Clifton Rugby Football Club History
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v Bristol 23rd September 1893


The first match played on Clifton's new pitch at Buffalo Bill's Field in Horfield. Anticipating a large crowd, Clifton hired five policemen and four stewards. They had also bolstored their side with Hooper, Field and Grace, W.G's eldest son. Bristol had gained 3 players from Clifton a year before, Birch, Hunt and Ford.

Clifton 0 - Bristol 11. The 8th fixture between the sides. Clifton had won 2, Bristol had won 5, and 1 had been drawn so far.

Three-quarter backs
C.A.Hooper, E.Field, T.Rogerson, and W.G.Davies
W.J.Lias (captain) and E.M.Panter-Downes
H.L.Norrington, B.H.Belson, W.P.Gwynn, Lionel Edward Arthur Ollivant, M.Blood, T.Jones, H.Bingham, and W.G.Grace jun.
Three-quarter backs
Chard, B.W.L.Ashford, W.Thompson, and E.Fenner
W.T.Pearce and F.W.Hunt
W.H.Birch, A.W.Ford, W.Jarman, T.O.Davies, T.S.Duffett, P.F.Dewar, Capenhurst, and P.Lockyer

An account of the match appeared in The Bristol Times & Mirror on 25th September 1893 and said

Nearly 4,000 persons assembled upon the new ground of the Clifton Club, at Horfield, on Saturday afternoon when a match was played between the home team and the Bristol Club. The weather threatenedrain all afternoon, but fortunateley the downpour kept off. A chill east wind was blowing, and this madethe cold enough for any winter pastime. Both sides were well representedalthough Bristol were without Turner and Wilcocks, whose places on the three-quarter line were taken by Chard and Thomas; and Clifton had secured powerful assistance in C.A.Hooper and Field. The game was started by Clifton, for whom Belson kicked off. The ball was charged down, and some tough scrummaging followed upon the half-way line. This was broken by Lias getting the ball smartly out to Hooper, who was marked before he could get clear. Hooper made his mark a moment or two later, and Thompson relieved with a long kick, which found touch.Grace then started a fine running dribble, which led the Clifton forwards well into the Bristol 25. Pearce worked out with a dodgy little run, but Lias handed out of the pack to Hooper, and pretty passing amongst the three-quarters again bought the visitors' goal into jeopody. Stronger play by the Bristol three-quarters slowly forced the game over the half-way line, where Field got possession, and put in a brilliant run, which was only just checked by Mackay a few yards from goal. Fenner speedily following up a long kick by Lockyer, secured the ball, and reached the 25 flag of his opponents. Ine the scrum, the ball was again handed to him, and after a useful spurt he passed to Jarman, enabling him to score a try, which Ashford could not convert. The kick out was charged down, and after thisthe first notable event was smart play between Jarman, Ford, Pearce and Thompson. Ashford started off wellfrom the half-way line, but was pulled down by Cooper. Stiff, close work followed, and Ashford, receiving the leather, threw all his weight upon his leg to start off quickly, and the ligature of the knee, unable to bear the strain, gave way.He lay upon the ground for a few moments, and was carried off, to be sent home in a cab. A delay of some five minutes was thus caused. Lockyer went back in place of Ashford, and Thompson moved into the centre. Clifton were first to assume the agressive, but Fenner turned the tables with a fine run, and Lockyer lost a good opening through bad passing. Half time was called with the score - Bristol, one try; Clifton, nil. When play was resumedHooper and Field played in the centre, with Rogerson and Davies on the wings. The game was fairly even and a bit dull at the outset, and then the Bristol forwards made their weight felt, and soon reached the Clifton 25. Hunt spoiled the work by kickingright behind. Scrummaging followed the kick out, and the ball coming out the Bristol side, Pearce quikly gave to Fenner, and he raced along close to the touch line, scoring near the corner. Thompson was sucessful with a difficult goal kick. Clifton had their innings after this, and Hooper and Field gained a lot of ground by their combination play. The home forwards beat the city men altogether in the loose, and rushed up the right wing, carrying the ball over the goal line, and were prevented from scoring by Lockyer touching down. When play was re-started Lias initiated another good piece of work by quikly passing out from the scrum to the three-quarters. The effort being ill-sustained, Bristol were soon back on the haqlf-way line. Hunt giving Thompson the ball, the captain charged through the crowd and gained a try near the corner flag. Mackay made a game shot at goal, which just missed. Field's kicking came in very well when the game was once more set going, as Mackay was rushed down before he could return a second time, and Rogerson followed this up by a well-judged punting into touch. Their best effort was a dashing piece of passing, which Field started from the middle line. He sent to Davie, and receiving the ball back again transferred to Lias who threw it into the crowd when close to the visitor's goal. This was the last noteworthy incident, and the game ended in favour of Bristol by one goal and two tries to nothing. Teams:- Clifton: N.C.Cooper, back; C.A.Hooper, E.Field, T.Rogerson, and W.G.Davie, three-quarter backs; W.J.Lias (captain) and E.M.Panterdownes, half-backs; H.L.Norrington, B.H.Belson, W.Gwynn, L.Olivant, M.Blood, T.Jones, H.Bingham, and W.G.Grace jun., forwards. Bristol: W.A.Mackay, back; Chard, B.W.L.Ashford, W.Thompson, and E.Fenner, three-quarter backs; W.T.Pearce and F.W.Hunt, half-backs; W.H.Birch, A.W.Ford, W.Jarman, T.O.Davies, T.S.Duffett, P.F.Dewar, Capenhurst, and P.Lockyer, forwards. S.A.Ball refereed.

