The Fixture Exchange started life as a telephone and paper based service before the days of the Internet. It was originally run by Harry Townsend, who passed it on to Peter Conner and his wife Liz.
In 1997 it made it's first appearance online as a fledgling web site listing fixtures all over the UK. Back then, the fee for using the service was a mere five ponds per year and this covered all age groups and access to a telephone service as well
Since then, little has changed in the concept of what we do, although the fee has gone up slightly, now set at fifteen pounds for all age groups to be included in a club. We have many more users of the system and over time we have seen the usage stats continually rise. With around a hundred clubs using the system regularly, and others less frequently we are probably one of the largest of such systems in the UK.
We do not operate within a single county, but work across county boundaries, allowing clubs to play against opposition they might not normally meet. This means we have a very good chance of getting a fixture matched up, but even with such a wide area of coverage we can't always get it right, and are constantly looking for ways to improve what we are doing.
Fixex is a member based system, with clubs paying the subscription fee able to access the fixture lists and advertise their own availability. Non-members are not turned away, and we frequently help out clubs who for whatever reason find themselves short of a game. Each year the clubs meet at Twickenham as part of the 'Fixture Extravaganza', where amidst a busy room under the stands at the stadium fixture secretaries and age group managers meet, share dates and make fixtures and enjoy the kind hospitality of the RFU who provide the space and the food for free. We are deeply grateful for their support.
It is at the Extravaganza, held on the last Friday in January every year since 1983, that we present our donation to charity. This is the proceeds from the membership fees for all of the clubs, less the running costs for keeping the system online. No-one earns a wage or takes anything other than actual costs of legitimate expenses for their time in running Fixex, and we are pleased to give different charities and worthy causes a modest boost to their finances each year. This donation is known as the Peter Conner Award, in memory of the man who gave so much to the Fixture Exchange for so many years.