The first Armed Forces Veterans Breakfast Club to take place at a Rugby Club, Houghton-le-Sring, Sunderland.

Sunderland Association Football Club was the first football club in the UK to host an Armed Forces Veterans Breakfast Club (AFVBC), when they held their inaugural event in October 2022.

Now following in their footsteps and approximately 6 or so miles down the road, is Houghton Rugby Club, who have become the first Rugby Club within the UK to host the ever growing network of social breakfasts, adding to North East England’s vibrant forces and veterans scene.

Taking place on Saturday July 22, the amateur club which was formed in 1873, threw open their doors with a free brew and hearty breakfast at just £4.50, which goes back into the coffers of the AFVBC network.

Over 70 people turned out on a murky wet morning from all three branches of the services, some still serving.

The morning was compered by Shaun Lavender – a veteran of the Rifles – and some rousing speeches about the importance of community spirit and the the benefits of togetherness within the forces family, were had.

Pathfinder editor, Mal Robinson was on hand to distribute the latest issue of the magazine, whilst mingling and chatting with others.

“It was a tremendous turn out on what was a horrible morning weather wise. This alone cements the idea that there is a great need for these clubs to be used as platforms to get people together again. We tend to forget what happened with the Coronavirus, yet the mental effects and fall outs still take place, with many out there suffering in silence and not wanting to come out. Such events like this (and the thousands of clubs up and down the country and across the globe) help people get back into the swing of things, even after all this time since lockdown was lifted.”

Houghton Rugby Club will be staging the Armed Forces Veterans Breakfast Clubs on a regular basis and in future to coincide with first team games and for more information on how to attend please email Rob Scott at [email protected] 

For more information on Armed Forces Veterans Breakfast Clubs in your area please see

For more information on Houghton Rugby Club please see