First started in September 1984, the Natal Rugby Supporters club was initially conceived by passionate Natal Rugby Supporters and friends Phil Ferreira, Ron Lane, Joan Vermeer and Clive Jackson, as a place to meet before and after the game, have a braai and a beer or two (or three . . .).
The original clubhouse was the old tractor shed for the Natal Rugby Union and was donated by the then President of the NRU, Dr Nic Labuschagne.
Wynand Claasen, famous Natal and Springbok Rugby Captain was an architect by profession and offered his services in designing the clubhouse.
The offer was gratefully accepted and the friends put their money behind their passion and built the clubhouse and started what is arguably one of the oldest rugby supporters clubs in the world. A constitution was adapted and committees elected with the first Chairman being the late Ron Lane.
In or about 2000, Allan Kruger, then Marketing Manager of the Sharks recommended upgrading the facilities in order to take the club “to the next level”. An example on the Manchester United Supporters club was portrayed. It was put to the committee that the corporate customers had to be catered for without forsaking the other members who want to go to the game in casual attire.
The committee accepted that change had to happen and decided to build a clubhouse to cater for corporate guests. The clubhouse was in dire need of improvement and expansion and the committee took to the challenge and building fund was started.
The Sharks Academy started using the facilities in 2007 and when a “steel frame structure”(similar concept to that of American homes and other modern buildings) was put forward to the Sharks and KZNRU Management and accepted as a cheaper option with no compromise to safety, quotes were called for and in December 2007, renovations started.
To complete the clubhouse took many months of frustration on the part of the committee (and the other stakeholders, i.e, the Sharks Academy and Sharks (Pty)Ltd) and needless to say the members. Eventually the building was completed.
The corporate members have been catered for in the upstairs “Platinum” membership area whilst the normal members and public may enjoy the ground floor. Whilst Platinum membership is not limited to these members, the membership fee is higher.
The benefits of Platinum membership are a lounge like airconditioned atmosphere surrounded by rugby memorablia. The bar was installed by KWV and the finest wines may be enjoyed in a relaxed, quiet atmosphere with a meal being provided (booking essential) at a minimal cost. Away games are watched on the big screen facilities with two other LCD TV sets on the walls to ensure you can see the games.
The open deck is shared with a corporate (Wiehan scaffolding) who played a huge hand in helping with the construction of the club. The deck has it’s own bar mainly used on big match days.
Downstairs is used by the Sharks Academy as a dining area and assembly area during the weekdays with the future Sharks and Springboks being part of the setup. Furthermore, the club facilities are used by the Sharks XV and other clubs when required.
Both the upstairs Platinum area and downstairs are available for hire with the ground floor area also having LCD and other TV sets.
From then more people wanted to share in the camaraderie and joined the club. The club would organize tours to the away games notably against the Free State (the first being in Welkom, September 1984)and the most important of them all, the 1990 Currie Cup Final at Loftus with 13 busloads of supporters taking to the road.
The money raised from Beer and Burger sales would be the start of a long tradition of supporting Natal Rugby in more ways than just emotional support. Over the years, hundreds of thousands of rands have been donated to Natal Rugby affiliates and schools.
Over the years, many a rugby player and foreign supporter have visited the club to mix with the supporters with the New Zealand teams making frequent use of the club
Post 1995 saw an upsurge in numbers at the gate and a subsequent membership number increase. George Laas was elected Chairman.