History 1 of 3

1. History 1

The game was introduced to Ashbourne in 1931 by Major C. F. Ball, the newly appointed headmaster of Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School. Mr. K. W. (Peter) Wright, Past President, former Captain and life member of the Ashbourne R.F.C., former Match Secretary of the Derbyshire R.F.IL and compiler of the Derbyshire R.F.U. Diamond Jubilee Booklet was a founder member. He was a pupil at the Grammar School and recalls those days.

"Major Ball lost no time in introducing the game to the School, which at that time was playing soccer. His strategy was to introduce the game at under-15 level. In the words of Max Boyce — 'I was there'. Coaching lessons were held at lesson time— what an incentive! One of the lessons I was released from was Latin — not one of my best subjects. Since my gaze was not on my books but out of the window towards the field Miss Beckett, the Latin teacher would say, 'Wright, if you would rather go and play ball, you may leave now!' — which I did. Major Ball had to fight opposition in town and school to the change of code. One of his bright ideas was to walk from the Old School in Church Street through the town to the School Playing Field clad in his referee's kit — red socks, white shorts, coloured blazer and a 'tasselled' colours cap!"