Clifton Rugby Football Club History
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Bristol and Clifton RFC
 
 
 

Bristol/Clifton

Ever since Bristol Rugby Club was established there has been a rivalry, sometimes bitter, between Clifton and Bristol. If you look closely, if it hadn't been for Clifton then Bristol would never have been formed. Bristol Rugby Club were established in 1888 purely because it was only way to beat Clifton by clubs amalgamating to compete. Clifton Rugby Club had been the premier rugby club in the south west for 16 years. Far better than any club in the area, including Gloucester and Bath.

Cliftons Record

          For Against  
Year P W D L Goals Tries Toches Points Goals Tries Toches Points Memorable Wins
1872/73       0                 Beat Bath by 2 goals, 4 tries and 16 touches to nil
1873/74 10 7 1 2 12 14 59   2 1 6   Beat Gloucester by 4 goals, 4 touches and 2 touches in goal to nil
1874/75 11 5 6 0 13 30 83   1d 0 11   Beat Bath home 4 goals, 5 tries and 12 touches to nill and away by 4 goals, 9 tries and 15 touches to nil
1875/76 23 17 5 1 40 50 170   2 4 8    
1876/77 15 4 9 2 13 9 45   8 7 24    
1877/78 16 8 3 5 21 11 47   12 8 28    
1878/79 18 8 2 8                 15-a-side played for the first time v Clifton College.
1879/80 14 14 0 0 23 24 80   2* 0 8   Beat Newport home and away.
1880/81 12 8 2 2 11 24 60   1 3 14    
1881/82                          
1882/83                          
1883/84 18 12 1 5 16 31 -   6 7 -    
1884/85 21 13 1 7                  
1885/86 15 4 3 8                  
1886/87                         Beat Gloucester. Beat Redland Park by 3 goals, 4 tries to a try. Beat Bath by 2 goals and a try to nil.
1887/88                         Beat Bath 3-2
1888/89                          
1889/90                         Beat Bristol 3-2
1890/91                         Beat Bristol and Bath twice.
1891/92                          
1892/93 21     8                  
1893/94                          
1894/95                          
1895/96 28 10 5 13                  
1896/97 29 9 3 17                 Lost to Bristol 6-5 with Bristol scoring a match winning try as the final whistle went.
1897/98                          
1898/99 23 7 3 13                  
1899/1900                          
1900/01 20 4 1 15                  
1901/02 24 12 0 12                 Beat Bath
1902/03                          
1903/04 25 9 4 12                 Beat Gloucester and Bath away
1904/05 29 8 7 14                 Beat Bath
1905/06                         Beat Bath away 8-6
1906/07 28 8 2 18                 Beat Bath away
1907/08 31 9 2 20                  
1908/09                         Beat Bath at home 19-0
1909/10   8                      
1910/11   10                     Beat Bath
1911/12   14                      
1912/13                          
1913/14                          
1914/19                         no rugby played
1919/20 20 8 2 10                  
1920/21 25 18 1 6                  
1921/22 25 10 1 14                 Beat Bristol away 9-5
1922/23                          
1923/24                          
1924/25                          
1925/26                          
1926/27                          
1927/28                          
1928/29                          
1929/30                          
1930/31                          
1931/32                          
1932/33                          
1933/34                          
1934/35                          
1935/36 28 10 1 17       126       298  
1936/37 29 12 2 15       202       326  
1937/38 31 13 2 16       283       379  
1938/39                          
1939/45                         no rugby played
1945/46                          
1946/47                          
1947/48 29 14 4 11       357       239  
1949/50 32 10 3 19       224       264  
1950/51                          
1951/52 40 14 4 22       268       313  
1952/53                          
1953/54 39 13 6 20       256       297  
1954/55 37 19 6 12       380       258  
1955/56 38 18 4 16       388       305  
1956/57 37 21 4 12       355       240 The highest number of wins in a season
1957/58                          
1958/59                          
1960/61 37 16 5 16       276       272  
1961/62                          
1962/63 33 11 4 18       223       270  
1963/64                          
1964/65                          
1965/66                          
1966/67 40 20 2 18       408       317  
1967/68 38 23 1 14       334       283  
1968/69                          
1969/70                          
1970/71                          
1971/72                          
1972/73                          
1973/74                          
1974/75                          
1975/76                          
1976/77                          
1977/78                          
1978/79                          
1979/80                          
1980/81                          
1981/82                          
1982/83                          
1983/84                          
1984/85                          
1985/86                          
1986/87                          
1987/88                          
1988/89                          
1989/90                          
1990/91                          
1991/92                          
1992/93                          
1993/94                          
1994/95                          
1995/96                          
1996/97                          
1997/98                          
1998/99                          
1999/2000                          
2000/01                          
2001/02                          
2002/03                          
2003/04                          
2004/05                          
2005/06                          
2006/07                          

* 1 goal dropped, 1 kicked from the mark

A typical fixture list included in those days would rarely include Gloucester or Bath as they were considered not good enough. As for the local Bristol clubs such as Carlton, Redland Park and Westbury Park they were even worse. So the fixtures would include Oxford University, The Colleges Clifton, Marlborough and Taunton and the stronger South West clubs such as Exeter, Weston-super-Mare, and Stroud. Not until 1879/80 did Welsh club sides become strong enough to play. Before then it had to be a South Wales team.

Crowds at these matches would be impressive today. A typical Clifton crowd of 1879/80 would be about 5,000

So in 1888 the Bristol clubs Carlton and Redland Park amalgamated to form Bristol Football Club. The following season Westbury Park joined them. In the very first match Bristol beat us by 4-0. On November 30th 1991 we played Bristol. This was the 162nd time Clifton had played Bristol and amazingly Clifton had only won 5 times and drawn 6 of those games.

The foundation of Bristol Rugby Club certainly robbed Clifton of both supporters and players.