Tottonians’ gradual climb up the RFU league ladder to become Hampshire’s leading side has been evident over the last couple of decades.

But it is a measure of the club’s overall success that it was able to stage a major fundraising event that attracted more than 400 supporters and raised an astonishing amount for charity.

Totts followers, fans, sponsors, players, families and friends packed one of St Mary’s Stadium’s massive function rooms and collected a staggering £17,962 in just one evening – plus an incredible £10,000 for the Totts’ own coffers.

Much of the credit for accumulating that much was down to auctioneer, special guest and speaker Will Greenwood MBE.

The former England centre, a member of the World Cup winning team in 2003, took almost £9,000 back to Borne - a medical research organisation that aims to identify the causes of premature birth - which is close to his heart.

Receiving the same amount was R Community – a newly formed non-profit making group put together following the closure of several of Southampton City Council’s day care centres.

It specialises in providing support for adults who have learning disabilities, dementia and/or mental health issues.

R Community also received pledges of help and support in building a sensory garden, which much of the funds will go towards.

Having volunteers is one of the secrets of Tottonions’ success and plenty of them came together to organise the evening, led by first XV regular Ali Ramus.

Chairman Paul Searle said: “It was a resounding success. There was a lot of effort that went into that but there was also a lot of reward.

“It was a monumental effort- goodness knows how many hours Ali put into it. It’s a lot of work but it’s worth it. Plenty of money was raised and a good night was had by all.”

Totts, formed in 1962, have never looked back since moving from a hut, known as ‘The Shed’, at Calmore Rec to their plush headquarters at Totton College in 1996.

The senior side left Hampshire league rugby behind some years ago and are now in a strong position to retain their place as Hampshire’s leading team – currently sitting fifth in London 1 South, a place behind Havant.

Searle added: “The club, in my mind, has still not lost the fabric of its identity.

“The event at Southampton FC was so well supported. All of our sponsors got behind it and we were really pleased with the way it all went. Plenty of people asked us when we will do something like it again.”

Tottonians’ next match is against CS Rugby 1863 at their Water Lane home ground (2.30pm) this weekend.