The history of rugby and the Garforth Rugby Union Football Club is quite fascinating. Garforth itself became its current size due to the expansion during the 1600s and 1700s. This was due to the growth of the coal industry. Today, motor repair and manufacturing comprise a large portion of the workforce. Expansion in recent times is due to economic growth in Leeds, and transport links connected to Garforth.
Meanwhile, the history of Garforth RUFC starts with the beginning of rugby union itself. It originates from different football games that were played before the 1800s. However, the rules were not created and recorded until the middle of the 1800s. The origins of rugby union can be tracked to three events: the 1845 first set of written rules, the decision of the Blackheath Club to leave the Football Association, and the 1871 forming of the Rugby Football Union. The code was first known as Rugby Football. Then due to an argument in 1895 regarding how players were to be paid, a separate code was created, and the name Rugby Reunion referred to this new code. For the majority of its history rugby was only an amateur football code.
Centuries before Garforth RUFC was founded, people played several different ball games in the Middle Ages. These games were known as “folk football,” “mob football,” and other names. Typically an unlimited number of players on both teams would literally fight to advance the inflated pig’s bladder to markers located at the end of town. It’s not surprising that authorities later tried to make such games illegal. In terms of rugby itself, many historians believe that we can trace its origins to 1823. That is when William Webb Ellis allegedly was playing at Rugby School, when he picked up the ball and ran with it. Rugby was born. Truth be told, there is little solid evidence to prove that this event was indeed the start of rugby. However, the story is so famous that the trophy for the Rugby World Cup is named the “William Webb Ellis Trophy.” In fact, a £40,000 bronze statue depicting this event was unveiled in 1997. Across the statue the Webb Ellis museum stands.
Several changes to the Rugby Football Union were implemented after its formation. The main goal was to eliminate the most violent features of the game. In addition, different clubs played by different rules, which prevented the sport from being standardized. The Rugby Football Union was attended by 21 clubs. While some of the clubs still exist today, others have a different name today, and still others are defunct. Also, several renowned provincial clubs later became members of the Rugby Football Union. The “laws” of the Rugby Football Union were approved by 1871.
To better appreciate Garforth RUFC, it’s critical to know the history of Rugby Union, and rugby itself. The game has evolved significantly since its inception. However, these changes have improved the game significantly, eventually transforming into modern Rugby Union Football Clubs, such as the one in Garforth. And it all started with a student who picked up the pigskin.Full Review