Sutton & Epsom Rugby Football Club have signed a new three-year sponsorship agreement with Stonegate Homes.

The club offers both its members and the wider community the opportunity to be part of something very special.

The first Sutton club was formed in 1871, the birth year of the RFU itself, while the present club started life in the autumn of 1880 as an off-shoot of the Sutton Bicycle Club – hence the iconic penny-farthing logo which still adorns the club’s black and white hooped strip.

But although Sutton’s early years took them to the cusp of first-class status, playing before crowds of up to 3,000 and meeting and beating the likes of Wasps, London Welsh and Saracens, and even defeating the French champions Stade Français in Paris, they would scarcely have been able to imagine the strides made in the last hundred years or so.

The club of today is one of the largest in the country, capable of putting up to 40 sides in the field, ranging from tender-aged minis, through a thriving junior and colts section, a development XV, five senior men’s sides, including the flagship 1st XV currently competing in the National League, London & SE Premier division, and not to mention a flourishing ladies section which also runs four girls youth sides.

The club also runs a large community programme which includes our Satellite Schools Programme, Summer Camp, Surrey Youth Games, Coaching Clinics and Rugby Taster Sessions.

This has not been achieved by chance. The club today is supported by over 3,000 members – 1,200 of them past and present players as well as 1,800 social members.

Indeed, the club’s social scene is second to none, with themed festivities and parties galore and ending with the prestigious Black & White Ball.

But more importantly, as playing costs, travel expenses and general overheads increase, the club has to rely more and more in forging relationships with local businesses.

In return the club offers a wide range of benefits including opportunities to promote their business and their products, to generate direct sales via club membership and to entertain their clients, both at the club and at Twickenham. All business partners can benefit from of a range of advertisements in our match day programmes, on our website and social media, and around the clubhouse and grounds.

Furthermore, the club's partners will be enhancing their brand by associating themselves with a successful amateur community sports club with highly positive attributes and sound values.

Jerry Hinds, Stonegate Homes co-founder, commented, “As a local property development business based in Dorking and operating around Surrey we are particularly looking forward to supporting the varied programme of community projects the club runs.

"It’s great to help give something back and get kids involved in a great sport like rugby. The team at Stonegate and I are honoured to support this local club which has such a long and distinguished history. I look forward to watching some exciting rugby over the season and we wish the club all the very best.”

And now, backed by a dedicated coaching and playing staff, an army of volunteers and our highly valued sponsors, Sutton & Epsom are competing in the National League.

There is not a hint of complacency and the club is well aware of the great challenges ahead. But challenges are meat and drink to Sutton and the atmosphere at Rugby Lane today is one of great optimism.

Chairman of Sponsorship & Marketing at S&E, Bob Haime, commented, “We are so pleased that Stonegate have come on board to partner with us – they’re a great bunch and really into their rugby. But more importantly it establishes yet another bond with a local business and helps us to plan and build for the future – and cement our place in the National League.”

Sutton and Epsom travel to Dorking this Saturday for an eagerly-anticipated local derby.