The players were

Lyall Newcomen Cooper Born 13th January 1876 at 24 Lower Redland Road, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol. Son of Henry N Cooper, Wine Merchant, and Edith (nee Henderson). Clifton College 1885-1886. Civil Engineer. Inspector General, Irrigation Dept, Alexandria, Egpt. Colonel Royal Engineers. Died 27th September 1929 Kingston, Surrey
Charles Alexander Hooper Born 6th June 1869. Clifton College 1880-1888. Head boy 1886 and 1887. Went on to play for Gloucestershire, Cambridge University and England. For more click here
Edwin Field Born 16th December 1871. Clifton College 1882-91. Already a Cambridge Blue at Cricket and Rugby and an England International. For more click here
Thomas Cooper Rogerson Born 1870 Cheetham Manchester. Son of Edward Rogerson, Ironmonger, and Martha Elizabeth (nee Chesters). Mill Hill School, Leicester. Sherbourne School, Dorset. Exeter College, Oxford. Also played rugby for Oxford, Bath and Somerset. Solicitor. Married 29th June 1899 Hilda Gertrude (Parker) in Bootle, Liverpool. Died 14th July 1941 19 Lansdowne Place, Hove, Sussex
Vaughan Wiltonn Davies Born 1866 Weston-super-Mare, Somerset. Son of William Henry Davies, Solicitor, and Florence (nee Wilton). Hailbury School. First played for Clifton in 1887 against Cardiff. Also played rugby for Bristol Law Students, Redland Park and Bristol. Married Winifred Eastty in 1898. Private Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) WW1. Director Commercial Rubber, London. Died 20th March 1947 at 11 Claremont Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent.
William John Lias (captain) Born March 13th 1868 in Kensington. Son of the clergyman and author John James Lias. Went to Hailbury School. Attended Jesus College, Cambridge from 1886, BA 1889, MA 1898. Editor of the Cambridge Review 1890-1. Headmaster of the Downs School, Clifton 1893-98. Called to the Bar, Lincoln's Inn, May 1, 1901. Practised at Liverpool. Served in the Great War, 1914-19 (Capt., Lancs. Fusiliers, and R.E.; mentioned in despatches). Professor of International Law at Sheffield University, 1924-9. Judge of County Courts, Circuit No. 13 (Sheffield), 1922-30; of County Court No. 59 (Plymouth) District, 1930-40. He died on July 20th 1941 at Torquay. click here
Edward Martin Panter-Downes Born on 3rd Decmber 1872 at Rushford Rectory, Thetford, Norfolk. Clifton College 1885-1890. He trained at Sandhurst, and joined the Royal Irish Regiment. He was the son of Captain Edward Panter-Downes, R.N.; husband of Kathleen Panter-Downes. Served in the South African War. Awarded the Royal Humane Society's Bronze Medal in 1898. He died in WW1 on 26th August 1914 at the Battle of Le Chateau. For more click here
Henry Lawrence Weekes Norrington Born 16th August 1872. Clifton College 1883-1891. Played for Gloucestershire. Went to University College, Bristol. Lt-Col in RAMC. For more click here
Berkeley Henry Belson Born abt. 1871 (Apr-Jun) Sheppey, Kent. Eldest son of Commander Berkeley George A. Belson RN. Brother of Frederick Belson. Lt-Col. Died on the 26th September 1946 in Millford-on-Sea.
William Purnell Gwynn Born in 1871 in Clifton, Bristol. In 1891 living at 22 Victoria Square, Clifton.
Lionel Arthur Edward Olivant Born 3rd December 1872 Bombay, India. Son of Sir Edward Charles Kayll Ollivant and Lucy Caroline (nee Eddis). In 1891 living at 24 Royal York Crescent, Clifton, Bristol. Charterhouse. Trinity College, Cambridge. Rowed in Cambridge Boat 1893 and 1894. Captain Royal Fusiliers, Killed in action in Tientsin, China 14th July 1900 when taking ammunition to an American troops. For more click here
Maurice Blood Born 15th Feb 1870 Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol. Son of George Edmund Blood, Cashier Corn Trade, and Kate Eleanor (nee Nolan). His father worked for Blood Holman & Co, Grain Brokers, 9 King Street, Bristol. Bristol Grammar School. Merton College, Oxford 1889-1891. Stockbroker. Won Bronze Medal in 1908 Olympics 1000 yard free rifle event. Married Roberta Harriet Jones on 4th April 1896 in Bath. Died 31st March 21 Tanza Road, 1940 Hampstead, Middlesex
Tertius Jones Born 6th January 1868 Ratby, Leics. Son of Lt. Col. Alfred Stowell Jones VC, and Emily (nee Back). Cheltenham College 1881-1884. RMA Woolwich 1885-1887. Served in South Africa with the Bechuanaland Irregular Force. Played in the first match on Buffalo Bills Field. Died 26th March 1896 from an Abcess of the Liver after contracting Smallpox in Delhi, India.
Harry Bertram Bingham Born 1865 Bristol. Married Elizabeth Wood Collie in 1888 in Prestwich, Lancs. Died 1893 Altrinham, Cheshire.
William Gilbert Grace jun. Born 6th July 1874. Eldest son of the cricketer W.G.Grace. Clifton College 1887-1893. Cambridge Blue at Cricket 1895 and 1896. Played rugby for Northants and East Midlands. Died suddenly on 2nd March 1905. For more click here
William A Mackay ?

