Clifton Rugby Football Club History
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L-R: Mr.U.A.Titley (Rugby correspondent of The Times), Col.G.S.Castle (President), Grant.S.Watson (Club Captain 1968-1971 and 1972-73), Victor Fuller-Eberle (Club Captain 1911-13)

Above 2 captains of Clifton and the President at the annual club dinner, April 1971.

1971-72 - Colts XV started.

Back Row (L-R): Ian Beloe, Eric Lewis, Mario Polledri, Ross Aldridge, David Rogers (Vice Captain). Middle Row: Grant Watson, Bob Miller, Pat Donovan, Bob Wilde, Mel Weyeth, Peter Marton. Seated: Simon Luxmore-Ball , David Tope, John Cannon (Captain), Bob Bartlett, Keith Lowe.

Above Clifton XV of 1971-72. For more on John Cannon click here.

Back Row (L-R): D.J.Walter (Hon. Match Sec.), D.Ritchie-Williams, R.Jardine, G.E.Wright (Hon. Sec.), J.S.Marsh, E.J.Stephens (Gloucester), G.Cullimore (Stroud), R.J.Cowling (Gloucester), T.Day (Gloucester), A.J.Rogers (Bristol), B.Edwards, R.C.Hannaford (Bristol), N.A.Jackson (Gloucester), J.V.Pullin (Bristol), D.Power, D.M.Rollitt (Bristol), N.Jones, E.Roberts, K.J.Cottle (Hon. Tres.), J.Watkins (Reserve). Seated: R.L.Redwood (Cheltenham), J.R.Gabitass (Bristol), R.Smith (Gloucester), D.E.J.Watts (Captain) (Bristol), W.B.Ryland (President), C.J.Williams, A.Morley (Bristol), P.M.Knight (Bristol), J.Cannon (Clifton).

Above the Gloucestershire XV that played Somerset on 8th January 1972 at Kingsholm, Gloucester with Clifton's John Cannon.

Above programme cover and teamsheet of the 1972 County Chamionship final, Warwickshire v Gloucestershire. Cliftons John Cannon in the Gloucestershire side.

1972 - 1973

Above Centenary Season Ticket.

Standing (L-R): John Poole (Touch Judge), Andy Pesynski, Gary Rogers, Chris Jenkins, Pat Donovan, David Rogers, Steve Gregory, Alex Hay. Sitting: Keith Lowe, Mario Polledri, Grant Watson, Graham Mansfield, Simon Luxmore. On Ground: Phil Hepburn, John Cannon, Martin Hinchliffe (Ballboy), Mike Wagstaff, Ken Nelson.

Above Clifton RFC XV 1972/73. This photo was taken before the Centenary match against Blackheath. Steve Gregory was son of England International Jack Gregory click here

Above newspaper article about the Clifton v Blackheath match played in March 1973. This was not John Cannon's last game as the article says. Thank you to Phillip Hepburn for this article.

John Cannon becomes the 101st Clifton player to play for Gloucestershire as they lose the County Championship to Lancashire 17-12. Also in the Gloucestershire side was Clifton's Pete Johnson.

Above programme cover and teamsheet from the 1973 County Championship final, Gloucestershire v Lancashire with Cliftons John Cannon and Pete Johnson in the Gloucestershire side.

Centenary of club celebrated on 5th September 1972 when a combined Clifton/Bristol team beat Newport 15-9

Above cover of the Centenary Dinner Table Plan held at the Grand Hotel, Bristol on 15th September 1972. The same place as the Jubilee Dinner held in 1922. At this dinner there was F.M.Arkle, L.J and M.D. Corbett, Lt.Col V.F. Eberle, Lt.Col C.J.Gardiner (First Rhodes Scholar at Oxford), V.Leadbetter (ex Clifton RFC and England), A.T.Voyce (Gloucester and England), P.D.Young (ex Clifton RFC and England Captain). Unfortunateley C.A.L.Richards (Clifton RFC and Oxford Univ), S.B.Richards (Clifton RFC and England)and John Rickman were 3 of 25 who couldn't make it.

Above programme cover and teamsheet from the Moseley v Cambridge University match played on 23rd February 1973. Colin McFadyean still playing at 30.

A try was increased by the IRFB to 4 points for a trial period of 2 years in the Northern hemisphere and was formally adopted in 1973.

Clifton win Gloucestershire County Cup beating Dings Crusaders in the final.

Gloucestershire narrowly lose County Championship 12-17 to Lancashire. The Gloucestershire side included Clifton's J.Cannon and P.Johnson and future head coach Alan Morley. Lancashire included Fran Cotton.


Clifton loose Gloucestershire County Cup final to Lydney.


Standing (L-R): Nigel Bourne, Pete Johnson, Mario Polledri, Paul Barclay, Peter Brown, Gary Rogers, Grant Watson, Steve Gregory, David Tope. Sitting: John Cannon, Keith Lowe, Simon Luxmoore, John Raine, Graham Mansfield, Pat Donovan .

Above Clifton RFC XV 1974/75. Steve Gregory was son of England International Jack Gregory click here. Pete Brown was the father of England International Alex Brown click here. For more on Simon Luxmore click here


Combined Clifton/Bristol team beat a Combination XV 17-9 on the 75th anniversary of the Bristol Combination at Bristol's Memorial Ground on 1st October 1975.

Standing (L-R): N.Ellis, C.Morley, R.Osborn, R.Miller, N.Williams, P.Nash, S.Eaves, K.Lowe. Sitting: F.Thomas, P.Johnson, S.Luxmore, D.Rogers, J.Cannon, P.Donnovan, G.Watson, I.Elvin.

Above Clifton RFC XV 1975/76 at Eastfield Road for the last season. John Cannon and Pete Johnson also played for Gloucestershire.

