"A few of us used to play rugby with Skibbereen and drive down to West Cork for games. One day a gentleman named John 'L' (Russell Perks) suggested we start our own club and I thought it was a great idea", he said.
"The original grounds were located across the river in Kinsalebeg. We were given a field from a cousin of mine George Roche Perks, which we used for training and where we played our matches. My father had a business in the old schoolhouse at the time and he gave us one of the rooms to change in. We also had a big field behind us with a low ditch where water used to come up and into a big hole, which I piped into a big bath and that was what we used for our shower".
He adds: "To make it better, we had a sledge hammer behind us to break up the ice because in those days the winters were a lot colder than now - and that was the beginning of it all".
In 1964, Youghal RFC secured its current grounds nearby at Frogmore and today boasts state of the art facilities with further development currently in progress.
"We've two pitches with lights and a small sand pitch which the kids use for training. We also have a gym, showers and a clubhouse which includes a modern kitchen, said McDonald."
"This season we received a grant of €100K from the government and have put the funds into improving our facilities. In addition we have raised a considerable amount of money ourselves through fundraising and we are currently building an extra four dressing rooms with showers. We also have plans to invest in match-quality lighting which we hope to have in place by next season."
Currently competing in the Munster Junior League Division 2, Youghal RFC have had some notable achievements over the years.
"We were the Munster Junior Division 2 champions in 1992, Division 1 Champions in '93 and again in 2006. We also won the Challenge Cup that season as well as the Ladies All-Ireland Development Plate", said McDonald.
"This season we fielded two men's teams competing in Junior 2 and Junior 3 as well as a Women's team. We're just about in the middle of the table with the J3s and unfortunately we're only four off the bottom in the J2s, but are continuing to survive."
"We are in a process phase, whereby we are trying to rebuild in all sections and we're well aware that it's going to take a bit of time. We know that most clubs are suffering in terms of adult playing numbers and we are not unique in this situation. We just need to knuckle down and concentrate on the players that take their rugby seriously and want to be part of our future."
As the club prepares for the coming season, McDonald acknowledges the need to develop players at youth level to feed into adult rugby.
"We need to focus on our underage and, in fairness to the coaches involved, our youths are doing a great job."
"Our mini section started back in 1969 and today we have about 140 playing numbers. We also field three youths teams at U-14, U-16 and U-18 age grades" he said.
"Our 16's have done really well this year and have reached the final of the Development Cup on Easter Monday where they take on Crosshaven. We are very proud of the lads for getting this far and wish them every success on the day."
"The youths have been good to us over the years. Munster second row David O'Callaghan started his rugby here at Youghal and came up the ranks from the minis along with fellow player Claire Keohane, who now plays on the international stage with the Ireland Sevens."
"Former Ireland Coach Eddie O'Sullivan also started his rugby in Youghal. He played with us until he was 18 before going off to Limerick for college where he continued his rugby with Garryowen."
Fifty years on, McDonald says the club has advanced significantly, which, he says, is down to the volunteers throughout the decades.
"I have to commend our volunteers, whose valued time and effort on behalf of Youghal RFC have brought us to where we are today", he says.
"For example, we have a superb grounds committee who do a great job looking after our pitch and making sure the quality is perfect. As a result, and to their credit, we have been selected to host the Munster Juniors' Inter-provincial fixture against Ulster on Saturday, 3rd May which we are really looking forward to."
"Hosting a Munster match is a great way to celebrate your 50th birthday. We have big plans for that day which promises to be a great occasion".
"We have had many great memories of Youghal rugby over the past half century. One that stands out for me is from the early days when Danny McGrath showed up for a game without any boots. After about ten minutes of playing is his bare feet, the referee insisted he put on some kind of footware, so he finished off the match in a pair of wellies tied-up with binding string! A lot of the old folks will remember that story and let's just say it wouldn't happen today. We've had good times over the years and look forward to many more to come!"
Youghal RFC Officers
President: Norman McDonald
Hon. Secretary: Kevin Donovan
Club PRO: Risteard Mulcahy
Fixtures Secretary: Kevin Donovan
Hon. Treasurer: Tom Troy
Munster Juniors v Ulster Juniors , Saturday, 3rd May, Youghal RFC, kick-off 3p.m.