Alloa R.F.C. History

Submitted by Jim Gove, Club President

Alloa Rugby Football Club was formed on the 15th of April 1931 as an offshoot from the Clackmannan County and Alloa Academy Former Pupils clubs.

The club chose Tullibody Road as their first home, enthusiastic members built a wooden bridge over the Fairy Burn to allow access to the playing fields. After the second World War, the club moved Redwell and continued to play there until the local council put a compulsory purchase order on the land in 1962. However the authorities were sympathetic to the club’s cause and allowed them to play their matches in the West End Park, changing at the old swimming baths in Primrose Street and using the Station Hotel as their social base. The “bogey” on tenancy was laid in 1969 when the club moved to their current home of Earlsfield. Seven and half acres of ground was leased initially from the RT Hon The Earl of Mar & Kellie who also kindly allowed the land on which a pavilion was erected to be purchased for a very reasonable sum. A further extension to the clubhouse was erected in 1977 and additional ground leased for a third pitch.

On the playing side then the club reached their peak in the early to mid-eighties when they won the National Division Six Championship in their fiftieth anniversary year and the Midlands Cup the following season. Since those glory days success in league terms has tended to come in ten-year cycles as new teams were built.

During the eighties, Alloa produced a host of players who represented the North & Midland District (now Caledonia) and in John Bryce and Gerry McDonald had both lads capped at Scotland Under 21 level. Brian Edwards toured Japan & Canada with the full Scotland squad having moved on to Boroughmuir and gained a Scotland A cap while with Alloa on his return to the club in 1991. While the demise of local industry has made it more difficult to keep youngsters in the area, the Alloa club have still had significant pockets of success and have had products of their youth system, Grant Gilchrist and Sean Kennedy capped for Scotland at under 18 & 17 level respectively. Both have now moved into the senior international squads and we continue to keep our fingers crossed for the prospect of these guys gaining their first full international caps.

Currently the Alloa club have around 70 senior and 50 junior members. With the current enthusiasm within the club added to the prospect of further enhancement in the youth ranks through the new Alloa Academy School of Rugby, Alloa R.F.C. look forward to season 2012/ 2013 with renewed confidence and optimism.