SOUTHEND Saxons are starting preparations for their 150th year.

The club, who were formed back in 1870, is one of the oldest in the world.

And Southend’s marketing director Nathan Strange is keen to celebrate the anniversary in style.

“This is an amazing milestone, not just for the rugby club but also for the town and we hope everyone will get behind us and support us during 2020, which will be our 150th year,” said Strange.

“We’re older than the Rugby Union itself and we were formed by Admiral Charles Barstow Theobald at a time when the population of Southend was only 5,000.”

Southend have planned a number of events to celebrate the landmark, including a new year’s cocktail party to bring in the 150th year in style. A mini and youth festival will be held in March while a May Ball will be held at the club. A pre-season clash with Ipswich, who are also celebrating their 150th year in 2020, will take place in August before Southend will hold an anniversary dinner at the Cliffs Pavilion in October.

And Strange is keen for as many people as possible to be involved with the celebrations.

“We will contact as many people as we can but we want all current and old members to tell their friends about the anniversary season and make it one to remember,” said Strange.

“A memory board will be placed in the clubhouse and we would also like people to share their memories.

“We’re producing a 150th year brochure which people are welcome to write an article in or sponsor and we’re also selling 150th year bricks in the clubhouse for people to have their name in there for eternity.”

London Southend Airport are also backing the celebrations and CEO Glyn Jones is pleased to be playing a part.

“The community that surrounds our rapidly-growing airport is extremely important to us,” said Jones.

“After all, we employ over 80 per cent of our workforce locally.

“We want to ensure that we contribute positively to our community and our ongoing collaboration with Southend in their anniversary year is a fantastic opportunity to do just that.”

And Paul Robinson Solicitors are also happy to be involved.

“We pride ourselves on working closely with the community, which includes supporting numerous local sports clubs and causes,” said marketing manager Natalie Pavelin.

“We are proud to support the club throughout their 150th year.

“They are an integral part of the Southend community and we hope their events will encourage more of the community to enjoy the sport.”