In late 1995 Russell Timpson moved to Ash with his family and wanted to put together a team of people who wanted to play social rugby on the occasional Sunday allowing new blood to 'have a go'. He got together with Ian Castle and Mick Smalley, two stalwarts of the village as well as keen rugby men, and forged together all the components required. At the top of the list, a team!
On the 11th December Ash played its first game against Whitstable at Pfizer social Club in red shirts. Ash lost 10-0 but showed remarkable enthusiasm in defence and something unstoppable had started.
In January 1996 we received permission from the parish council to play rugby at the recreation ground. After acquiring a set of posts in January, the home pitch was first used on 11th February 1996 in a match against Faversham when the team also wore the now familiar green and white shirts for the first time.
Ash Rugby Club played eight games in its first season (1995 - 1996) and won four of them.
The following season the team was involved nearly every Sunday in a game either home or away. Results often did not go our way but the club was getting bigger and better throughout the season. The second season finished with a tour to Dublin where we played and beat Esso Fawley on a pitch we found by luck and had to provide our own referee, Mr Ray Biggs now one of our honoured VPs.
More significantly the 1996 - 1997 season will be remembered as the year the club started Sunday morning minis rugby for children from ages 6 to 11. With memorable successes in games against Canterbury and Aylesford.
The club's third season (1997 - 98) was getting tough, local club's were beginning to get to hear about us and could load their sides on a Sunday. We had to play against some heavyweights from their first teams to play our little village club with players new to the game. Sometimes we were beaten out of sight, but occasionally we won and some honourable clubs such as Thanet Wanderers put out teams we could compete against and sometimes beat.
Meanwhile the club was putting new coaches through the RFU preliminary coaching award on a regular basis and getting better coaching for the minis and it was decided that the minis section become financially autonomous. From then on it has run extremely successfully under the umbrella of the club but without any interference from it. With an ongoing aim that the children learn to play at Ash Rugby Club and then play as seniors once they reach their 17th birthday.
That year the club hosted their first foreign visitors from Lyon and out on a tournament that also involved Dover and Canterbury. The honourable thing to do after that was to return the tour and that year the club went to Lyon, France.
In 1998 improvement was becoming really difficult and something had to be done, the attitudes of the players and the club was changing. The need to play more competitive games against fair opposition became stronger. In January 1999 it was decided that we put the club forward to enter the East Kent Leagues. We were accepted and were entered into East Kent 3 for the season 1999-2000. It became a big year for the club.
A huge summer ball was organised and went ahead in July in the field farmed by Michael Coleman next to VHB Nurseries. The club also became affiliated to the RFU and opened its new website to encourage other clubs to tour here. The Ash RFC tour in 1999 was to Fort William in Scotland.