History of Plymouth Albion RFC

PARFC was born in 1875, raised from a hard core of Devonport Dockyard Apprentices.  Albion’s 128 year history includes England International greats such as James Peters 1902.

Plymouth Albion celebrated its 125th Anniversary season during 2000-2001, having been started in 1876 by a group of apprentices from the Royal Naval Dockyard in Devonport. Albion first played at Devonport Park and the players and officials carried the goal posts and flags to the park. There were no facilities so the players had to return home for a bath after the match!

By 1887 the Club had moved to Bladderly, where spectators paid three old pence to watch the game and players one penny to play. During the 1894 season Plymouth Albion played at Home Park, now the home of Plymouth Argyle, and then moved to Rectory Fields. After the First World War, the Navy purchased the Rectory for use by Devonport Services and Plymouth Albion moved to Beacon Park. In a 1927 classic book on Rugger, Plymouth Albion is described as one of the leading clubs in the United Kingdom.

During the 1950s and 1960s, the Club had an excellent record. When leagues were introduced in the 1980s, Plymouth Albion saw its finest hour in the 1988-89 season. With a 100% record in Courage League Three, Albion were crowned champions. After three seasons in Division Two, Albion suffered relegation in two successive years, ending up in Jewson League Two (South). In the 1998-99 season, Albion only avoided relegation from National League rugby by winning away against Weston-Super-Mare in the last match of the season. This was Albion’s only away win of the entire season!

Bold action was urgently required. Graham Dawe (Bath and England) was appointed Chairman of Rugby and made his presence felt immediately by achieving a creditable fourth in Jewsons League Two (South) the next season. The 2000-2001 season must be one of the highlights of recent rugby in Plymouth with Albion winning promotion to National League Division Two and being unbeaten in League rugby. The 2001 – 2002 season saw promotion again to National League Division One. The Club also runs a development side – The West Country Warriors playing in The Canterbury Shield Division One and a successful Ladies XV playing in Womans National League Division 1 South West. In addition the Club actively supports the City of Plymouth Youth squad and the three Youth Development Officers are kept busy visiting numerous schools and other youth organisations.

To support the rugby off the field and improve the weak commercial position, Plymouth Albion Rugby Football Club Limited was formed in 2001 and the finances of the Club were placed on a sound footing. In the summer of 2003, the Club moved from Beacon Park to the Brickfields Recreation Complex in Devonport.

The club parted company with Graham Dawe    in November 2011. The club expressed its thanks to Dawe for 12 years service having rescued the club from the brink of falling out of the National League to the heroics of almost reaching the promised land of the Premiership and many other successes.

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