The Early Years 1912 - 1939
Trinity Academicals Rugby Football Club was founded in 1912 with the team colours of dark blue jersey with a red badge bearing the Leith Coat of Arms. However the club possessed no suitable ground of its own and this, coupled with the advent of the First World War, meant that there was no serious attempt to arrange a permanent fixture list at that time.
Two years after the end of the war, the school was granted the use of Bangholm as their playing fields by the then Leith Education Authority and the Club obtained permission to use Bangholm provided it and the F.P. Association met the cost of Â£150 necessary to put it in order. This was a not inconsiderable sum, but it was duly raised and finally paid in 1922 after which the club was admitted to membership of the Edinburgh and District Rugby Union.
The first captain of the Club, in season 1920-21, was Robert Harcus, whose father Alfred, the first President, gave considerable guidance in the early years of the club.
The clubs fortunes began to take a turn for the better with the appointment at school of James Hossack as Head of the Geography Department. A Boroughmuir FP, Jimmy Hossack joined the Club in 1925 and was appointed Captain. From 1927-31 his personality and knowledge of the game helped tremendously to raise the standard of play. He also became the first of many Trinity players to be selected for Edinburgh.
Supported by Mr J A Scott, the then Rector of Trinity Academy, Jimmy Hossack encouraged many pupils and former pupils of the school to join the club, a tradition that remains to this day.
1940s & 50s
Although the outbreak of war in 1939 caused a break in the clubs activities, two fifteens were run in 1940 by AW Main who was secretary of the cricket club and there is little doubt that his work laid the foundations of the Clubs application for membership of the Scottish Rugby Union in 1950.
At this time club membership of Trinity Accies was restricted to former pupils of Trinity Academy .It was considered a junior club until senior status was granted in 1952 following a proposal by Daniel Stewarts FP.
During this period Trinity played most of the top clubs in the country and were considered to be a middle-of-the-table performer in the unofficial championship. Sevens also played a large part in the Trinity season.The Bangholm Sevens ran from 1942 to 1955 raising thousands of pounds. Some of this was used to establish the Trinity Academy War Memorial whilst Â£1000 was set aside for a new pavilion. The club enjoyed success in many tournaments with victories at Stirling , Peebles, Moray, Musselburgh, Selkirk, Strathmore, Edinburgh Borderers, Goldenacre U20s and Royal High.
In 1959 the club committee, led by Vice President Henry McCombie and David Gibb applied to Lord Lyon King of Arms for a crest to put on the Club Shield. It was agreed that they could take symbols from each of the crests of those who owned land in the districts of Bangholm, namely Craighall, Royston and Warriston, the then four districts of Trinity Academy . The Club badge remains the heads of a stag, a hound and a boar with a gold chevron with a red border.
1960 - 1999
This was the period when the school rugby teams, under the guidance of Alex Harper, were amongst the strongest in Scotland. Douglas Hamilton and Tom Steele (hooker and tight-head prop) became the first of many pupils selected for the Scottish Schools and this line extends to the present day with Ruairidh Bonner, Lewis Niven and Tom Drennan playing for the Scottish U18 sides. An illustration of the strength of the school 1st XV was in 1972 when a side made up from players from Leith Academy, Portobello HS and Trinity Academy comfortably defeated the Edinburgh Schools side.
In 1968 Gordon Connell gained the Clubs first international honours winning five caps between 1968 and 1970. He scored a drop goal in his first international against England and became part of rugby history when he was injured in France in 1969 to allow Ian Mcrae of Gordonians to become rugbys first ever substitute. Connell further distinguished himself by going to South Africa in 1968 with the British Lions and played in the Test against the Springboks.
With the introduction of the National League in 1973, Trinity were placed in Division III with visits up the leagues to Division II in season 1975/76 and 1979/80, both brief. In the mid eighties the club was relegated to Division IV and probably hit their worst spell from a playing point of view. Then Dougie and Jack Hamilton took over the coaching duties at Bangholm and this, coupled with the arrival of several ex-Edinburgh University players, saw a resurgence in the fortunes of Trinity with promotion to Division III in 1988/89. Since the late 1980Ã¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Trinity have moved up and down leagues several times.
In 1991 Allan Spencer, who had been club captain 1979/81 and had played for the 1st XV from 1974, was appointed as Head of PE at the school, thus strengthening the links between school and club.
When the leagues were again re-organised and all the clubs in Scotland were divided between Three Premier and Five National Leagues.
The new Millennia saw Trinity continuing to yo-yo between National Leagues I, II and III. It currently plays in National Division III.
In 2001 Trinity reached the semi final of the BT Bowl only to lose 18-14 to Lenzie.
In 2002 Trinity defeated opposition from around Europe to win the annual St Gallen(Switzerland) ten-a-side rugby trophy. The Club then successfully defended their title in 2003.
In the 2003/2004 season Trinity Accies formed an association with Edinburgh Academicals and Broughton to form BATs, (B)roughton (A)ccies (T)rinity. The key aims of BATs are:
- to promote the healthy recreation of sport to the youth of north Edinburgh (aged 13-19)
- to build on the success of the three clubs mini sections (aged 5-12)
- to provide a pathway from mini to senior rugby and into National programmes
- to be a club that encourages community interaction.
This initiative encompasses the seven secondary schools in the locality, Broughton HS, Craigroyston HS, Drummond HS, Edinburgh Academy, Fettes College and Trinity Academy and already several players from these schools have played for the senior 1st XVs.
The future is bright.