• Our Midwives Legend, John Starling, generously bequeathed £45,000 to the Rugby Club in his Will.
  • Rich Sexton met with Keith Long in New York, shortly before Keith died, and had a nostalgic chat about how they had been introduced to the Club as youngsters (see photo below of our dear friend, Fridge).
  • Rich started discussions with various Midwives and school contacts to consider how funds could be raised and then spent on helping school leavers and young players to join the Club and kick off their adult rugby career.
  • The idea developed that we could see John’s bequest as being the seed investment into a new fund. We felt strongly that John would approve of his gift being focused on helping young players to launch their adult rugby careers through Trinity RFC.
  • The Starling Fund was born.

Plans for the Starling Fund (SF):

Our present thoughts are as follows, although we would like everyone to contribute ideas and suggestions:

Until such time as there is the need for a major outlay of funds, we would like to keep a balance of £40,000 in the SF. What would a ‘major outlay of funds’ look like? As an example, Trinity School’s 1st XV were invited to a World Schools Championship in December 2022. Wouldn’t it have been great to have been able to contribute a meaningful sum to that event!? In 2025, the Rugby Club celebrates its centenary. How can we use our funds to make this a truly memorable year?

We would like to organise a number of fund raising events each year with the aim of raising £10,000 each year to add to the SF. £10,000 might sound like a lot of money but we currently have 172 Midwives on our database and to raise £10,000 each year would work out as each Midwife donating £4.90 per month!

Each year, we would look to spend all of the money raised. We would need to find good causes on which to spend the funds. Examples could be: a) helping to pay for a University student’s travel back to the Club to play; b) helping to cover the cost of match fees for younger players: c) liaising with young players’ parents to see how funds could help make a difference; d) providing internships, work experience or work shadowing opportunities for young players, e) funding our minis, the Trinity Titans, and helping with their development, f) inviting guests from local schools to events at the Club, etc.

Our legacy to the Club would be ensuring that we continued as the highest ranked team in Croydon and pushed on from there.

Roles and responsibilities:

We hope the information above and below gives you a picture of what we will be aiming to do behind the scenes. Any help anyone can offer would be gratefully received.

  • School liaison – To develop and maintain strong relationships with Trinity School through Paul Roberts (Head Rugby Coach at Trinity) and Sean King (Director of Sport at Trinity).  To develop and maintain strong relationships with Riddlesdown School through our existing relationship with Andy Edwards and George Daniels. To build new relationships with local schools – Jim Hammond and James Hammond and any other willing helpers
  • Fund Raising – To organise and run events – Rich Sexton, Matron Jez
  • Good cause spotters – To look out for good opportunities to invest the SF funds – Everyone
  • Trinity RFC liaison – To work closely with the Committee to ensure funds are being used as best they can be – Matron, Russell Jones

Progress so far:

  • We were pleased that Paul Roberts and Sean King were able to join us for our night out in London.
  • We have already received donations amounting to around £1,000. Those who donate £250 or more will be recognised as Starling Legends.


We hope your appetites are suitably whetted! If you would like to make a donation now, please can you make it to the following bank account:

Old Mid-Whitgiftian Rugby Club
Sort Code: 20-70-15
Account Number: 13831841
Reference: Starling Fund

Please can you send me a quick email via this link to let me know you have donated and I will then send you a form so that you can claim Gift Aid on your donation.

Please join in with our plans as much as you can. In the meantime, enjoy the photos below.

All the best,

Matron Jez