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 Patrick Casey and Richard Hale - For College, Club & Country - A History of Clifton Rugby Football Club


Title: For College, Club & Country - A History of Clifton Rugby Football Club

Authors: Patrick Casey and Richard Hale

Publication Date: 1st November 2009

Pages: 310

Size: 246x189

RRP £13.99 and $24.95

ISBN 9781904312758

A comprehensive history of the oldest surviving rugby club in Bristol. Founded in 1872 by Masters and former pupils of Clifton College, its roots go back to Rugby School itself. This all started with www.cliftonrfchistory.co.uk which has now become the largest rugby club history website in the world.

Out on November 1st 2009.

Book Review by Robin Leggett (Bookbag)

Clifton Rugby Football Club can proudly trace its history back to the very emergence of the sport of rugby union and is the 20th oldest rugby union club in England. But this is more than a historical account of one of rugby's proudest clubs. Partly because it has remained very much a local side (while neighbours Bristol and Bath have gone on to be bigger hitters in the national game) it provides an account of a community during the war years, particularly the Great War.

The idea for this book emerged from an addition to the club's web site and its structure is more a selection of profiles, of individuals, families and matches, than a narrative account. The first chapter on the emergence of the club, and of rugby as a sport, is fascinating. The authors then profile the lives of players who lost their lives in both World Wars including not only the bare facts of these brave young men, but also details of the campaigns in which they lost their lives and sometimes with personal detail from the families themselves.

While some chapters are perhaps only of interest to those with close associations to the club, anyone with an interest in rugby history will be enthralled by this book. But it also offers a moving and touching tribute to those who fought in the two World Wars, as well as providing valuable social history of a community. The early team pictures in particular are highly evocative of a lost age.

 

Endorsements

Clifton is a name that resonates through  my sporting life,  from playing for the school,  and then playing  the odd game both for and against the club, to being a long-standing member.

It's fascinating to read the wealth of stories associated with people involved  at Clifton over the years and this is an invaluable record of the contributions they have made both to the game, and on the wider playing field of life. John Inverdale, BBC Television Presenter.

This book combines an intriguing history of a club with direct links to the foundation of rugby football with a moving record of dedication and commitment from members of Clifton RFC who served in the two world wars.  It affirms my view of the important role sport has to play in society and I commend this book as a ‘must read’ to all generations. Phil Davies , Former Welsh Captain and current Manager of the National Academy for the Welsh RFU.

This book provides not only a record of the history of Clifton RFC, but captures many important records of the dedication of people from the West Country who have shown a commitment to their club and country, whether through their sport, military, civil or business service.  Simply fascinating. Karen Morgan OBE, DL, Patron Feet of Green.

I feel rugby clubs provide a vital role in their community and the relationship between club and society can be seen in this history of Clifton RFC. It provides an emotional and factual account of the players and families who gave so much for club and country through an era spanning the two world wars. As the former head coach at Bristol FC I am most aware of the close historic links with Clifton and this book captures the spirit of what it means to be a club member. Richard Hill, Former Captain of England and Head Coach of Bristol Rugby.

The official launch of the book took place at a dinner just before the Clifton v Richmond game played on 31st October 2009. At the dinner were former Clifton and England players Colin McFadyean and Steve Richards. Guest of honour was the grandson of one of the founders of the club Admiral Sir James Fuller Eberle.

 

 

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