Cleve Rugby Football Club was formed in 1922 as “Cleve R.F.C. Downend”. They played their first game in a field in Staple Hill, which is now Staple Hill Park. The club later moved to Vassells Park in Fishponds, the players changing in the back room of the Full Moon Public House. It was at this time that the club became known simply as “Cleve R.F.C”. The club purchased a wooden pavilion in November 1934 for £200. When Cleve were forced to move to Bromley Heath Road in Downend in 1939, because of a housing development, their wooden pavilion went with them.
In 1947 further land was purchased and was farmed by club members, as a source of income. Eventually, to meet the growing local interest in rugby football, more pitches were developed. Then, between 1969 and 1971, members added more facilities, which carried the club through the next 25 years.
The club badge is based of the coat of arms of the Cave Estate, from whom the ground in Downend was purchased and the ears of wheat acknowledge the club’s farming activity after the War. The club motto ‘We sow to reap’ also records these early events but also reflects the club’s commitment to providing rugby facilities and coaching for children from the age of 6.
The next milestone in Cleve’s history was the club’s move to its new clubhouse and grounds ‘The Hayfields’in September 1997. The club runs 3 senior sides on Saturdays and all mini and junior levels, from under 7’s to colts on Sundays. There is within the club, a loyal membership and very social atmosphere.
At Cleve we are committed to providing a centre of excellence for the playing of rugby football, whilst further enhancing the unique spirit of friendship at the club. In doing so, we seek to provide the local community with a focal point for rugby and other sporting and social activities, for the enjoyment of all involved.