The Beginnings of Gloucester Rugby Club

The journey of Gloucester Rugby Football Club was not documented initially but as times went on, things began to take shape. The club was formed and launched in 1874 and matches were engaged in regularly at the Spa. The first season of the club was not recorded but it was discovered that there were about thirty five members in the team and the club’s total receipt for the first season was eleven pounds. The first captain of the club was Mr. Hartley and he held the position for two seasons. He later handed over to Mr. J.F. Brown who was a leader of men. With his abilities and enthusiasm, the team gained its rapid strides into the heart of the audience and it became very popular.

In February 1876, Mr. Sydney Lane, one of the members sustained a bad fracture during one of their games which had a serious effect on the general attendance of the members for some time. Due to the fact that this incident occurred during the early period of rugby football in Gloucester, the spirit of some members and even non- members were dampened. In reaction to what happened, the ladies in particular were absent from the matches during this period. A lot of steps were therefore taken to revive the love and excitement with which the game was met when it first came into the public.

No adequate record was kept for the team in their early days but between 1879 and 1880, the record that was available showed that in about sixteen matches that were played by the team, they won a total of fourteen. The chief fixtures at this particular time in the history of Gloucester rugby club were against Ross, Swindon Rangers, Hereford, Cheltenham, Clifton, Bristol, White Cross, and Rocklease.

By the year 1882 to 1883, Gloucester rugby football club succeeded in beating their many opponents and it really became a force to be reckoned with when it surpassed Clifton as the team of the area. After defeating the then-mighty Clifton, Gloucester went from strength to strength. However, Clifton are now just a shadow of their former selves.

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