On 26 January 1871 at the Pall Mall Restaurant on London’s Regent Street, a meeting took place between representatives from 21 clubs, many of which are still in existence today. The representatives were young men, the average age being 23, many were club captains and together they created the world’s first governing body for rugby football.
At the meeting 20 players were also selected to represent England in the first ever international contest on 27 March 1871 following a challenge of an international fixture issued by Scotland.
Activity to mark the anniversary includes:
The creation of a heritage rose with artwork by renowned artist Chris Wormell taking inspiration from the very first rose featured on the caps of the 1871 team and still features on players’ caps today.
A social media campaign on 26 January inspired by the World Rugby Museum’s RFU at 150 exhibition, charting the evolution of the game in England over a century and a half. A physical version of the exhibition will be available in the World Rugby Museum at Twickenham Stadium at a later date.
A commemorative 150th anniversary book celebrating a century and a half of England Rugby. This coffee table-style hardback will be available to purchase from 21 January at priced £30.
In partnership with Harkness roses, England Rugby will launch a commemorative rose on 1 February.
A limited-edition heritage kit, created by official technical kit partner Umbro and England Rugby, that will launch tomorrow.
Official timing partner, Bremont, are also planning something extremely limited, exciting and fitting to tie into the 150th anniversary celebrations, available 150 years on from that illustrious day when it all started.
There will be lots of other exciting anniversary products launching throughout the year. The RFU will also look to celebrate its momentous milestone further with the community game and with supporters back at Twickenham when it is safe to do so.
RFU President, His Honour Jeff Blackett said: “I am immensely proud to be the President of the Rugby Football Union in our 150th anniversary season. The RFU and rugby in England has such a rich history and it is thanks to the vast amount of work put in by people within the rugby community all over the country.
“These are extraordinary times but we are lucky to have such dedicated volunteers. I would like to pay tribute to all who give so much of their time and expend so much emotional energy so that our young men and women can continue to play the game that we all love. We look forward to marking this special anniversary this year in honour of them.”
RFU Chief Executive Bill Sweeney added: “One hundred and fifty years of rugby union in England is a momentous landmark and is taking place during one of the most challenging times in our history. I do not think anybody could have predicted that the RFU would see out its 150th anniversary in the midst of a global pandemic.
“The recent challenges have shone a light on the spirit and strength of rugby union but the community game is more than a game, it’s a network, it’s a family, a way of life and it will continue to thrive across England for the next 150 years and beyond. I look forward to celebrating with the grassroots game and fans at a later date.”
Over the 150 years that followed the formation of the RFU, rugby has seen key events occur: the purchase and development of Twickenham Stadium; the ‘great schism’ which ultimately lead to the breakaway of some northern clubs to form rugby league; two World Wars to which thousands of community game players made the ultimate sacrifice, alongside the 41 full England Internationals who were lost to the two conflicts. The formation of the Women’s Rugby Football Union, the elite game turning professional in 1995, England hosting the second and eighth Rugby World Cup tournaments in 1991 and 2015; England’s senior men winning the world title in Australia in 2003 and the Red Roses becoming World Champions in Scotland in 1994 and France in 2014, as well as Great Britain’s men winning silver in Rio as rugby sevens made its Olympic debut.
Sad News: Paul Davies
January 13th 2021
The club is saddened to announce that Paul Davies has passed away after a long brave fight with cancer.
Paul played for the club way back in the 70's. When he retired from playing he could be seen supporting the club for most home games and occasional away fixtures. He was always very quick with a wise crack and a great story teller.
He was a loyal club supporter, attending club functions, dinners and lunches.
He will be sadly missed by the club and we send our best wishes to his family & friends at this difficult time.
Ian Wilkinson Steps Down
January 13th 2021
One of the Club's Joint Youth Chairs, Ian Wilkinson has decided to step down from the role he took up over two years ago. During his tenure, Ian worked alongside Dave Smith and Head Groundsman Bob Hayton on pitch allocations for the youth. His diligent and meticulous planning ensuring the youth teams had the best possible use from the pitches.
Ian was also integral with the negotiations with MGS for the 4G Pitch usage and helping continue the long standing relationship with the school. 'Wilki's' straight shooting approach and knowledge of playing a high standard rugby was a tremendous asset to the committee. His knowledge was a vital cog in the wider discussions of formulating a club ethos coaching structure, which should hopefully begin to be cemented when things get back to normal.
After his tenure of diligence, challenging ideas and resolute work, he has decided to step down now as the work load has lessened with the season on hold. Ian remains a huge supporter & sponsor of the club, as well as a lead coach with the Under-16's. The club committee would like to unanimously publicly thank Ian for all of his hard work during his time, and very much leave the door open for his contributions in the future.
Alison Slaughter will now head up the Youth Section as sole Youth Chair. If anybody would like to assist with the role, it would be greatly appreciated, such as the RFU Coaching Co-ordinator role. If you have any questions or would like to see how you can support the Youth section, please contact Alison. Details are on the Contacts page..
