Ton-up for Raiders’ stalwart Cleveland

Worthing Raiders Rugby Club's Pete Cleveland
Worthing Raiders Rugby Club's Pete Cleveland

WORTHING Rugby Club stalwart Pete Cleveland has spoken of his pride after making a landmark 100th National League appearance for the club earlier this month.

Despite being just 27, the prop is part of the furniture at Roundstone Lane, having progressed through the mini’s section.

He first played for Worthing at under-six level and has been part of the club ever since, progressing through the leagues with Raiders.

His landmark ton came in the narrow Doncaster defeat and Cleveland said: “It’s great from my point of view and means a lot as I have always played for the club and it’s nice to get the recognition and to be involved with the first team for that amount of time.

“It’s nice, but I start feeling a bit old thinking about it. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was 17 and playing senior rugby. Probably my main highlight was the last minute of the Stourbridge game to get promoted. That was a particularly enjoyable moment and it had not been my best game.

“One of my first adult games was against Chichester and I am not sure that was a highlight. It was very intense and I felt a bit beat up after that.”

On looking back at his career at Worthing, Cleveland added: “It was great to be involved in the promotion-winning squad. When we started playing, the juniors and seniors were very separate.

“It was nowhere near as successful as we have been in recent years and they weren’t playing at that high a level. Connecting the teams with the juniors, that has changed things and the club is much more successful because of that integration.

“Our club is quite special as all the people here are good mates and that keeps people here. There are a fair amount of people from outside the area, too, but they end up coming in, enjoying what we are about and stay for a long time as well.”