Southwark Tigers

The Southwark Tigers Rugby Club was established 10 years ago by Vernon Neve-Dunne who is now their Chairman. They play in Burgess Park, near to the Old Kent Road, and it was the first inner city junior rugby club in England. Southwark Tigers is a charity which provides a safe environment for children and young people in the Southwark area to play rugby and other physical activities.

Update: February 2020

Firstly, some bad news from the Tigers Rugby Club - the minibus we donated to them a few years ago was stolen in mid 2018 from outside Vernon Neve-Dunn’s house in Croydon, which made big news in South London and was the top rated story in the Southwark News, knocking Prince Harry’s wedding into second place! The children were enraged and very unhappy about this as it was the only transport they had for their away matches, and so it was a massive hindrance to the Club.

The Foundation decided to provide a replacement bus in 2019 and we are pleased to say that the Tigers were having a great season in 2020 until the problems with Coronavirus put an early end to the season.

After setting-up the Club 20 years ago, Vernon has decided to take a step back to allow the new parents to develop the Club. He is still the Chairman but not directly involved in the day to day management. He is still very connected to the Tigers and uses his work at another charity he started, Burgess Sports, to support the Tigers.

Chris Callaway, the founder of the adult section of the Club (the Southwark Lancers) has taken over many of Vernon’s roles and the club has never been in such a strong position. They now have 3 adult teams and 10 junior teams and the top team at the Club is in first place in the Kent 1 league and looking to be promoted once again!

The junior section of the Club has a strong and thriving membership of players from the U7’s up to the U14’s. They also have a new section called Tiny Tigers for 2-4 year olds so the future of the Club looks very bright indeed. A lot of the mums now train in the ‘women & girls’ section of the Club.

They have only one pitch that is rented from the council and no clubhouse but have developed a strong club. They were the first inner city team in the country and rightly proud of what they have achieved. They have successfully persuaded the local authority to build a floodlit rugby-compliant artificial pitch next to their grass pitch and this will be the closest floodlit artificial rugby pitch to the centre of London. They are keen to make it a hub for inner city rugby, a place that will provide opportunities to communities that know nothing about rugby.

In these strange times, Southwark Tigers and Burgess Sports are trying to help their community in the best way they can. They are no longer able to provide after school activities, holiday sports camps, leadership training and healthy eating workshops so they have set up a food programme that is currently providing over 200 free meals a week to families and individuals in need in the local community.

What better way could there be to make use of the new minibus!!

The Adam Cole Foundation/Southwark Tigers Rugby Camp

Uppingham School hosted the second Adam Cole Foundation/Southwark Tigers Rugby Camp from 16th-18th August 2013. Read a full report here.

The Southwark Tigers gratefully received a table football from Gloucester Research which the children love playing. Our thanks to G-Research for this generous donation.

The Foundation bought 2 floodlights which has made training on Wednesday evenings more accessible. Vernon said "It used to feel dark and somewhat unfriendly, but now it will show the local community a lot of rugby as they pass by on the buses between Old Kent Road and Peckham High Street."

The Foundation bought the Tigers a new minibus which has enabled them to travel to away matches.

The Foundation has become one of the main sponsors for the Tigers Club supplying both playing and training kit.

On 9th November 2008 the Trustees and ex-England captain Martin Corry attended a training session at Burgess Park at which the new kit was unveiled. Martin played with and coached the youngsters. A few years ago rugby was hardly heard of in this area of London and they all enjoyed playing alongside the double world cup finalist.

Martin Corry (England, British Lions and Leicester) with players from the Tigers

Martin Corry & the Southwark Tigers Ex-England Rugby Captain Martin Corry

Training Session Team Photo

Photos courtesy of Southwark Council / RFU Press Office

Southwark Tigers Website: