Extract from Lenzie RFC – 100 Years Of Rugby, by Brian Scott 1988
“A rugby club has been formed in Lenzie,” the Kirkintilloch Herald attests in its issue of February 22, 1899, “and, on Saturday, they played their first match when they played 2nd Partickhill at Partick. Considering the reputations of their opponents, they made not such bad shape (sic) in losing by three tries to one”
We are entitled to assume from this that Saturday, February 18, 1899, marked the start of the game in the community which grew around the railway arcing out of Glasgow towards Edinburgh. But we have to query what purports to be fact.
Lenzie Rugby Football Club’s formation is always believed to have taken place in the 1897-98 season, their opening match reputedly having been against a team recruited from the crew of a battleship, HMS Benbow, in the autumn of 1898.
Both claims have eluded substantiation, yet a publication of the time, Scottish Sport, reveals that Craigielea of Paisley played Lenzie and beat them “by a goal to nothing” on SWaturday, October 1, 1898.
Its report says that “there was some clever play exhibited by both sides” and that “Lenzie go about their work in the right way”. It does not say that Lenzie were playing their inaugural match on the day in question, which signalled the start of a new season.
So it could well be that Lenzie, like Craigielea themselves and a closer neighbour, Bearsden, had begun to play the previous season; albeit without their players having formalised themselves into a club.
That may not have happened until nearer the date identified by the Kirkintilloch Herald which followed up its original report with another on March 18, 1899, saying: “2n d Clydesdale v Lenzie Rugby – Lenzie played their second match at Titwood on Saturday, being beaten 12 points to 0.”
The haze enshrouding Lenzie’s beginnings was starting to clear by then although it is not until the first available club records start in 1920 that their history gains true clarity.