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Wooden Spoon Society

Wooden Spoon Society

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Wooden Spoon is a children's charity founded in 1983, when the England rugby team received the Wooden Spoon in the 5 Nation
1983 Five Nations Championship
The 1983 Five Nations Championship was the fifty-fourth series of the rugby union Five Nations Championship. Including the previous incarnations as the Home Nations and Five Nations, this was the eighty-ninth series of the northern hemisphere rugby union championship. Ten matches were played...

s. Spoon is dedicated to helping children and young people who are disadvantaged physically, mentally or socially by using sport as a method of improving lives while harnessing the spirit and values of rugby. Wooden Spoon encompasses more than 10,000 members across the UK and Ireland with over 40 regional volunteer committees, who are dedicated to organising hundreds of fundraising events and challenges: www.spoonchallenges.com
To date, Spoon has helped over 500,000 children and donated over £15 million to a variety of causes.

Major projects

Spoon has funded many projects over the years. Some notable recent projects include:
  • A £200,000 Wooden Spoon Disabled Sports Centre at the Percy Hedley Foundation.
  • A £250,000 project to enhance the Children and Baby unit at the RNOH
    Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital
    The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital is a specialist orthopaedic hospital located in London, United Kingdom and a part of Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust...

     Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore, Middlesex.

  • Commitment to the UK DfES  "Playing for Success" programme within the Tackle Learning project. This has seen ITC equipment installed in 5 rugby clubs to date - two rugby union
    Rugby union
    Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

    , (Gloucester and Worcester ) and three rugby league
    Rugby league
    Rugby league football, usually called rugby league, is a full contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular grass field. One of the two codes of rugby football, it originated in England in 1895 by a split from Rugby Football Union over paying players...

     (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats
    Wakefield Trinity Wildcats
    Wakefield Trinity Wildcats are a professional rugby league club that plays in the European Super League and is based in Wakefield. They achieved promotion in 1999 and have remained in the League since. They are known to their fans as Wakey, Trinity, Wildcats, or historically The Dreadnoughts...

    , Hull Kingston Rovers
    Hull Kingston Rovers
    Hull Kingston Rovers or Hull KR is an English professional rugby league football club based in Hull, England. The club formed in 1882 and currently competes in Super League, having won promotion from National League One in 2006...

     and Featherstone Rovers
    Featherstone Rovers
    Featherstone Rovers are a semi-professional rugby league club, based in Featherstone, West Yorkshire, England. They currently play in the Championship. The Rovers are one of the last vestiges of "small town teams" that were once common in rugby league during the early twentieth century...


A comprehensive list of funded projects is available here.

Ambassador Programme

Wooden Spoon is supported by numerous sporting legends who contribute their time and energy to raise awareness for Spoon. In addition, Spoon has strong relationships with a variety of clubs, league associations, governing bodies and corporate supporters.
  • Shane Williams
    Shane Williams
    Shane Mark Williams is a Welsh international rugby union player who plays as a wing for the Ospreys and who can also play scrum-half. Williams is the record try scorer for the Wales national team and he is third on the international list of leading Rugby union Test try scorers behind Daisuke Ohata...

     - Wales' Grand Slam Hero
  • Ben Kay
    Ben Kay
    Benedict James Kay MBE is a retired English international rugby union footballer who played Second row forward for Leicester Tigers and .-Background:...

     – 2003 Rugby World Cup Winner
  • Elspeth Hanson
    Elspeth Hanson
    Elspeth Hanson is the violist of the all female string quartet, Bond.- Biography :Elspeth started learning the violin aged 12 and at 16 won a place as first violin with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain with whom she has toured the UK and played live at the BBC Proms.Previously she had...

     - Musician
  • Samantha Cameron
    Samantha Cameron
    Samantha Gwendoline Cameron , often known simply as "Sam Cam", is a British business executive and wife of David Cameron, the current Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom....

     - wife of David Cameron and Creative Director of Smythsons
  • Jonny Saunders
    Jonny Saunders
    Jonny Saunders is a former British radio sports reporter, presenter and commentator. He worked for the BBC and featured on Radios 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 Music...

