Wed 17 May 2023 22:49

Supporting the development of Youth Rugby at Dorking RFC

Established in 2017, the John Douglas Youth Development Fund’s primary is to financially support projects or initiatives supporting the ongoing development of our youth players aged 14-18. The fund, which is managed by Sir Michael Pickard and Mary Douglas, exists to ensure we reach the highest possible levels of youth engagement and development at Dorking Rugby Club.

John Douglas


John’s lifelong dedication to rugby was a testament to his passion for the sport. He played for multiple teams and coached the minis at Dorking RFC from 1980. His involvement in youth rugby extended beyond Dorking to Surrey County RFU and the Rugby Football Union (RFU), where he chaired several committees and played a significant role in developing many successful rugby careers.

John’s impact on rugby continued far beyond his playing days. He was a true champion of the grassroots development of the sport and devoted much of his time to the betterment of youth rugby. His contributions were instrumental in the establishment of various committees, including the Rugby Development Officer Management Group. His tireless efforts played a pivotal role in creating opportunities for young players to develop, both personally and as rugby players.

The Dorking Rugby Club fund named after John is a fitting tribute to his legacy. It highlights how much the club owes to John, who was a significant figure in the club’s history. It is a testament to the impact he had on the club, as well as the sport of rugby in general. The fund will provide young players with opportunities to experience the same level of growth that John had during his playing days in Ceylon and New Zealand.

Read more about John Douglas


Committed to promoting excellence in both youth engagement and overall standards of rugby at Dorking RFC, the John Douglas Youth Development Fund supports specific projects or initiatives which meet the following purposes:

  • Projects or initiatives primarily benefitting the youth sections, although other sections also see the benefit in line with our integrated ‘One Club’ approach.
  • Commemorating the significant contribution made by John Douglas over many years to Dorking Rugby Football Club specifically and the wider rugby community in general.
  • Enabling DRFC players to achieve a higher level of performance and enjoyment.
  • Providing a vehicle for many of our passionate supporters to put that bit extra back in to the club and game they love.

Managed through a Council chaired by Sir Michael Pickard, all funding requests are reviewed by the Dorking RFC Executive Board before approval. Members of John’s family, the Dorking RFC Chairman and the club’s Head of Youth Rugby also sit on the Council, along with two members nominated by contributors to the Fund.


Since its inception the John Douglas Youth Development Fund has supported a multitude of initiatives enabling the club to develop into its current form; a thriving community club with a vibrant minis and youth section and high performing senior men and women’s sides. Projects supported and being supported by the John Douglas Youth Development Fund include:

  • Build of the new state of the art club gym and financing of weights + Provision of training equipment, including balls, tackle bags, bibs etc...
  • Investment in coaches to support the Youth Development Programme and Colts Development Programme
  • Playing kit for our senior men, women and youth sections
  • Education evenings from Spire Healthcare focusing on Mental Health & Nutrition

How can you help?

Become a patron or benefactor. Individual club members, a couple, family or a company can become Patrons or Benefactors of the John Douglas Youth Development Fund.

Regular monthly or yearly contributions via standing order are encouraged, although one-off donations to the Fund are also much appreciated.

In return for your support you will receive regular news about the Fund and an invitation to an annual lunch at a first team game where updates on the Fund’s progress will be

     Download our Donation Form

Our Donors

As a club we are extremely grateful to each and every one of the Patrons and Benefactors of the John Douglas Youth Development Fund.


  • John Aarvold
  • Martin Ashford
  • Kevin Beal
  • Robert Bennett
  • Matthew Chambers
  • Andrew Chitty
  • Mary Douglas
  • Derek Grieve
  • David Hales
  • Shaun Hammond
  • Mark & Jo Harrison
  • David Hemmings
  • John Holder
  • Paul Instone
  • Stewart  Irvine
  • Alan Jackson
  • Alan King
  • Stuart Mitchell
  • Tracey Mitchell
  • Ian Newcastle
  • Roger Parkin
  • Sir Michael Pickard
  • Reigate Rugby Club
  • Sawkings & Norton Architecture
  • Kevin Shopland
  • Michael Spicer
  • James Wates
  • Jonathon Watts
  • Andy Webb
  • Nick Webb
  • Bob White
  • Nuala Worth


  • Tracy Collyer
  • Paul Gardner
  • Nick & Sarah Gillett
  • Mark Janaway
  • Jaques Construction
  • Chris Kane
  • Jack May
  • Jamie Merrett
  • Pip Merrett
  • Chris Millar
  • Jim Regan
  • Lucy Roux
  • Patrick Shea
  • Nick Smith
  • Colin Troughton
  • Michael & Carolyne Walter
  • John Watkins
  • Harry Watts
  • Dominic Wright