Above programme cover and teamsheet from the Gloucester v Clifton match played on 25th October 1975

Above programme cover and teamsheet for the Bristol v Clifton match played on 1st January 1976.

Above programme cover and teamsheet from the last match played at Eastfield Road v Bristol on Wednesday 7th April 1976. Bristol won 17-15

1976-77 - Moved to present ground at Cribbs Causeway. Old ground sold for housing development. For more details on Cribbs Causeway click here

Above from the Evening Post, June 26th 1976, celebrating the opening of Clifton Rugby Club and Clifton Cricket Club's clubhouse at Cribbs Causeway are (left to right): Mr John F.Robinson, president of the cricket club; the Duke of Beaufort, and Mr Tony Garrett, rugby club president.

TALL STORY AT CLIFTON - Up, up, up go the goalposts at Clifton Rugby Club's new headquarters at Cribbs Causeway.

They are an incredible 66ft 6ins high - the tallest in the world.

And, including the huge depth they have had to be sunk, they involved the use of 860ft of steel tubing used in triple thickness.

Why did Clifton want such enormous posts? For one thing they were made by club second-row forward Pat O'Donnovan's firm, so they were probably obtained at a competitive price.

And, of course, they do provide a talking point. But publicity man Keith Wheldon could elucidate no further.

"I honestly don't know", he said. "But they do make a pretty impressive sight."

Clifton are hoping they will impress Willie John McBride's all-star tean next Sunday, September 5. For they will be the first to use them, in the match against Clifton to celebrate the opening of the new ground.

Above from the Evening Post, August 28th 1976, erection of tallest rugby posts in the world at Cribbs Causeway.

Above ticket for the match v Willie John McBride XV at the opening of the new Cribbs Causeway ground.

A match v Willie John McBride XV at the opening of the new Cribbs Causeway ground.

Programme cover and teamsheet from the opening match at Cribbs Causeway.

Above Willie John McBrides XV.

Above Clifton XV with Alan Morley's brother Chris, Peter Johnson who went on to head the Bristol Shoguns Academy in 2003 and Peter Brown whose son Alex went on to play for Clifton, Bristol, Gloucester and England.

Above programme cover and teamsheet from the Gloucestershire v Cornwall. In the Gloucestershire side Clifton player P.C.Johnson, N.Williams on the bench and and future Clifton Coaches Alan Morley and Pete Polledri.

Above programme cover and teamsheet from the Gloucester v Clifton match played on 23rd October 1976. Gloucester won 28-0

Above programme cover and teamsheet from the Clifton v Bristol match played on Wednesday 23rd March 1977. Bristol won 30-13. This was the first time Clifton played Bristol at Cribbs Causeway.

1977-1978 Junior section founded.

Back Row (L-R): F.Cannon, K.Zoing, D.Betterton, A.Oram, H.Dicks, P.Brown, M.Scadeng, A.Wood, B.Cragg, J.Cannon, S.Winkworth. Front Row: N.Penny, B.Lovering, N.Boume, S.Luxmore, I.Elvin (Captain), P.Pearce, K.Lloyd, D.Powell, P.Johnson.

Gloucestershire narrowly loose County Championship final to the North Midlands 10-7 at Moseley with Clifton player P.C.Johnson

Above programme cover and teamsheet of the 1977 County Championship final, North Midlands v Gloucestershire with Clifton's Pete Johnson.

Above Clifton squad of 1977-78

Above Andy Thomas becomes an Oxford Blue playing in the 1979 Varsity final. He had previously attended Colstons and played for Bristol. He later went on to play and coach for Clifton.The programme notes say "A.C.THOMAS (Keble. Centre. Born 1.6.58. in Bristol. 5ft. 10in., 13st. 7lb. Andrew Christopher Thomas was educated at Colston's School, Stapleton, and is now reading jurisprudence. He had a trial for S.W.Schools, he has played for the Greyhounds and he has toured France both with Oxford University and his club, Bristol. It is alleged, though whether by him or an outside agency is open to question, that his other sporting achievements include somnabulism and beverage consumption. It was also encouraging to find the spelling correct for all four words."

For more on Andy Thomas click here


Back Row (L-R): R.R.Mogg, S.B.Boyle, N.Pomphrey, A.Sheppard, D.M.Rollit, L.Dick, J.Simonett, A.Hignell. Front Row: S.G.R.Mills, R.Jardine, C.G.Williams, S.T.Day (President), M.J.Rafter, P.E.Butler, R.J.Clewes, J.Haines. On Ground: P.Johnson, P.Kingston.

Above group photograph of Gloucestershire players and officials taken before the Centenary celebration match at Kingsholm between the President's International XV and the County team. Gloucestershire won 33-24 with Clifton's Peter Johnson.

Above programme cover and teamsheet of the Clifton v Bristol match played for the first time at Clifton under floodlights

Above programme cover and teamsheet of the Devon v Gloucestershire match with Clifton RFC player Peter Johnson on the Gloucestershire side with future Clifton Coach Alan Morley Gloucetershires Captain.

Above Gloucestershire v Somerset programme cover and teamsheet with Clifton's Peter Johnson playing for Gloucestershire.

Above Gloucestershire v Cornwall programme cover and teamsheet with Clifton's Peter Johnson playing for Gloucestershire.


Back Row (L-R): ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, P.Brown, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, S.Winkworth. Front Row: ?, ?, ?, ?, P.Johnson (Captain), ?, ?, ?.

Above Clifton XV of 1979-80

Above Somerset v Gloucestershire programme cover and teamsheet with Clifton's S.Luxmore and N.Williams playing for Somerset.

Above Clifton win the first Bass South West Merit Table