A brief history of Lydney RFC
Lydney RFC was founded in 1888, when there were already 8 teams playing in the town.
The club drew its strength and many of its players from the local tinplate works, and for many years Lydney RFC were known as the 'Tinplaters'. The first President, Charles Bathurst, later the first Lord Bledisloe, held the position for 70 years. Lord Bledisloe became Governor General of New Zealand in the 1930s and gave his name to the Bledisloe Cup, the Rugby Union trophy competed for by Australia and New Zealand.
There is still a strong connection between Lydney and New Zealand, especially the Waikato Province, and there is a regular exchange of players between Lydney and Waikato clubs.
For a town with a population which has only recently exceeded 10,000, Lydney has more than held its own against clubs from bigger towns, and has a great record in the national knock out cup, playing Saracens, Sale and Exeter Chiefs in recent years. They have not been out of the National Leagues since the league system started.
In the last 40 years or so Lydney has produced internationals such as Chris Williams, Gordon Sargent, Bev Dovey, Trevor Wintle and Peter Kingston.