Sale FC Rugby Club
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|Full name||Sale FC Rugby|
|Location||Sale, Greater Manchester, England|
|Ground(s)||Heywood Road (Capacity: 3,387)|
|League(s)||National League 1|
Sale FC is a semi-professional rugby union club based at Heywood Road in Sale, Greater Manchester, England, which plays in National League 1 following promotion from National League 2 North at the end of the 2017–18 season. Premiership club Sale Sharks is a professional offshoot of Sale FC.
Formed by a team of sportsmen drawn mainly from Sale Cricket Club, Sale Football Club was founded in 1861 and is the fifth oldest surviving rugby club. In the early days of the club, rules were usually deemed unnecessary and those that were enforced were often made up on the spot. As the game began to evolve, however, the need for specified regulations became apparent and in 1865 the Minute Book was created stipulating the ten rules to be followed by all players. This is reputedly world's oldest existing rugby rule book and a much treasured possession. Games were originally played on either a rented portion of Sale Cricket Club or on fields owned by local farmers. In 1905, the club bought a field at the end of Heywood Road.
Sale FC have featured many prominent international and county players. Pat Davies became their first England international in 1927 and the 1930s saw an international backline of Hal Sever (England wing), Claude Davey and Wilf Wooller (Wales centres) and Ken Fyfe (Scotland wing). Fran Cotton, Steve Smith, Dewi Morris, Richard Trickey and Jason Robinson also played at Sale.
In 1936, Sale were invited to take part in the Middlesex Sevens Cup and went on to win the competition.
Before World War II, an increase in membership meant that the club had almost outgrown facilities at Heywood Road and an additional site on Woodbourne Road was purchased. Initially this was meant to be a training ground for the junior team, but there were talks to eventually relocate the rest of the club there too, but when war was over it was instead decided to focus efforts on the redevelopment of Heywood Road. Land was sold to fund the project and the ground gradually began to evolve. A new clubhouse was built, the old bath house replaced by squash courts, changing facilities improved, floodlights installed and the commemorative Jim Birtles Stand erected.
The Suite @Sale
In December 2017 at their home game against Sedgley Tigers, Sale FC opened their Suite @Sale hospitality suite. This new suite seats 180 for meals in the main room, 24 people in the Executive Suite and has two bars. The downstairs also has a new gymnasium and a Martial Arts facility used by TaeKwonDo.
Sale FC also own the Sale Sharks High Performance Training Centre on Carrington Lane. This facility has four pitches, one of which is floodlit and a training resource area including dining room, performance analysis suite and it is also where Minis and Juniors train on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings.
On 23 December 2017 the club unveiled a new mascot, Trickey the Mutt.
Old amateur club (pre Sale Sharks)
- Middlesex Sevens winners: 1936
- Glengarth Sevens Davenport Plate winners (2): 1968, 1985
- Cheshire Cup winners (17): 1970, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1997
- Glengarth Sevens Main Event Champions: 1978
- Courage League National Division Two champions: 1993–94
Modern amateur club (post Sale Sharks)
- South Lancs/Cheshire 4 champions: 2003–04
- Euromanx South Lancs/Cheshire 3 champions: 2004–05
- South Lancs/Cheshire 2 champions: 2005–06
- Cheshire Plate winners: 2006
- South Lancs/Cheshire Division 1 champions: 2011–12
- Cheshire Bowl winners: 2012
- North Division 1 West champions: 2012–13
- Cheshire Vase winners: 2013
- Cheshire Cup winners: 2014 2019
- National 3 North champions: 2014–15
- National League 2 North champions: 2017–18
|Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||Points for||Points against||Points diff||Try bonus||Losing bonus||Points|
|8||Darlington Mowden Park||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Green background is the promotion place. Pink background are relegation places.|
Updated: 15 May 2019
Source: "National League 1". NCA Rugby.