Greenock Wanderers RFC

est. 1873

Greenock Wanderers – A bit of History


During the Year 1873 when Greenock Wanderers was founded, the following Scottish Clubs were already up and running:


Edinburgh Accies 1857/58

Edinburgh University 1857/58

Merchistonians 1858

St Andrews University 1858

West of Scotland 1865

Glasgow Accies 1866

Langholm RFC 1871

Gala RFC 1873


    The SRU was also founded during 1873 although during 1871 - The first ever international game was played: Scotland v England played at Raeburn Place in Edinburgh, March 27th, in front of a crowd of 4000 (Scotland won by one goal and one try to one goal, the teams were 20-a-side and Halves were 50 minutes each). The try was awarded after a 10 minute argument, leading to a famous aphorism by Dr. HH Almond, the Scottish umpire: "I must say, however, that when an umpire is in doubt, I think he is justified in deciding against the side which makes the most noise. They are probably in the wrong." The scores for Scotland were obtained by Angus Buchanan, from whose try W. Cross kicked a goal, but he was unsuccessful in his attempt to convert the second try which he scored himself. The English try was credited to R. H. Birkett, but F. Stokes, the English captain, was unsuccessful with the place kick.

    Other historical events that took place during 1873 are


    January 9 - Napoleon III, last Emperor of the French (b. 1808) died.

    March 4 - President of the United States Ulysses S. Grant begins his second term.

    May 4 - David Livingstone, Scottish explorer of Africa (b. 1813) died.

    May 23 - The Canadian Parliament establishes the North-West Mounted Police.

    August 4 - While protecting a railroad survey party in Montana, the Seventh Cavalry, under Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer, clashes for the first time with the Sioux, near the Tongue River (only 1 man on each side is killed).

    December 16 - The Heineken Brewery is founded in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.


    For those that like the other game of ball. Glasgow Rangers were formed during the same year, Greenock Morton was founded a year later in 1874, whilst it was another 15 years before we saw Glasgow Celtic being formed.

    Wanderers are extremely proud of the fact that we have been able to maintain the interest and enthusiasm within the local environs for more than 130 years, forging numerous links with the local community. We are currently going through an expansion programme, to open the field of rugby football to a greater audience.

    Our current club house was opened by HRH The Princess Royal on the 18th February 2008. This also coincides with the 100th anniversary of the saddest day in the club’s long and distinguished history — the death of Callum John McIntyre, who died from injuries sustained playing for the club on 25 January 1908, aged just 27. McIntyre was a prop forward and had been selected to play for Wanderers in their match against Clydesdale at their former home ground at Westbourne Park, which was situated where the Battery Park is now.