Club History

Founded as Manchester Football Club in 1860, eleven years before the formation of the RFU, the club is one of the oldest open rugby clubs in the world along with Blackheath and Liverpool.

The first ever club game took place in December 1857 between the gentlemen of Manchester and Liverpool. The ball was provided by the founder of Manchester, Richard Sykes, a former Captain of Football at Rugby School. The game was advertised as Rugby versus the World!

Liverpool FC was founded soon after, followed by Manchester. Not surprisingly, with few clubs playing the game, Manchester provided several players for the earliest international matches.

Manchester played in the environs of the city until the early 1970s before teaming up with the local cricket club, Cheadle Hulme CC, to move to their current ground to the south of the city; the twenty three acre site providing in addition for the playing of squash.

At the start of league rugby Manchester found themselves in the North West Two league and over some ten seasons rose through six leagues to compete in the National One league for five seasons. In 2013-14, the club is competing in RFU South Lancs & Cheshire One.

In the early days of the RFU Manchester provided two Presidents in James MacLaren and Roger Walker. Another famous old boy was Albert Nelson Hornby, the first ever player to captain England at both rugby and cricket. The club is the proud possessor of the earliest International rugby jersey which remains displayed in the club house.

Time and the game move on; there may be fewer Internationals who grace the club, but the game remains strong, with hundreds of youngsters turning out on Sundays and the club also supporting a thriving Women & Girls section.


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