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Sunderland RFC & The World Rugby Museum

You will find 16 articles about Sunderland RFC by me on the site above and can access them from there by date or possibly from links below.

09 January 2023

Alan Bean (1902 - 1985) was a life-long contributor to Sunderland Cricket and (Rugby) Football Club. He was also a key figure in the development of national and international Rugby Union. A well-known referee, he served on the International Panel up to 1950 then acted as a member of the Referees Advisory Panel - a panel which he eventually chaired.

Sunderland Man’s British Lions links examined in Timely Biography

Posted on 05 July 2021 by world rugby museum

Sunderland RFC has every right to be proud of its history. Founded as Sunderland Football Club in 1873, its formation is linked strongly to that of the Rugby Football Union two years earlier. Recently a set of club kit from the 1880s was discovered - said to be the oldest complete set known to rugby historians. The club has also provided the British Lions with two players. One of them - Howard Marshall (1870 -1929) - is the subject of a timely biography by writer, historian and musician Keith Gregson.

The Formation of Sunderland FC

Posted on 15 February 2021 by world rugby museum

Keith Gregson examines links between the founding of the Rugby Football Union in 1871 and the establishment of Sunderland Football Club in 1873.

A Sunderland Discovery

Posted on 4 January 2021

We're starting 2021 off with an exciting discovery for Sunderland FC and the wider rugby community...

It’s Time to Research Your Club Histories!

Posted on 20 September 2020

With the Rugby Football Union now in its 150th year, Keith Gregson advises on how you can find out the history of your own rugby clubs.

Portrait of a Team – The Sunderland Football Club 1stXV of 1881

Posted on 18 May 2020

In 1881 Sunderland Football Club was victorious in the first ever Durham County Cup and the club is lucky enough to still have a hand tinted team photograph with all the players named.

‘Sunderland Rugger With a dash of schoolboy rugby beyond’

Posted on 14 October 2019

Keith Gregson reports on one town's efforts to rebuild rugby after the First World War...

Sunderland RFC’s historian Keith Gregson gives pause for thought about rugby club committees – past and present… Continue reading →

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Writer and historian Keith Gregson uses his experiences in researching Sunderland Rugby Club’s past to open a debate on writing rugby club histories. In 2011, I was fortunate enough to win a competition organised by Rugby World magazine and MX … Continue reading →

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Keith Gregson, Sunderland RFC’s archivist and historian has, through a combination of knowledge, effort and luck, pieced together the wartime records of all 45 rugby players who were selected to play for Sunderland RFC 1st, 2nd and 3rd XVs on 17 January 1914 – just over 6 months before the outbreak of the First World War. This is an abridged introduction to the full work, which is available to purchase. Continue reading →

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As commemorations of the First World War come to an end, Sunderland RFC’s archivist and historian looks at the war record of a pioneering rugby administrator. Continue reading →

This article is a continuation of Keith Gregson’s ‘The Plight of the Northern Amateur’. Attendance One of the main arguments for a league system had been that it might improve attendance and, in consequence, income. This is not an easy … Continue reading →

This work is based on cuttings in a scrapbook given to me in my capacity as archivist of Ashbrooke Sports Club in Sunderland, home of Sunderland RFC (founded 1873). The origins of the scrapbook are uncertain but it seems to … Continue reading →

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The Tragic First World War tale of Sunderland Rugby Football Club’s James Harry Edwards (1894 -1917) puts the First World War into sharp focus One hundred years ago on 7 January 1917 James Harry Edwards was shot by a sniper … Continue reading →

The following is an extract from ‘One Among Many: the Story of Sunderland Rugby Football Club’ by Keith Gregson. The Gould Case was a cause-celebre in the days following the big split between union and league. The admirers of Arthur … Continue reading →

The following is an extract from ‘One Among Many: the Story of Sunderland Rugby Football Club’ by Keith Gregson. “Of the many stirring rugby events at Ashbrooke, none aroused greater interest than the match played 26 September 1936” The game … Continue reading →

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