A RUGBY clubhouse has reopened following a devastating arson attack.

Northwich Rugby Union Football Club has welcomed the first guests to its revamped clubhouse, including World Cup winning England legend, Steve Thompson.

It comes less than a year after the historic venue at Moss Farm was gutted after being set alight by two 12-year-od boys.

Speaking after Saturday’s reopening, chairman Andy Naylor said: “It’s great to see the NRUFC Community Club open.

“The club is grateful to all those who have contributed both voluntarily and financially in restoring the facility to the family friendly building we are all proud of.”

Northwich Guardian: Mayor Jane Thomas handed out awards at the opening ceremonyMayor Jane Thomas handed out awards at the opening ceremony (Image: Northwich RUFC)

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service was called to Moss Lane shortly before 4pm on October 26, 2022, following reports of a fire.

Police were also called as it was believed the blaze, measuring approximately 20 metres by five metres, was started deliberately.

Two 12-year-old boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were arrested two days later.

In January the boys were handed conditional cautions and made to undertake work in the community and complete educational courses.

Sergeant Leanne Brundrett said at the time: “I understand the anger and resentment that this incident caused

“Both of the boys have admitted their guilt and are extremely remorseful for their actions.”

Northwich Guardian: Firefighters at the clubhouse following the fireFirefighters at the clubhouse following the fire (Image: Supplied)

Within weeks, local residents, supporters and fellow rugby clubs including Sale Sharks had raised more than £13,000 to help Northwich rebuild.

Following council approval, work on the rebuild of the clubhouse began in June and was completed ahead of their match with Penrith on Saturday (September 23), which Blacks went on to win 69-17.

READ MORE: How Blacks marked reopening of their clubhouse with an 11-try trouncing of Penrith

The occasion was made extra special as two new life presidents were appointed in Colin Johnson and Derek Bowden.

Northwich Guardian: Within weeks of the blaze, thousands of pounds had been raised for the clubWithin weeks of the blaze, thousands of pounds had been raised for the club (Image: Supplied)

Former British and Irish Lions hooker Thompson cut the ribbon and spoke about how much history had been lost in the fire, including photographs, shirts and awards.

He added that it is now up to the current and future members to rebuild the club’s history.

"What a day we had yesterday!" said a parent of one of the club's junior players.

"Club house is brilliant and well thought out. 

"Massive thank you to the first team for being so kind to the little ones.

"Watching one of the first team teaching the kids to scrum instead of chilling and having a pint was amazing! That's what makes Northwich RUFC great!"

Northwich Guardian: Inside the clubhouse after the fireInside the clubhouse after the fire (Image: Supplied)