MONTHS of worry and doubt surrounding the future of rugby in Matson is finally being laid to rest thanks to £100,000 of investment into one of Gloucester’s oldest clubs.
Sport England has announced a £50,000 grant to Matson RFC to help pay for a new clubhouse roof. That cash will pave the way for a further £50,000 in matched funding from the Rugby Football Union.
Club finances rely on bar sales and the venue being let out for various private functions and leaky roof threatened its survival.
The Citizen called on readers to pile their weight behind the cause with the Raise the Roof campaign.
Matson RFC president Steve Freeman said: “It is the first step towards preserving the future of the club.
“It means everything to the club and we can’t thank those who have pushed our cause enough.
“Matson is a wonderful club that brings together all corners of our diverse community, from all ethnic backgrounds. Ultimately, it will mean we will survive and be able to continue to offer rugby to young people from Gloucester.”
City MP Richard Graham, who has championed the club’s plight with the RFU, said: “Since I first raised this with the chairman of the RFU some six months ago, they have been continually supportive of the cause.
“Matson and its team hit all the right buttons and nobody could be more delighted for both the club and rugby in Gloucester more than me.”
Matson was the first in the county to achieve RFU accreditation confirming it complies with all the code’s laws. This included shelling out around £7,000 to change its baths to showers.
Steve Sadler, rugby club chairman, said: “This grant will allow us to concentrate on what we should be doing, and that is bringing on the next generation of grass roots rugby in Gloucester.
“It is fantastic news for the club, and the wider community who will benefit from rugby in Matson for many more years to come.”
The cash is part of a £17million fund to be split between other good causes across England from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities fund.
Sport England property director, Charles Johnston, said: “The fund has had a huge impact on grassroots sport across the country.”