Manchester Rugby Club

Manchester Rugby Club
Full name Manchester Rugby Club
Founded 1860 (as Manchester Football Club)
Location Cheadle Hulme, England
Ground(s) Cheadle Hulme CC
Chairman David Flanney
League(s) National League 2 North
National Division 1 2009-10 14th
Team kit

Manchester Rugby Club, formerly known as Manchester Football Club, are one of the oldest rugby union clubs in existence, having been founded in 1860, 11 years before the RFU.

They play their home matches at Cheadle Hulme, in the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport. The club is divided into different sections - 1st XV, 2nd XV, Wanderers, Ladies, and Mini, Juniors, Colts. Their home colours are red shirts with navy blue and white piping, navy shorts and navy socks. Their away colours are navy blue shirts with red & white piping, navy shorts and navy socks.[1]



Although founded in 1860, the club had played its first game in 1857, when the gentlemen of Manchester and Liverpool came together to play a friendly game. Richard Sykes, the captain of football at Rugby School set up the Manchester team and provided the ball, and so the game became dubbed 'Rugby versus the World!' Liverpool St. Helens F.C. and Manchester F.C. came into being not long afterwards.

Manchester had very strong links with the early RFU, supplying two presidents (James MacLaren and Roger Walker) and a number of international players, including Albert Neilson Hornby, the first ever player to captain England at both rugby and cricket. The earliest international jersey is still on display in the clubhouse.

Manchester FC were also the first recognised soccer side in Manchester, and they competed in the FA Cup before any of the region's other sides[2]. In 1894 Newton Heath (present day Manchester United) were banned from changing their name to Manchester FC by the FA and RFU because of the existence of the rugby side [3]. The full story of Manchester FC's association football history is detailed in Manchester A Football History where it is revealed they hold many Mancunian firsts. They were also the first English club side to play competitively in Scotland when they faced Queen's Park F.C. in the FA Cup in 1883-4[4]

There are plans to set up a Rugby League Conference team in 2012.

Notable players

  • Albert Neilson Hornby, the first ever player to captain England at both rugby and cricket
  • Richard Osborne, played for England in first international in 1871
  • William MacLaren, played for England in first international in 1871
  • Arthur Sumner Gibson, played for England in first international in 1871
  • H.J.C. Turner, played for England in first international in 1871
  • Andrew Bulteel, played for England in the last 20 a-side match against Ireland in 1875
  • Ernest Marriott, played for England in the last 20 a-side match against Ireland in 1875
  • Hugh Rowley, played nine times for England (from 1879 to 1882)
  • Roger Walker, England international and President of the Rugby Football Union
  • Daniel Collins - Scored 45 tries in just under 100 appearances for Manchester


  1. ^ Manchester Rugby Club
  2. ^ James, Gary. Manchester A Football History, pp 35–39
  3. ^ James, Gary. Manchester A Football History, pp 28–30
  4. ^ James, Gary. Manchester A Football History (James Ward, Halifax), 2008, ISBN 978-0-9558127-0-5

External links

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