Southend Rugby Club has a long and proud history dating back to 1870 a year before the Rugby Football Union itself.
In that year Admiral Charles Barstow Theobald gave a set of 'By-laws and rules' to lads playing football at the local Milton Hall sports ground. So the club was formed.
It was called 'Southend Foot Ball Club' and one feels an affinity with those Victorian lads when reading their rules and noting similarities with today's laws such as Rule 4: A player entering a 'squash' on the wrong side is off side.
First newspaper reports began to appear in 1878 and early opponents were another Essex side Ilford Wanderers. One reports notes "the pack did not get low enough down, thus wasting weight and allowing the visitors to screw and carry the ball with them". Who says the game has moved on? A young player of the period Jimmy Cotgrove reported that, "we trained with Paper Chases", no wonder the scrummaging technique was not up to much.