Chinnor RFC was founded in 1962. One of the main driving forces behind its inception was Frank Angel. Frank, an ex-officer in the Royal Navy, thought a reasonable day to found the Club was Trafalgar Day so, on 21st October 1962, at the Bird-in-Hand, together with Cyril Perry, a teacher at Risborough School, the club was born.
Chinnor’s first match was a one-off game in March 1963 against Old Henleyensians which was arranged by Cyril Perry & Harry Cartwright who found the pitch and recruited players for the team; most of the team came from Princes Risborough Secondary Modern & Lord Williams School in Thame.
Frank Angel with his boxer dog Copper was always a regular supporter of the club, but kept out of the administration challenges that faced Chinnor in these early days.
The first full season was in 1963-64. Marcus Cann negotiated with a Mr White; a local farmer, that we could play on a field adjacent to the Bird-in-Hand. Bledlow Cricket Pavilion became Chinnor’s headquarters providing changing room facilities, some 3 miles down the road.
It was obvious that if we had any aspirations we had to move to a permanent solution. A place where we could have a pitch, a Clubhouse and all that entailed. Towersey Playing Fields was that place. A 20-year lease was negotiated. Room enough for three pitches and the fact that it had no Clubhouse was a mere detail. In the time we were to remain at Whites Field, the club designed and built a Clubhouse from scratch. All volunteer labour. A tremendous effort. Season 1971-72 saw the Club move permanently to Towersey.
On the field, the standard of rugby being played also began to make marked progress. The Club was beginning to attract quality players with the fixture list slowly improving. The Minis, Juniors and Colts all became part of the mix in 1973 – 74, as well as the club was now running four Senior sides! 1976 saw the Club winning the County Cup for the first time. Not a bad effort considering the Club was but 14 years old and fittingly it was Henley who gave the Club their first run-out back in 1962, who were their opponents on the day.
The Club settled at Towersey, but after a short while the village wanted their field back, along with the Clubhouse that the Chinnor members had constructed. Once again the Club had to move. One member was David Elmer, Chairman of Thame Show. He was a major force in securing the purchase of 10 acres of land for the Club adjacent to the new venue for Thame Show in Thame.
In 1987, Chinnor moved to their final home turning the 10 acres into pitches and building another Clubhouse. Since this move, the Club has undoubtedly gone from strength to strength. The advent of the League structure has played a huge part in the development of Chinnor RFC. Starting in Bucks and Oxon Division 1, they were promoted through Southern Counties, South-West 2, South-West 1 and into National Leagues some 4 years ago. The youngest ever side to achieve playing National League rugby in the country.
Chinnor is proud of the many players who started at the Club and found success with Premiership teams; Tom Varndell, David Seymour, Paul Volley and new kids on the block; Bob Baker, Sam Jones, Chris Elder, Andy Berry. Rob Hill, Tony Wilkinson & Woody have played in the England Deaf Squad as well as coaching younger players at the Club.
A book entitled “Rucking and Mauling” has a dedication to Chinnor RFC. The dedication reads: “To play with style and provide and atmosphere of warmth and camaraderie tinged with a sizeable slice of ambition”