A rugby club founded by brewers in a pub has every chance of being successful and so it has proved for Burton Football Club, formed on Wednesday 5th October 1870 at the Swan Hotel, Burton on Trent. As such is one of the oldest rugby clubs in the world. Hence it's entitlement to call itself a Football Club not a Rugby Football Club.
The club changed it's name to Burton Rugby Football Club Limited, during incorporation in 2001.
In the early days, like other clubs, it had its own rules and all matches were played according to the rules of the home team. However, in 1876 the laws of the Rugby Football Union were adopted and, at the same time the club discarded the habit of the previous six years in playing rugby and Association Football (soccer) on alternate Saturdays and became wholly a Rugby Football Club.
The club colours of White jersey with black diagonal stripe running from right shoulder to left hip, white shorts and black stockings with white tops were adopted at the Annual General Meeting in 1877, and despite several unsuccessful attempts to change them, they have, thankfully, remained to this day.
Early events at the club saw Ladies being admitted in 1889, and since then the club has always been grateful for their interest and support. The first set of club rules were adopted in 1891 and at the same time the name was changed to Burton Football Club - thus in 21 years the foundations of the club were well and truly laid.
From 1870 to 1888 matches were played on Burton cricket ground, with one exception when, because of flooding, the first football match ever to be played on Peel Croft took place on 27th January 1872. In 1888 the club returned to its home of Peel Croft, only to be thrown off after two years following a disagreement with its owner. Thereafter matches were played at various grounds, namely:-
Crescent Brewery ground 1890 - 1896
Ind Coope ground by the Station Hotel 1896 - 1899
Marstons' ground by the Albion Hotel 1899 - 1910
But in 1910 the club returned home to Peel Croft and has remained there ever since, purchasing the freehold in 1953.
The club teams were at their strongest from 1870 to 1914, winning the Midland Counties Challenge Cup twice(1883 and 1888). The later win over Coventry at Rugby in front of a crowd of 14,000. October 1888 saw the well-known defeat of the Maori Tourists, while in 1890 the embryonic Barbarians were beaten on Peel Croft on their first tour of the North!
The inter-war period saw victory over Swansea in 1926 and probably produced the finest side since 1900 with the team of 1932/33, captained by G. T. Barker. This player went on to captain the club for five years and introduced Peel Croft Social Club, to provide liquid refreshment for visiting teams, and also Easter tours, now a tradition involving visits to many parts of the United Kingdom plus Poland, France, Germany and U.S.A..
After the 1946 the club resumed with two teams, to be joined by a third in 1948 and later a fourth and fifth teams. The Colts began in 1961, mini-junior in 1972, the Veterans in 1983 and finally to complete the requirements of a modern club the Ladies started in 1992.
In 1992 the club gained promotion to Midlands and has strived to gain national league status since, finishing second on three occasions, and paradoxically whilst it has not reached its former glories the club has seen its membership flourish to its present levels.