Club History

Club History

The history of this wonderful club dates back to 1946 as shown by the Gloucestershire RFU (GRFU) handbooks. It was set up by doctors post-war to play rugby representing the local Bristol Hospitals.

The club was originally based in Brislington, at 'Brislington House' which was a training Nurse's home bought by the Royal United Hospital in Bath in 1951. The home was subsequently sold off and turned into a care home in the 1980s and now is private flats, known as 'Long Fox Manor'. The grounds were sold off to St. Brendan's School and the club moved to the Downs in the 1980s.

In the 1970s, the club began to accept Medical, Dentistry and Veterinary students into the fold and thus began the club as it is now known.

Throughout the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s the club was feared amongst the combination, as many of the amateur doctors also played for Bristol RFC. A great rivalry was formed between the United Bristol Hospitals RFC and the University of Bristol RFC, with many a great match being played. The club trained early morning on the Downs before the University Sports Complex was built at Coombe Dingle.

In the late 1990s, according to the Black Bag (the medical student magazine) the club moved to the University Complex a Coombe Dingle. The National Association of Medical Schools (NAMS) cup started in 1994 and the UBH have been a member since its founding, with rivalries against Southampton, Cardiff, Leicester and Oxford dating as far back as this.

For about 10 years from 1995-2005 the club took part in the University's intramural league, being champions in almost every season. However in 2007, the club decided to join the local Bristol and Gloucester Merit leagues in order to further the amount of rugby played as well as become more integrated into the rugby playing community in the South West.

NAMS success continued, with the club winning the plate competition in the 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 seasons. Further to this, the club recorded one of its rare club doubles against Southampton University Hospitals RUFC and Cardiff Medicals RFC in 2013

After many successful seasons in the Merit league (2010 being a particular achievement, remaining undefeated), in 2017 the club decided to join the RFU accredited leagues, becoming the newest members of the Gloucester 3 league, with the intention of gaining promotion and breaking into the Gloucester rugby scene. The club also continues to be a part of the South-West NAMS cup division, with the intention of winning the cup for the first time in Club History on the horizon.

Further, in order to expand membership and go back to its original roots, the club began to accept Veterinary and Dentistry students in the 2017-2018 season, as well as begin to re-accept doctors into the club after a 25 year hiatus.

The club had an unbelievably successful 2017-2018 season, winning Gloucester 3 and losing only one match in the process, winning the NAMS Plate for the first time since 2012 and winning back the inaugural Ottie Uden Memorial Cup from Nantes on the 30th anniversary - named after Ottie, a friend to many in the club, who sadly passed away in 2017. The club still trains partly at the Portway Development Ground, but has mainly relocated back to Coombe Dingle where home matches are played. The NAMS Cup is finally within our reach, as well as promotion from Gloucester 2 South.