Dagenham RUFC was started in 1991 by a group of friends who wanted to come together and enjoy their love of drinking port and playing rugby away from other local clubs.

A kit was borrowed and the first games were played out of Eastbrook School with The Beacon Pub on Oxlow Lane hosting afterwards. In a clear sign of the times the Beacon has since become a Tesco Express!

The club colours have always been Red and White with various kit designs over the years. Traditionally the 1st team wear red and white quarters, the 2nd team white shirt with red hoop or trim and 3rd or Vets team red and white hoops (with letters on the back). Change strip is normally black (altough I vaguely remember seeing a bright purple kit at one point!).

The first club badge was a red and white shield. After a while the Town Hall gave us permission to use the town crest and this has been our badge ever since. The club motto has always been the Latin phrase "Sursum Vester"

Some names of note of the yearly years are Chris Sapsford (Current club president), Gary Knowlden (Current Chairman), Mark Randall (Former Chairman), Pat Feely (Former Vice-Chair). Dave Purton (Current Club Captain) Danny Canary, Peter Rogers, Bobby Dance and Tony and Bobby Ventham. Tony sadly passed away in 1993 and so a memorial game was held in his honour for many years afterwards. Tony's Dad Bobby was the clubs first president and did a lot for the club but also sadly passed away. His picture now proudly sits on the wall above our Absent Friends bar.

After a while the club enquired about the dis-used pavilion in Central Park and with a bit of help this became our new headquarters. A later extension happened to the Bar in 2012.

The first leagues entered were Eastern Counties and meant lots of travelling around Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk. This would involve a minibus to away games and stopping off at rural pubs on the way back. On one such occasion a replica cannon may or may not have been "borrowed" from one such pub!

Once the Essex Leagues were established, Under the coaching of Mark "Barney" Collins and the captaincy of Ben Fowler, the club won it's first President's Shield and gained promotion from Essex 2 in 2001. Another Presidents Shield came in 2004 and a 3rd President's Shield and promotion from Essex 1 to the London leagues came in 2008.

With the folding of local clubs Old Edwardians, Chigwell & Fairburn and Old Bealonians numbers swelled and a 2nd and 3rd team soon followed. Another name of note from the early Noughties era was Barry “The Taxi” Robinson who nearly single-handedly run the 3rd team for many years. He could often be found curb crawling the streets of Dagenham on a Saturday morning asking total strangers if they fancied a run out! His picture also now proudly sits above our Absent Friends bar.

In 2011 the club had unfortunately found itself back in Essex 2, but under the coaching of Brian Wren, promotion to Essex 1 was achieved and another Presidents shield followed in 2014. Also around this time the youth section was started which today boasts players of all ages. Our Under 14's winning the Essex Cup in 2017. It is great to see that many youth players have gone on to represent all of the senior teams. The club has a close link with Robert Clack School and many pupils, former pupils and teachers have played and coached at the club at all levels over the years.

The club has a proud tradition of touring and destinations over the years have included Spain, Belgium, The Netherlands, Ireland, The Channel Islands and Bournemouth 7's. More Tour info can be found here

In 2016 the club celebrated its 25th anniversary in style by gaining its RFU accreditation, winning the John Adler trophy and touring to Great Yarmouth (The destination of the first ever tour 25 years earlier!). International Referee Wayne Barnes presented the club with a signed 6-Nations worn shirt.

The DRUFC clubhouse was also featured in the Heineken/Jackie Stewart "When you drive never drink" TV commercial.

History was made in 2019 by winning the Presidents Shield for a record 5th time and a 3rd XV was fielded for the first time in over a decade. Player/Coach Lewis Pruce also made club history by gaining the clubs first senior county cap, representing Essex in a game against Somerset. (Altough Gary Knowlden claims to have played in an Essex side in the late 90's!)

This was followed by a sad incident in the summer of 2019 in which vandals set fire to our container which contained our training and match equipment, kit and scrum machine (Making the front page of the Barking and Dagenham Post). However with support from the members and their familes, the local community, local businesses and the council we managed to raise several thousand pounds to replace it all in a matter of weeks, ready in time for the 2019-20 season. This is a true testament to the spirit of the club.

Unfortunately the coronavirus outbreak brought an early end to the 2019-2020 season, but not before promotion to the London leagues was achieved as Essex 1 Champions (The only club in the country with a 100% Bonus Point record) and the Essex Intermediate Cup being shared with Harlow (The final being unable to be played). The 2nd team achieved promotion and the 3rd team completed a full league season including one game in which it fielded 4 Rawlinson brothers at the same time (a club record). A girls section (The Dagenham Diamonds) was also created with great success.

The club were finally able to celebrate their 30th anniversary when rugby activities resumed for the 2021-22 season. Numerous events were held including an Anniversary lunch with attendees including the President of the Essex RFU Alan Price and Jon Cruddas (MP for Dagenham and Rainham) who was presented with a DRUFC club tie. Local lad and England Legend Jason Leonard OBE also presented the club with a signed England shirt for the occasion. On the pitch, more records were broken with the First team winning the London 3 Essex division (promoting them to their highest ever level) and winning the Essex Intermediate Cup for the first time in the club’s history. More youth sides and a Vets team (The Desperados) were also setup with mixed fortunes!

The 2022-23 season saw another promotion for First team, finishing runners up in the newly formed Essex Counties 1 and reaching the last 8 of the new Papa Johns National Cup. Not to be outdone, The 2nd team also gained promotion, completing their Merit 4 campaign undefeated. This included a dramatic last league game win over Milwall 2nds, leapfrogging them for the title. Silverware for the youth sides and a first foreign tour for 10 years to Amsterdam rounded off a good season all round!

The futures bright. The futures Red and White!