Murrayfield Wanderers has a long "family tree". However, it can be looked at as 3 phases:
i Edinburgh Wanderers history
ii Murrayfield history
iii Murrayfield Wanderers history.
Information on each of these periods is being added as we find venerable members who can both remember the period and also still write! But if you can't wait, come and drink in the bar and collar one of the members.
i The History of Edinburgh Wanderers Football Club - Founded in 1868
The clue to the great age of the Club is contained in its title. ‘Football’ not ‘Rugby Football’. In the days before 1870, teams would meet and decide whose rules were to be observed and it was only after this date that sides polarised into Rugby or Association.
In 1868 the Wanderers Football Club was formed in Edinburgh, but the precise date of formation in that year remains a matter for speculation because many of the Club’s oldest records were lost in London during the Second World War.
Wanderers would have been the ninth Founding Member of the Scottish Football Union (SRU) had the then Secretary of the Club attended the Inaugural Meeting of the Union in 1872. However, it is of interest to note that in common with five other Scottish clubs, Edinburgh Wanderers FC was admitted to the Rugby Football Union in 1872 . Wanderers joined the Scottish Football Union in 1873 and withdrew from the RFU later the same year.
The Scottish Football Union changed its name to the Scottish Rugby Union in 1924 and moved to its own new ground Murrayfield in 1925.
The Club was established by Herbert Radcliffe as the first really open football club in the East of Scotland. The Club played all its games away from home in its early existence, as it had no ground; but in season 1875/76 it became joint occupiers of the Grange Cricket field at Raeburn Place with Edinburgh University. From 1877 – 1902 Wanderers alone occupied the Grange ground, as the University moved to Corstorphine for its matches.
In 1902, Wanderers became tenants of the Scottish Rugby Union at the Union Field, Inverleith. Nearly three decades later in 1928, the Club moved to become SRU tenants at Murrayfield.
In 1975, the club were the first club in Scotland to start up mini rugby. Midi rugby followed soon after, and the club have continued to offer rugby to these age groups ever since.
ii The History of Murrayfield Rugby Club - Starting in 1916
Murrayfield RFC was inaugurated in 1971 following the merger of two old established rugby clubs, Kenmore RFC and Bruntsfield RFC who both played at the Murrayfield back pitches with the ambition to rising to the top of Scottish Rugby.
Kenmore RFC was formed in 1916 by three students at Heriot Watt College in Edinburgh’s Chambers Street, one of whom hailed from the village of Kenmore in Perthshire, hence the name. They advertised in the local paper and 40 people attended the meeting in the YMCA in St. Andrews Square.
The first Fixture was played in January 1917 against the Munster Fusiliers then stationed at Glencorse Barracks. Other matches followed against Royal High School F.P. at Pinkhill, Dunbar and City Police before they secured a pitch of their own at the Murrayfield Polo Ground (now Murrayfield Stadium).
Matches had to be suspended until after the War as most players were being called up to service in the Armed Forces.
Around 1920 the Clubs activities restarted playing home games at Duddingston until a pitch was rented from the SRU now the owners of Murrayfield.
The 1960’s were difficult times for recruitment so arrangements were made with the Gordon Highlanders, stationed at Redford Barracks to offer their players the opportunity to play Saturday Rugby.
The upturn in player numbers allowed the Club to Tour so our annual fixture with Bryncoch RFC in Neath was started in 1962.
With the advent of League rugby, the amalgamation with Bruntsfield RFC and a small club mainly made up of Boy Scouts (County Rovers RFC) was seen as he way forward.