Category: Sticky News

Manchester Village Spartans Whitchurch RUFC


A great day of rugby for the Spartans 1XV and 2XV

It’s been a good day for both our Union teams today with the 1st XV’s match ending with an important 1 point win over visitors Whitchurch RUFC in the Halbro League Div 3 South

Final result 15:14 to our lads in the 1XV. 

Meanwhile, over on the East coast, the Spartans 2nd XV won their IGR UK League Northern Divsion away match against the Hull Roundheads with run outs for several of our newbies against the Hull team who are just over a year old.  A great experience for both teams.

Final result 17:41 to the Spartans 2XV.

Both the Northwest Intermediate League Division 3 South and the IGR UK League Northern Division tables and results lists have been updated and are available to view here

(Warning: Strong language in the video below)



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Spartans talk Inclusive Rugby at Freshfields

Spartans were invited to take part in a ‘Lunch and Learn’ session organised by the Halo (LGBT+) Committee at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP to present an overview of the club and help stimulate discussion around the topic of LGBT+ participation in sport and inclusivity in rugby.

Joshua from the Spartans 1st XV joined Freshfields’ own golfing expert, George Matthews and rugby playing, Francis Norman on the panel alongside Footballer and Broadcaster, Helen Roberts-Hardy who’s recent BBC Sounds Podcast about Tribalism in Football is worth checking out here.

It was great to be welcomed so warmly and also to see a couple of Spartans’ players in the audience who themselves work at the company. Thanks for the opportunity.

Sale Sharks help Spartans celebrate IGR Anniversary

Manchester Village Spartans RUFC, one of the world’s first gay and inclusive rugby clubs, were welcomed to the AJ Bell Stadium on Saturday 5th October to help them mark the International Gay Rugby (IGR) #PrideInRugby Anniversary Weekend as guests of the Sale Sharks.

The 3-day International Gay Rugby (IGR) celebration was the first of its kind in IGR’s history and coincided with the historic signing of an anti-LGBTphobia commitment in Japan at the Rugby World Cup and saw over 80 teams from all around the world participating in events to acknowledge the strides taken over the previous 20yrs and to promote continued inclusion in rugby.

The Village Spartans, based in Sale, were one of the IGR association’s founding clubs and were delighted to be invited to watch the Shark’s victory against the London Wasps in the Premiership as guests of the Sale Sharks who throughout the decades have been active supporters of the Spartans, helping them with coaching and development as members of their 100 Club partnership scheme.

Head of Brand at Sale Sharks, Jonny Acheson commented, “It’s great to see the success of Gay and Inclusive Rugby around the world today and worthwhile celebrating clubs like the Spartans, who make up the IGR, who are creating an ever-healthier and even more encouraging environment for new players to pick up the sport we all love”.

“It’s even better knowing that it’s the efforts of a local Mancunian club that has contributed so much to this change over the years, especially given the Sharks have proudly been there alongside them and helped them out with coaching and development over the years too”, Jonny added.

Gareth Longley, Chairman at Village Spartans agreed. “We’re delighted to have such a great ally in Sale Sharks and hope that more and more Professional clubs continue to follow the Sharks’ lead in standing up for Inclusive rugby.”  He continued, “Every 1st Team Sale Sharks player participated in our ground-breaking Photography fundraiser called “Portraits of Pride” this summer and it’s a prime example of how keen our Premiership neighbours have been over the years to support the growth of LGBT inclusion on and off the field, so it was the icing on the cake to come down to the AJ Bell and watch some terrific rugby as part of IGR’s Anniversary Weekend.”

The Spartans dashed from Sale Sports Club to get to the stadium on time, following their own fixture on Saturday which saw their 2ndteam compete, dressed as Comic Book Superheroes, alongside other northern IGR clubs, The Chester Centurions and Liverpool Tritons – in a friendly that raised money for the mental health charity, State of Mind Sport.

Some of the limited-to-one, gallery prints signed by each of The Sale Sharks’ first team, shot by top London Photographer, Andy Barnham, are still available to purchase online at with all the money going to help grow Inclusive Rugby participation across the northwest.

#inclusiverugby #gayrugby #salesharks #portraitsofpride #prideinrugby

New Short-Film about Spartans launches on Sky Sports

Manchester Village Spartans RUFC, one of the world’s first gay and inclusive rugby clubs established in 1999 and one of the original founding clubs of International Gay Rugby are thrilled to announce their inclusion in the Sports Allies “Spotlight” Series of Short films celebrating NATIONAL INCLUSION WEEK in the United Kingdom.  

The film, produced by London Film School, followed the pioneering Rugby Union club as they attended the bi-ennial ‘Union Cup’ tournament, the eighth since the tournaments inception in 2005 and held this year in Dublin.

The Manchester Village Spartans’ 1st XV team reached the live-streamed final of The Union Cup against their oldest friends and rivals, the Kings Cross Steelers 1st XV who’s powerful performance ultimately sent the Union Cup to London for a seventh time following a score line of 65:0.

“To reach the final, in this, the biggest Union Cup to date, is a terrific achievement – especially because 2019 marks our 20th Anniversary as the world’s second-ever gay rugby club still in existence” said Dean Bee who stepped down as the Spartans’ Chair this summer but continues as International Gay Rugby’s Europe Trustee.

“A game back in 1999 in Manchester between ourselves and the Steelers effectively helped to kick start the whole International Gay rugby scene, so to go head to head with the Steelers in this year’s Union Cup final, with Nigel Owens as the referee and for our campaign to be documented throughout for such a superb cause as Sport Allies, was absolutely cracking.”

The Spartans didn’t leave empty handed though, with their 2nd XV victors in The Challenger Club, after a nail-biting final against fellow Gay and Inclusive rugby club, The Liverpool Tritons at the DCU Sports Complex in Ireland, attended by over 1000 players and spectators from across the UK and Europe.

The Spartans 2nd team went undefeated throughout their campaign and performed exceptionally in a closely matched final game with a score line of 10:5 to the lads from Manchester.

The club recently celebrated their Union Cup achievements with a host of VIP guests, including Angus Malcolm and Tristan Latarche from Sport Allies at a huge fundraising Gala as part of their 20th Anniversary Celebrations.

The audience were treated to a sneak-peak of the film and all 250 guests – including rugby legends Chris Robshaw and Brian Moore and Equalities Minister, Baroness Williams of Trafford seemed   captivated by the portrayal of the Spartans in the moving and honest film.

Players featured in the film represented a broad cross-section of the diverse club and included Neil Gallagher, who’s rationale provided in the film for joining an Inclusive Club as a Straight man prompted spontaneous applause from the audience.

Archie Taylor’s explanation that the Spartans are his family – a home away from home – also prompted gasps of emotion from the audience – which actually included his family, visiting Manchester especially for the occasion.

Club Chairman and 2nd team coach Gareth Longley and one of the interviewees in the film commented, “This is such a big year for us and an Inclusive Rugby milestone, so to take centre stage at such a popular, professionally managed and huge tournament was the icing on our 20th Birthday cake so to speak.”

Gareth continued, “We’re so proud to be Spartans and incredibly pleased that our most successful International Gay Rugby tournament has been captured on film so beautifully by Sport Allies and London Film School to be shown on Sky Sports!”