     - BBC Radio 2 voice of sport
  • Mark Sharman
    Mark Sharman
    Mark Brian Sharman is a British broadcasting administrator.-Career:Sharman first worked as a journalist with the Derby Evening Telegraph and Birmingham Evening Mail before entering television journalism with ITV in 1976, where he edited coverage of Football World Cups and the Olympic Games...

     - ITV's Head of News and Sport
  • John Kane - the Founder of World Rugby Classic in Bermuda

Try Rugby

The 12 premiership clubs that make up Premier Rugby, have launched Try Rugby, an initiative designed to help tackle the growing issue of childhood obesity. The programme has been developed and funded through a partnership between Spoon, Premier Rugby and Sport England.

Try Rugby gives local schools a course in tag rugby that will benefit children and teachers and will enable rugby to still be played long after completing the coaching series.


Spoon has its own invitational rugby team, the SpoonAAs - formerly the Anti-Assassins
The Anti-Assassins Rugby Union Football team was an invitation team that selected players from the northern counties of England to play friendly charitable matches locally and to go on tour...

- who play matches and tournaments around the country and abroad in Spoon colours. In December 2006, the SpoonAAs were losing finalists in the Dubai International Veterans Tens Tournament, played alongside the IRB
International Rugby Board
The International Rugby Board is the governing body for the sport of rugby union. It was founded in 1886 as the International Rugby Football Board by the unions of Scotland, Wales and Ireland. England refused to join until 1890. The International Rugby Football Board changed its name to the...

 Dubai Sevens
Dubai Sevens
The Dubai Sevens is an annual rugby union sevens tournament held in Dubai, UAE. Through the 2007 edition, it was held at the Dubai Exiles Rugby Ground, but in 2008 it moved to The Sevens, a new stadium built to host the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens. The 2009 competition took place between 3-5...



Spoon was founded in 1983 when England's Five Nations season ended in defeat by Ireland.
A group of English supporters were presented with a Wooden Spoon by their Irish opponents to mark the historic occasion. On returning home, the proposal to play golf for the Spoon attracted the interest of fellow English supporters. Over 100 people attended that golf day at Farnham and by the end of the evening £8,450 had been raised. The funds were cashed in for a minibus purchased for the Park School
Stocklake Park Community School
Stocklake Park Community School, , is a co-educational special school in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. It is a community school, which takes children from the age of 11 through to the age of 19. The school has approximately 65 pupils.The school caters for children with severe and multiple learning...

, a special needs school in Aylesbury
Aylesbury is the county town of Buckinghamshire in South East England. However the town also falls into a geographical region known as the South Midlands an area that ecompasses the north of the South East, and the southern extremities of the East Midlands...


The charity was born...

Over time the number and variety of events increased as have the number of supporters and participants. Spoon now has patronage from the four rugby home unions and royal patronage from HRH The Princess Royal.

Notable members

Patron: The Princess Royal
Anne, Princess Royal
Princess Anne, Princess Royal , is the only daughter of Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh...

 is a patron of the Wooden Spoon.

Many former and current professional rugby players and management are Wooden Spoon members. Several are Regional Honorary Presidents including:
  • Rob Andrew
    Rob Andrew
    Christopher Robert "Rob" Andrew MBE , nicknamed "Squeaky", is a former English rugby union footballer and currently Director of Operations at the RFU. He was formerly the Director of Rugby of Newcastle Falcons. As a player, Andrew was assured in his kicking and defensive skills off both feet...

    , OBE
    Order of the British Empire
    The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

  • Martin Bayfield
    Martin Bayfield
    Martin Christopher Bayfield is an English former rugby union footballer who played lock forward for Northampton Saints, Bedford Blues and England, gaining 31 England and 3 Lions caps.Bayfield was born in Bedford...

  • John Bentley
  • Bill Beaumont
    Bill Beaumont
    William "Bill" Blackledge Beaumont CBE was captain of the England rugby union team at a time when they struggled to win games. His greatest moment as captain was the unexpected 1980 Grand Slam. He played as a lock...

    , OBE
  • Kyran Bracken
    Kyran Bracken
    Kyran Paul Patrick Bracken MBE is a former English rugby union footballer who played at scrum-half for Saracens, Bristol and Waterloo R.F.C....

