Old Blues RFC | Founded by old boys of Christ’s Hospital in 1873
As one of the oldest rugby clubs in the world, Old Blues RFC boasts a colourful 145-year history. Founded by J. Wingfield and a few other old boys of Christ’s Hospital, the club came of age in the years before the Great War when the school relocated from Central London to Horsham leading to a stronger base of players, offering depth, establishing itself as a genuine first-class team and by 1914 was one of the strongest teams in London.
Dormant during the Great War, the club was revived by Christ’s Hospital Old Blues, notably Sir George Rowland Hill, President of the RFU, who was the first man knighted for services to Rugby. The club moved to a new ground in Fairlop Essex where it was based for almost 60 years. By the late 20s the Old Blues were putting out 10 XVs every Saturday and playing against the best teams in England, including Leicester, Bath and Northampton. So was the stature of the club, the Old Blues were able to hold exhibition games at the school’s grounds against the likes of Harlequins.
The 10 years after World War II the Old Blues fell into decline, social changes from old boys opting for higher education all over the country, the practice of City firms working on Saturday mornings came to an end which made the trip for players south of the Thames too much of an ask. Falling availability of quality and depth along with other ‘open’ clubs improving their standards led to the Old Blues falling down the leagues.
In 1982 the decision was made, to move to a new ground in Motspur Park, Surrey to give the club stronger financial basis from which to grow. After some lean times the club now competes are very good level in Surrey with a strong squad of players living locally to the club and of course old boys from Christ’s Hospital. In fact, links to the club remain strong and matches are organised every year at the school grounds to showcase the Old Blues Rugby Club and it’s incredible history
CHRIST’S HOSPITAL & OLD BLUES RFC
Christ's Hospital was founded by King Edward VI in 1553 as a hospital for orphans in Newgate Street, London. Known as the Blue Coat School - after its distinctive uniform of long blue coats and yellow stockings former pupils of Christ's Hospital had been known as 'Old Blues' since the earliest times, and so, when some former pupils got together in 1873 to form a Christ's Hospital Old Boys Rugby Football Club, they name it 'The Old Blues RFC.'
The club was founded by J.Wingfield and a few others in 1873. Wingfield became the first Club Chairman, H.A.Hall (later to become the Archdeacon of Rippon) the first Captain and Canon G.C.Bell (the Headmaster of Christ's Hospital School) became the first Club President.