New Years Rugby Celebration


In 1900 Gloucester Rugby celebrated the new year in great style by hosting the England v Wales International. The match was played at Kingsholm on the 6th January 1900.

Gloucester Hosts for England v Wales International

At the time England had no permanent home venue for internationals. The move to Twickenham was ten years later in 1910. Both Blackheath and Richmond grounds had previously hosted matches. But clubs could apply to hold internationals, which could prove to be big money spinners for the hosts.

Gloucester were an ambitious club with big plans to improve their ground. So, with that in mind they applied in 1899 for the England v Wales game. Which was scheduled for January of the following year.

Rugby Celebration almost spoilt by Stand Collapse

The preparations included the building of additional stands for the expected crowd. However, as the ground was filling up there was a loud crash. Part of a raised stand, in the shilling enclosure, collapsed.

Some two hundred people fell to the ground. Immediately shrieks and cries for help were heard, mingled with roars of laughter from those who did not appreciate the seriousness of the situation. The police and ambulance attendants rushed to the scene and attended to a small number of casualties.

Rugby Fans escape major injuries

The majority of people luckily escaped with slight cuts and bruises. However one man, Mr W Brindley went to hospital with a damaged leg. On an examination of the smashed stand. It was seen that the heavy baulks and struts supporting the structure had collapsed. Some of the timbers being completely broken through and the large spikes fastening them together bent and broken like pins.

The spectators quickly recovered from their fright and the game began as scheduled.

Rugby Celebration for England v Wales International

It was Billy Bancroft that led Wales to a 13-3 victory over England. Llwynypia forward Dick Hellings and Swansea Winger Billy Trew scored tries for Wales. Also, Captain Billy Bancroft of Swansea added two conversions and a penalty. For England, Lancashire Winger Elliot Nicholson scored the lone try.

Classic Wales and England Shirts for New Years Rugby Celebration

We offer two similar jerseys to the ones worn in this historic game. Our Heritage England Rugby Shirt 1871 Vintage. Also, Wales Rugby Union Shirt Vintage Jersey. However, we also offer a Wales Rugby Shirt 1976 Grand Slam.