    , MBE
    Order of the British Empire
    The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

  • Gareth Chilcott
    Gareth Chilcott
    Gareth James Chilcott is a former rugby union player, who played at prop for Bath and England.He made his England debut against Australia in 1984...

  • Fran Cotton
    Fran Cotton
    Francis Edward Cotton is a former English rugby union prop forward who played for England and the British Lions. His clubs included Coventry R.F.C. and Sale. After retiring, he remained in rugby administration and founded a clothing company...

  • Lawrence Dallaglio
    Lawrence Dallaglio
    Lorenzo Bruno Nero "Lawrence" Dallaglio, OBE is a retired English rugby union player and former captain of the English national team. He played as a flanker or number eight for London Wasps and never played for another club, having arrived at Sudbury as a teenager...

    , OBE
  • Matt Dawson
    Matt Dawson
    Matthew James Sutherland "Daws" Dawson, MBE is a retired English rugby union player who played scrum half for Wasps and Northampton Saints. During his international career he toured with the British and Irish Lions three times and was part of England's 2003 Rugby World Cup winning side...

    , MBE
  • David Duckham
    David Duckham
    David John Duckham MBE is a retired English rugby union player. He played 36 games for England from 1969 to 1976 and scored 10 tries. Duckham made his debut at centre, partnering John Spencer against Ireland in 1969...

    , MBE
  • Danny Grewcock
    Danny Grewcock
    Daniel Jonathan Grewcock MBE is a retired English rugby union rugby lock who played for Bath, England and the British and Irish Lions...

    , MBE
  • Dusty Hare
    Dusty Hare
    William Henry "Dusty" Hare MBE is a former international rugby union footballer, who played fullback.Hare currently holds the world record for points scored in a first class rugby career with 7,337 points....

  • Gavin Hastings
    Gavin Hastings
    Andrew Gavin Hastings, OBE is a former Scotland rugby union player. He is frequently considered one of the best, if not the best, rugby player to come out of Scotland. His nickname is "Big Gav".Hastings was born in Edinburgh...

    , OBE
  • Richard Hill
    Richard Hill (flanker)
    Richard Hill MBE is a former rugby union footballer who played flanker for Saracens and England.Often portrayed as the 'silent assassin' at both club and international level, his effective and abrasive style of forward play has made him legendary in rugby union circles...

    , MBE
  • John Inverdale
    John Inverdale
    John Inverdale , is an English radio and television broadcaster who works for the BBC, mainly covering sporting events.-Biography:...

  • Alex King
    Alex King
    Alexander David King is a rugby union footballer who played at fly-half for ASM Clermont Auvergne and formerly Wasps. King is currently a coach at ASM Clermont Auvergne....

  • Dr Jack Kyle
    Jack Kyle
    John Wilson Kyle OBE , commonly referred to as Jack Kyle or Jackie Kyle, is a former rugby union player who played for Ireland, the British Lions and the Barbarians during the 1940s and 1950s...

    , OBE
  • Jason Leonard
    Jason Leonard
    Jason Leonard OBE , also known as "The Fun Bus", is an English former rugby union prop forward who held the world record for winning the most international caps until 2005, when it was surpassed by Australia's scrum-half George Gregan...

    , OBE
  • Willie John McBride
    Willie John McBride
    William James McBride, MBE, better known as Willie John McBride is a former rugby union footballer who played as a lock for Ireland and the British and Irish Lions. He played 63 Tests for Ireland including eleven as captain, and toured with the Lions five times — a record that gave him 17...

    , MBE
  • Jeff Probyn
    Jeff Probyn
    Jeff Probyn is an English former Rugby Union player.The Askeans, Streatham and Wasps prop was selected in England's squad for the 1987 Rugby World Cup, but Probyn did not make his international debut until 1988, at the age of 31, against France...

  • Scott Quinnell
    Scott Quinnell
    Scott Quinnell is a former Welsh international rugby league and rugby union player, who was a number 8 for Wales, Llanelli RFC, the Llanelli Scarlets and the Lions. He scored 11 tries for Wales and captained his country on 7 occasions in rugby union.-Biography:Scott is the son of former Welsh...

