Club History: The Early Years (1955 – 1971)
Bracknell Rugby Football Club was founded in 1955, by a handful of Welsh and Cornish rugby devotees in search of game, who were attracted to the emerging new town. Those stalwarts and organisations who aided the foundation of the club:
• Dai Morgan, Reg Ellis, ‘Chiefy’ Walker (who captained Bridgend in the 1920’s) and with a pinch of experience in the form of Bill Pryor – the first club captain, honed by Cornish Rugby in the 1930’s.
• John Jones a local school master (who captained the club in its second and third years) from Llanon, Cardiganshire (Dyfed in Modern Greek) of whom everyone thought was the equal of Cliff Morgan.
• The quiet guidance of John Rowley, former General Manager of the Bracknell Development Coorparation and the first club president.
• The kindness of the Parish Council, who allowed the use of Warfield Rec (now know as the ‘Elms’).
• The generosity of Morgan Watkins, the then landlord of the ‘Red Lion’ who allowed the use of his upstairs room for ‘After Match Festivities’ – that was until someone emptied the remains of a jug down the ‘dump waiter’ shaft over poor Morgan’s Head!
The clubs first ever game was against Redingensians.
Bracknell RFC 1956/57 (R to L Back Row: W Walker,J Jones, The Ref, R Palmer, E Farry, E Mark, G Pakey, A Other, S Turner, V Sword, K Milnes, G Proberts, D Morgan, J Nichols Front Row: L Doyle, S Hawkins, W Pryor, F Medhurst, S Sharp, G Simpson.)
Early in 1958, the club acquired its first club house on the edge of the old bricks works at Eastern Road and the use of Lily Hill Park, which for the first season, the club often shared with the cattle from the adjacent fields. Front Rows would often have a bird eye view of a freshly sown cow pat and there was never any wilful collapsing of the scrum!
Mike Cross, fresh from Loughborough was captain in 1958/59 and Vince Harrison former English Triple Jump Champion played on the wing. Vince became the clubs first county player.
The club was captained from 1959/1961 by Nick Carter and in the 1958/60 season the club scored over 500 points.
In 1962, under the captaincy of “Bernie” Davies the club went on their first Easter tour to Eastbourne.
Early 1963 saw games snowed off for eleven weeks, but we managed to keep the bar profits up by a string of parties held at different houses, including club captain Dave Pratt’s house.
In 1963/64 the captaincy moved to the backs with John Lloyd, who half way through the 1964/65 season moved away from the area and the season was completed by Dave Pratt. It was during this time that the first colts side was former under the guidance of Colin Rosenburg.
In 1965/66 the club captain was Bill Harding, former London Welsh player, who had just arrived in the area. The next season Bill dropped down a couple of sides and the first ‘Bulls’ side was formed, completing their initial season unbeaten.
Bracknell RFC 1963/64 (D Wright, B Davies, D Rolfe, J Cockburn, T Hopgood, D Pratt, J Goss, A Mitchell, P Summer, K Ritson, G Simpson, P Bird, J Lloyd(C), T Williams, D Richards)