts a framed shirt from Club President Michelle Lord

The club is undergoing a major transformation this year, with its new home ground currently in the final stages of construction and set to be unveiled in time for the start of the new rugby season in September.

Graham Bell, relocation chairman at Chesterfield Panthers RUFC, adds: “We have invested more than £1.5 million into the new ground and facilities at Dunston Road. However, it is the generous support from organisations and companies like NIBE that has helped transform the sports and clubhouse facilities from the ordinary to the extraordinary.  We are very proud to have created a true community resource at Dunston Road and look forward to welcoming many more people to our new home.”



Chesterfield Panthers RUFC appeals for new players for its ladies team

New players are being sought for Chesterfield Panthers RUFC’s ladies team. A special taster training session is being held on Sunday 30th June from 2.30pm – 4.30pm, designed to introduce new and experienced players to the game and the team.

The taster session will be held at the Club’s brand new ground in Dunston and will involve training in basic ball skills, passing and tackles as well as a demonstration of a game by the ladies’ team. Women aged from 17 years old are welcome to attend.

Chesterfield Panthers Club president and ladies team manager Michelle Lord explained: “Rugby is great social sport with a fantastic team spirit that helps improve confidence and fitness levels. As well as improving your fitness without endless hours in the gym, rugby also opens you up to a new network of friends who enjoy getting together for annual weekends away. The taster session is a great way to discover all this for yourself.”

Women’s rugby is increasing in popularity; recognised as an excellent way to keep fit as well as socialise. The game follows exactly the same rules and format as men’s rugby; however Michelle admits that her team places slightly more emphasis on the social side.

She added: “To ensure potential members get a true picture of the team, the taster session will finish with a get together in the local pub.”

The team trains every Thursday at 7.30pm at the newly-built ground in Dunston and play between one and two matches, home and away, every month, usually on a Sunday.

The team currently plays in the RFU Women’s National challenge Midlands North 2 division. There are around 250 female senior and university teams affiliated to the RFU, of which Chesterfield Panthers RUFC is one.

To take part in the taster session, or for more information about Chesterfield Panthers’ ladies’ team, contact Michelle Lord on 07968 587524 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Chesterfield RUFC appoint PR agency

Chesterfield Panthers RUFC has appointed local public relations agency In the Works PR to raise awareness of the 93-year old Club following its move to a brand new, purpose-built ground in Dunston.

As part of raising the Club’s profile, In the Works PR will be responsible for designing and launching a new Club website, attracting corporate sponsors and raising awareness of the new clubhouse and private hire facilities.

Read more: Chesterfield RUFC appoint PR agency

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