  • Andy Robinson
    Andy Robinson
    Richard Andrew 'Andy' Robinson OBE is an English rugby union coach and retired player. He is currently the head coach of Scotland.Robinson played as an openside flanker for Bath, England and the British and Irish Lions...

    , OBE
  • Graham Rowntree
    Graham Rowntree
    Graham Christopher Rowntree is a former English rugby union player. He played loosehead prop for Leicester Tigers and England. He was capped 54 times for England, despite having to compete for his position with the world's second most capped player, Jason Leonard.Rowntree was born in...

  • Pat Sanderson
    Pat Sanderson
    Patrick Harold Sanderson is a former England international rugby union player and flanker for Worcester, the team he currently captains...

  • Matt Stevens
    Matt Stevens (rugby player)
    Matthew Stevens is an English rugby union player, who plays at prop for Saracens F.C. and .He can cover both sides of the scrum and most of his England caps have come at tighthead. He formerly played for Bath Rugby club...

  • Rory Underwood
    Rory Underwood
    Rory Underwood MBE is a former English rugby union footballer who played wing for, most notably, Leicester Tigers and Bedford. He represented England and the British Lions and is a former Royal Air Force pilot....

    , MBE
  • Peter Wheeler, OBE JP
    Justice of the Peace
    A justice of the peace is a puisne judicial officer elected or appointed by means of a commission to keep the peace. Depending on the jurisdiction, they might dispense summary justice or merely deal with local administrative applications in common law jurisdictions...

  • Sir Clive Woodward
  • Joe Worsley
    Joe Worsley
    Joseph Paul Richard Worsley MBE is a retired English rugby union player who played flanker for Wasps and England.-Biography:...

    , MBE
  • Jason Robinson
    Jason Robinson
    Jason Thorpe Robinson OBE is an English former international rugby union and rugby league player of the 1990s and 2000s. Playing at wing or fullback, he won fifty-one rugby union international test caps in total for England, and in rugby league he won twelve caps for Great Britain and seven for...

    , OBE


The Trustees are volunteers responsible under the charity's governing document for controlling the management and administration of the charity.

The Life President, Peter Scott MBE, is one of the founders. He was awarded the MBE for services to charity in 2002.

Trustees are listed here and include:

Cecil Duckworth OBE, Chairman and backer of Worcester Rugby Football Club

David Allen
David Allen
David Allen, Dave Allen, David Allan, or Dave Allan may refer to:-Acting, entertainment and broadcasting:* Dave Allen , Irish comedian* Dave Allen , American television and film actor...

Fred Hucker


Spoon is pleased to announce the appointment of Bill Hill as the new Chief Executive of Wooden Spoon. Bill took over from retiring CEO, Chris Gill at the end of September 2009.

Bill is the son of a lighthouse keeper and was nearly born on the boat crossing the 2 mile stretch of water from the lighthouse to the hospital on the island of Greater Cumbrae in Scotland. Bill believes that this inauspicious beginning has certainly given him an appetite for a challenge.

Bill played a lot of rugby and golf in his youth and would have made it to the top if only his talent and capability came close to matching his enthusiasm! However, since joining Spoon as a member in 1990, Bill has channelled this energy into completing the 4 Peaks Challenge three times and the London Marathon four times to raise money for the Charity. More recently he has been an active member of the Spoon Chiltern's Committee under the expert tutelage of Dr Barrie Mair and has grown to love the even greater challenge of helping Spoon grow from the inside.

From a professional viewpoint, Bill has over 20 years experience holding senior positions in blue chip giants Hewlett-Packard and Sage PLC. Bill has a passion for customer service and has a wealth of experience across the major business disciplines of marketing, sales, operations and finance. More recently Bill has been instrumental in orchestrating business turnarounds in adverse conditions. Bill trained as an accountant and holds diplomas from INSEAD and Cranfield University as well as CIMA qualifications.

Bill commented on his appointment: "I am passionate about the work of Spoon and the significant projects we deliver to change the lives of young people. I love the tradition, the ethos and the spirit of its rugby origins and look forward to taking the helm."

External links