THE chairman of Tynedale Rugby Club has issued an impassioned plea to its members and supporters amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The Corbridge-based club has overcome many challenges over the past two decades, from foot and mouth to devastating floods.

Now with the rugby season cancelled, and a full programme of key fund-raising events under threat, chairman Neil Foster has expressed fears over running costs of £120,000 a year at the club’s 35-acre home at Tynedale Park.

Mr Foster said: “We have faced some extraordinary circumstances due to flooding in recent years but COVID19 and the resulting lockdown now threatens the very existence of Tynedale Rugby Club.

“We are looking at all ways of cutting costs but most of this overhead is fixed and essential to maintaining the facility.”

Tynedale currently competes in National League Division Two North, the fourth tier of English rugby, and running costs, which break down to about £10,000 per month, are to cover maintenance and repairs at the clubhouse, grandstand, pitches and other facilities at the Corbridge venue.

Key summer fund-raisers for Tynedale are the annual beer and cider festival, Corbridge Music Festival, caravan rallies, and car boot sales, which cover more than 50 per cent of the club’s running costs.

This summer’s beer and cider festival looks set to be rescheduled for later in the year, but Mr Foster said it will come too late for the club’s strained cash flow.

He added: “It now looks certain we will lose this income for 2020, a situation which clearly has dire financial consequences for the club and its very survival.”

Club officials are keen to avoid eating into capital reserve funds, to protect the club from future flooding or natural disaster.

Instead, Mr Foster has called on club members and supporters to make a one-off donation of £100 per person, or whatever they can afford to “keep our heads above water during this unprecedented situation.”

He added: “I appreciate that these are difficult times for everyone but we ask that you consider your club and the value and benefit of sustaining our wonderful facilities for the future.

"I truly hope you can help us with this one-off donation and thank you most sincerely. For more information email treasurer Chris Lloyd at

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