Loiuis Chard

Born 1872 Brent Knoll, Somerset. Son of Edward Chard, Butcher, and his 2nd wife Sarah Jane (nee Smith). Christened Robert Louis Smith Chard. Married Dora (nee Read) 1896 in Axbridge. Formerley played for Cheddar Valley Wanderers, where he returned after playing for Bristol. His bother Charles also played for Bristol, Weston-super-Mare and Somerset. Died 12th September 1947

Brice Wakeford Lee Ashford ?
W. 'Tommy' Thompson Born 12th March 1868. Ex. Carlton. Captained Bristol from 1890/91 for 4 seasons. Played in the first Clifton v Bristol match in 1889. Went to South Africa for business reasons. Played for Transvaal. Returned to Bristol in 1896. Died 18th December 1899 of pneumonia. Funeral service at St. Nicholas Church. Buried at Arnos Vale Cemetry, Bristol.
Edwin Fenner Born in Bristol. Captained Bristol in 1894-95. Played for Gloucestershire.
Walter Thomas Pearce ex Carlton. Played for Gloucestershire. Became President of the RFU from 1929-1931. Died in 1940.
Frederic William Hunt Born on the 6th April 1867. Son of Thomas Hunt of 39 Lansdown Crescent, Cheltenham. Educated at Cheltenham College from Sept. 1878 to Dec. 1879. Moved to Bristol Rugby Club in 1892.
William Henry Trenley Birch Born 1869 in Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. Captained Clifton in 1891-92. Had 2 trials for England 1894-95. Captained Gloucestershire. Moved to Bristol Rugby Club the previous season from Clifton. During the 1881 census he was at a Private School in Ham Lane, Charlton Kings, Cheltenham. He was a Clerk in a Solicitors office. In 1891 he was a lodger at 20 Clyde Road, Redland, Bristol. In 1901 he was a lodger at 64 Oakfield Road, Clifton, Bristol. For more click here
Alfred William Ford Born 1866 in Gloucester. Moved to Bristol Rugby Club the previous season from Clifton. An Insurance Agent.
John Wallace Jarman Born 15th July 1872. The first Bristol international in 1900. Emigrated to Canada in 1920. Died in September 1950 in Vancouver.
Thomas “Fatty” Oliver Davies At 5ft 10in and 14 stone he was known as Fatty Davies. He went on to captain Bristol in 1895-96 and play for Gloucestershire and the Westrn Counties. He died in 1925.
Thomas Stanley Duffett Born abt 1866 in Clifton, Bristol.
Percival Frank Dewar Born abt 1869 Ashford, Kent. A schoolmaster. His father, David, was a Superintendant of Police,at Seabrook Police Station. His father died on the 8th March 1877 when he was only 8 years old.
Thomas William Capenhurst Born 1869 in Bristol. An Electrician. In 1891 living at 2 Cumberland Place, Clifton, Bristol.
Percy Lockyer  

Samuel Albert Ball referee

Above match report from the Bristol Mercury on the 25th September 1893.