MFC 6 Nations Fantasy League: Round 1
February 7th 2021
The 2021 6Nations got underway in the untenanted colosseum in Rome as favourites France got off to an impressive start. Here's the run down of what happened on the first weekend and what points for the MFC Fantasy League had been awarded to players in brackets.
Italy 10 - 50 France
A comprehensive victory over hosts Italy saw Dylan Cretin, Gael Fickou, Arthur Vincent, Brice Dulin and Antoine Dupont (91) crossing the white wash for Les Blues in the first half. Teddy Thomas (112.5) claimed a second half brace with outside centre Matthieu Jailbert (141.4) kicking 15 points. It was Italy's 28th consecutive 6Nations defeat.
England 6 - 11 Scotland
With little rugby played by many of the red roses, the rust was there for all to see. On the 150th anniversary of the RFU's founding and in different shirts, they were almost unrecognisable from the Autumn International outfit. Take nothing away from Scotland, as Finn Russell's (32.3) boot was on target and Stuart Hogg (79.1) pummelling the ball up field turned the screw for an historic Scottish victory in England. Their first since 1983.
Wales 21 - 16 Ireland
An upset was always on the cards here at the Principality, should the Irish take their hosts lightly. They didn't and led at half time, despite being reduced to 14 men. George North (73.6) crossed over in the second period alongside Rees-Zammit (47.2) with Halfpenny (48.5) added extras with the boot. Billy Burns (15.3) will be ruing kicking the ball dead during a nail biting finish, whilst MoTM Alun-Wyn Jones (50.2) reminded us all if we needed it, of his quality.
Standings: Week 1
It may only be the end of week one but SULLY leads the way on 789pts, being chased by Charlie on 784pts. Club Secretary Brian McKeon sits in 13th but at least he is ahead of DoR Steve Oram who finished week one in 17th.
All to play for then as we head to the next round on Valentines day weekend.
MFC 6 Nations Fantasy League
January 30th 2020
We may not be able to watch the 6 nations together, but at least we can have some friendly competition together. The Club Secretary Brian McKeon has got the club set-up for the 6Nations Fantasy League.
We'd like you all to join the clubs league and get involved with the friendly fun. It's free to join and usually provides some good social banter along the way.
Follow the link below and sign up with a username, password and a team name. Once you log in, you should be automatically joined to the MFC League, but if not, you can search for it "League no.17988 : Maidstone RFC". The password is ONBXV. You select your team from the players available, but no more than four from each nation. After every game each player is ranked and every week those rankings points accrued by your players makes up your league points total.
The deadline for signing up Is February 6th at 2pm. Please join in the fun as we follow the tournament and fantasy league with updates.
Follow this link to sign up!
Sad News: Ed Meddings
January 1st 2021
The club is saddened to hear that we have just lost one of our oldest former players, Ed Meddings at the age of 97. Ed passed away peacefully at home in Bath. He came to the Club in the early 1950s and was met by Des Payne who was Captain at the time. He played alongside such MFC stalwarts as John Harrison, Ian Milsted, Basher Bills and Charlie Hitchcock. He would always visit the Club when he came to visit his family in Maidstone and even though he hasn’t been for a number of years, he would always keep an eye on the results and discuss the clubs fortune.
A Wellington bomber pilot in WW2 he then flew commercially until he was 65 and upon retirement he dedicated his life to his beloved Hinton Charterhouse CC where he served as Groundsman, committee member, Chairman and President. The club extends its condolences to the family and friends of Ed, at this sad time.
Training Remains On Hold
January 2nd 2021
With Kent remaining in Tier 4 & the majority of schools delaying their return, the club has taken the reluctant decision to delay returning to all forms of Rugby training. Kent RFU also recommends this approach.
The RFU is working with the government and we hope to have further clarity from them both, in order to bring Rugby back to our members.
The club is disappointed, but we hope our members understand that the welfare of all players, coaches, staff and everyone associated with the club, must remain paramount.
Harvey Beaton Makes U20 Squad
January 1st 2021
During the pandemic Harvey Beaton had been at his old stomping ground of The Mote, keeping his fitness up. The club is delighted to report that he has now been named as part of the England u20 squad for 2021.
The club extends its congratulations & best wishes, as we admire his strong progress since moving from Maidstone FC to Saracens.
A New Way To View Our History
January 1st 2021
As part of the new website, we have streamlined our club milestones of history. On the History page, you can now scroll through our 140 years of history and view a picture that defined that time. The club is also working on adding more content to this, to make it an easy, dynamic and interactive trip down memory lane.
If you have any content that you would like added, please let the club know.
You can see the timeline, which is best viewed on a desktop, here.
Welcome To Maidstonerugby.com
January 1st 2021
After a long period of time under Vivid Associates, the time has come for Maidstone to move on. Vivid has progressed into bigger and better avenues which we could no longer fit into. However, they kept the site ticking over for us, whilst we found a new home. Our thanks goes to Alistair and Michael for their support and dedication supporting the clubs website. We also wish them all the very best in their new endeavours.
Like moving house, it's a sad time but also an exciting one as we move to a new home in maidstonerugby.com.
If anyone has any suggestions on the website, please let the Admin Team know and they can see what is possible to make this the best user interface as possible.