Livingston Rugby

Livingston Rugby

Formation

If any one person can be singled out for mention as the driving force behind the setting up of this club, then it must be Jack Nixon.

Jack was the Youth Officer of the West Lothian County Council in the 1960s, and among his responsibilities was the assistance he could offer in setting up clubs and organisations for the newcomers to Livingston. Fortunately for us, being a lad hailing from Langholm, rugby was his own sport.

At this time, 1968, there was a Bathgate rugby club that had to play its home games in Airdrie. Some of the members of this club saw Jack's newspaper appeal to those interested in setting up a Livingston club. Among those who attended were Alwyn O'Neill and Jim Irvine.

Included in the gathered group were Jim Sandilands, a civil engineer, and George Smith, assistant legal secretary, both employed by the Livingston Development Corporation.

Enough members of Bathgate were present to decide on the wind-up of their club and to come into the fold of the new one, Livingston and District R.F.C.

The name was not chosen lightly, for it was Alwyn O'Neill who insisted that it was a condition that must be met before the Bathgate lads joined. He felt that the 'District' safeguarded future right of membership to those residing outside the town as Livingston developed. This was agreed. (The word 'District' was eventually to be dropped with no effect on membership rights.)

The club applied for and was granted membership of the Edinburgh and District Union in the same year. All games would be played away from home until such times a home pitch became available.

Players would purchase and maintain their own strips: dark blue jersey, white shorts and socks.

On the photo on the right Jim McMahon, is standing extreme right, and John Stewart 4th from left in front. The late president, John Harkness is third from left. Bankton Mains, 1969

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