The history of Rugby St Andrews RFC

Coming soon is a new page all about the history of Rugby St Andrews RFC.

You will be able to find out all about our clubs beginnings back in 1929, there will be stories from the past, profiles of former players and teams, and so much more.

This page is currently under construction, so please keep checking back for updates.

If you have any information, stories or photos that you would like to share with us, please email Alan Parish history@standrewsrfc.co.uk 

For now, here is a brief introduction and a few old team photos to wet your appetite. 

A History of Rugby Saint Andrews Rugby Football Club

From foundation to becoming a senior side

From 1900 to the early 1930’s the town of Rugby was expanding; from 17,000 in 1901 to 40,000 around 1930. In the game of rugby, the year 1929 saw Italy playing their first international match against Spain in Barcelona, losing. They won a return fixture a week later. In April Scotland were crowned Five Nations champions, winning 3 of their four games. Wales were second on points difference from Ireland. England were fourth. France had the wooden spoon, not winning any games. For the first six months of the year Stanley Baldwin (Conservative) was Prime Minister. He was succeeded by Ramsay McDonald (Labour).

On Armistice night, 11th November, of that year, the Reverend J H Parsons founded Saint Andrews Boys Club, to enable boys “to take part in those games which build character as well as bodily health”. The Reverend Parsons had been awarded the MC for gallantry in the First World War. He played county cricket for Warwickshire, continuing to play as an amateur after his ordination.

Following the Reverend Parson’s initiative, a recreation area on Mill Road to the north of the railway station was rented in 1930, and in the following year, thanks to a massive fundraising effort by Reverend Parsons, Saint John’s Hall was opened as a home for the club.

In their first season the rugby XV of the new boys’ club played 9 games against school sides. The inaugural match was against Saint Matthew’s School and, under the captaincy of Bill Howlett, the Boys Club won by 18 points to 3. The side went on to win three more games, losing 4 and drawing one, scoring 109 points and conceding 71.

The 1931-32 fixtures were still predominantly against school sides. One fixture was played on the Rugby School Close against the school. It was refereed by an England international, H. Kittermaster. (He was a stand off or fly half: “his handling is superb – and often turns bad passes into good ones”. He scored a try on debut for England but was on the losing side to the touring New Zealand ‘Invincibles’.)

Rugby School won the fixture by 39 points to nil!

The next two seasons saw Saints Andrews playing successfully at senior level against the second teams of well-known sides in the local area, such as Lutterworth, Old Laurentians and Long Buckby.

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Rugby St Andrews RFC, Hillmorton Grounds,

John Tomalin Way, Ashlawn Road, Rugby, Warwickshire, CV22 5QQ
Tel: 01788 542786   Email: info@standrewsrfc.co.uk

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