Feature: Can you shed light on the mysterious pair of Bo'ness Rugby Club teams established in the early 1900s?

Efforts are being made to try to shed some light on the mysterious and intriguing early days of Bo’ness Rugby Club.

Saturday, 17th April 2021, 12:14 pm
Alisdair Edmond in action for Bo'ness Rugby Club (Pic courtesy of Bo'ness)

Although the current side has only been in existence since 2011, researchers have established that the club had two other shortlived periods of existence in the first part of the 20th century, from 1900 to 1903 and between 1930 and ’32.

Chief researcher Alisdair Edmond, 24, vice captain of the current team, has spent many hours searching online and in libraries for information on the two initial sides after hearing about a chance tip off in a pub.

He told the Journal and Gazette: “When we launched in 2011 everyone was saying it was the first rugby club in Bo’ness but now we realise that was actually wrong.

Alisdair Edmond

"The first team (from 1900) definitely did play in a league and did quite well I believe.

"One newspaper article referred to an awards night with minutes talking about their results and how it was promising for the future.

"We really want to know what caused both the teams to disband within three years, it’s one of the big questions.

"A lot of the players and committee members were all really prominent people in the town, very influential individuals, business owners so some of the richest men in Bo’ness at the time were involved. You would think that would support them going forward so what could possibly have caused it to fall away?”

Alisdair Edmond

Old Linlithgow Gazette newspaper cuttings reveal that the original team played home games at The Chance and Ladywell Park, while the side from three decades later turned out at different playing fields around Bo’ness.

"Once we find out more about the strips the old teams wore we’d love to do an away tribute strip,” Alisdair added.

"We know that the 1900 team played in dark blue and maroon.

"These days our strip is dark blue and yellow, a mad combination I suppose!

Alisdair Edmond in action for Bo'ness Rugby Club

"If we had known there was a club history like this we would maybe have chosen our colours that way.”

If you can help Alisdair with more information on the original two teams, call him on 07979 463836.

"I just hope I get someone contacting me saying that they had a grandpa who used to play for Bo’ness or something,” he added.

In the years preceding coronavirus, the modern day Bo’ness Rugby Club team – who play home games at Grahamsdyke Park – were turning out in the Caledonia Midland League.

They haven’t played a competitive game since February 2020, with hopes that friendlies will be played in August with the league restarting the following month.