Club History 1970s Onwards
'Stack' Stevens toured with the British Lions in 1971, but this was at the start of a decade when the standard of rugby to which the Pirates had been accustomed to began to diminish.
Winning the Cornwall KO Cup by beating Redruth (4-3) in 1976 was a rare highlight, and by the time the England RFU's Clubs Championships was introduced in 1987-88, we found ourselves placed in the Cornwall & Devon league, a level it took them three years to get out of.
Within a few years Richard (Dicky) Evans, a local 'boy' who had played for the club back in the sixties, and who had become a successful businessman in Kenya, showed a rekindled interest in his hometown club.
The 1995-96 Golden Jubilee season was celebrated in style, and with Dicky becoming the club's President and main benefactor at the advent of professionalism, the Pirates climbed steadily through the league system, culminating in us playing an historic first game in National One (just one level below the Premiership) away to Bristol in 2003.
Following a difficult first year, the club finished a lofty fourth in 2005, the level of success leading to some difficult decisions having to be made.
It was felt that to maintain an ambition to play at the highest level, the membership needed to back the vision of their President and support certain proposals presented to a meeting held at a packed St. John's Hall (the town hall), Penzance, which it did with an overwhelming majority.
The proposals included a change of name for the first team to the Cornish Pirates, and relocating to play first team matches further 'up county' to a bigger catchment area.
After one season of playing at Kenwyn near the city of Truro, a ground share agreement with Camborne RFC was soon confirmed. It is an agreement which has worked well, Camborne's ground a popular and historic rugby venue where the Pirates have further improved facilties.
The winning of the EDF Energy National Trophy at Twickenham in 2007 was a wonderful achievement, as was becoming the first ever winners of the British & Irish Cup when beating Munster at Camborne in May, 2010. Both were understandable highlights in the club's history, with our aim now to consolidate in readiness to perhaps one day hopefully make a push for the Premiership.
Below the first team much good work continues to provide rugby for our Colts and vibrant Mini-Junior Section, and the club's Mennaye Field base at Penzance is also used by the Pirates Amateurs RFC.
We have had a proud history, but at the same time have openly tried to embrace what the future could offer – it'll be interesting to see how it evolves.
Westholme, Alexandra Road, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 4LY
Tel: 01736 351568