Founding Member of the Rugby Football Union in 1871 – Hornets RFC
The Hornets RFC was a founder member of the Rugby Football Union. Founded in 1868 with over 90 members fielding three teams. They played at Wimbledon Common, 20 minutes walk from Wimbledon Station.
The Hornets played their first game against Richmond in November 1865. Making them one of the oldest clubs in the world. The Hornets played their matches on Wimbledon Common – an area of 347 hectares of grassland in South West London.
Two early Hornets players selected for England Rugby Duty
The club Captain was Leonard James Maton, a Pupil of Rugby School who moved to London to become a lawyer. He along with Algernon Rutter and Edwin Ash of Richmond drafted the first Laws of the Game.
The Hornets had two exceptional players in those early days in Harry Graham and his brother John, who were both selected for England. Harry gained four England Caps in 1875 and 1876. John played alongside his brother in the international against Ireland in Dublin on the 13th of December 1875
Hornets along with 21 Rugby Clubs formalised the game of Rugby Football
It was on the 4th of December 1870, Edwin Ash of Richmond and Benjamin Burns of Blackheath published a letter in The Times suggesting that “those who play the rugby-type game should meet to form a code of practice as various clubs play to rules which differ from others, which makes the game difficult to play.”
So on the 26th of January 1871. A meeting attended by representatives from 21 clubs was held in London at the Pall Mall Restaurant on Regent Street.
This historic event inspired the design of The 21 Club Collection and the Hornets 1871 Rugby Shirt
The ‘21 Club’ fashion collection from Ellis Rugby gains inspiration from this historic event that fashioned the game of Rugby Football.
The 21 clubs present at the meeting were – Blackheath (represented by Burns and Frederick Stokes the latter becoming the first captain of England), Richmond, and Ravenscourt Park. Also, West Kent, Marlborough Nomads, Wimbledon Hornets, Gipsies, and Civil Service. In addition, The Law Club, Wellington College, Guy’s Hospital, Flamingoes, Clapham Rovers, and Harlequin F.C. Also, King’s College Hospital, St Paul’s, Queen’s House, and Laussane. Finally, Addison, Mohicans, and Belsize Park.
While many of these teams have subsequently disbanded. The Ellis Rugby 21 Club Collection brings these clubs back to life to form an exciting range of contemporary fashion wear.
The 21 Club Collection by Ellis Rugby
Manufactured from satin touch 100% cotton, the Hornets 1871 Rugby Shirt features a detailed Hornets embroider. Also, includes matches the inner placket, cuffs, and collar, herringbone detail on vents, and tape on the neck opening. In addition, an applique XV is on the back. Also, Ellis Rugby branding on the collar stand and crest on the arm.