Stourport Rugby Club

Stourport Rugby Club

Rugby as a sport has a long history in the English Midlands – as it should have, given that it was invented in the nineteenth century at Rugby School and Rugby itself More »

What’s Happening Now

What’s Happening Now

Stourport RFC plays in the fifth Division West of the North Midlands League, which is run by the North Midlands RFU, a body taking responsibility for Worcestershire and Herefordshire RFU, Greater Birmingham More »

How Rugby Is Played

How Rugby Is Played

There is a saying in the UK that football (soccer) is a game for gentlemen played by hooligans, while rugby is a game for hooligans played by gentlemen. The idea may sometimes More »

The Leading Worcester Rugby Team

The Leading Worcester Rugby Team

The highest level of rugby played in Worcestershire is in the premiership, a very long way above the league in which Stourport RFC has its being. Worcestershire’s representative there is Worcester Warriors More »

The 2015 Rugby World Cup

The 2015 Rugby World Cup

The New Zealand All Blacks are, without question, the best rugby team in the world and they demonstrated that in the 2015 Rugby World Cup that took place in the UK by More »

 

The Origins Of Rugby

There is an idea about the origins of rugby football so common that the Rugby World Cup is actually named for it. Although it’s a very nice story, there is almost certainly no truth in it. It is reminiscent of the well-known “fact” that the Duke of Wellington said the Battle of Waterloo had been won on the playing fields of Eton – a statement that might be more credible were it not for the fact that, when Wellington – Arthur Wellesley as he was at the time – was at Eton, there were no playing fields there. The idea lives on, however; the theory is that William Webb Ellis, while playing football at Rugby School, picked up the ball and ran with it, thereby demonstrating himself to be a cheat but also giving birth to what any unbiased person would recognise as the world’s leading and best ball game. In fact, the story is entirely apocryphal.rugby-596747_960_720

That does not stop the town rugby cashing in on its famous school and equally famous story, and there is a bronze statue of William Webb Ellis in Rugby. Except that there isn’t, and this story is as misleading as the original, because no one knows what William Webb Ellis looked like, and when Graham Ibbeson was hired with £40,000 of money raised in a public appeal to make a bronze statue of the iconic athlete in full flight with a rugby ball, he actually modelled the statue on his own son.

So, where did rugby football come from? All over England, Wales and Ireland, games were played for centuries involving players from one village against players from a nearby village and there was no limit on the number of players who take part. The object, in most cases, was to fight and wrestle all the way to the opponents’ line (the “goal line”); when the ball (usually a stuffed pig’s bladder) had crossed that line, the game was over. That’s how the game known as rugby got started.