On the 4th December 1870, Edwin Ash of Richmond and Benjamin Burns of Blackheath published a letter in The Times suggesting that “those who play the rugby-type game should meet to form a code of practice as various clubs play to rules which differ from others, which makes the game difficult to play.”
So on the 26th January 1871 a meeting attended by representatives from 21 clubs was held in London at the Pall Mall Restaurant on Regent Street.
The ‘21 Club’ fashion collection from Ellis Rugby gains inspiration from this historic event which fashioned the game of Rugby Football.
The 21 clubs present at the meeting were: Blackheath (represented by Burns and Frederick Stokes the latter becoming the first captain of England), Richmond, Ravenscourt Park, West Kent, Marlborough Nomads, Wimbledon Hornets, Gipsies, Civil Service, The Law Club, Wellington College, Guy’s Hospital, Flamingoes, Clapham Rovers, Harlequin F.C., King’s College Hospital, St Paul’s, Queen’s House, Laussane, Addison, Mohicans, and Belsize Park.
Twenty-two football clubs were invited, but the Wasps representative failed to attend as he accidentally went to a different venue.
A president, a secretary and treasurer, and a committee of thirteen were elected, to whom was entrusted the drawing-up of the laws of the game upon the basis of the code in use at Rugby School. The Law was considered prominent enough to have been invited, and also gain one of the thirteen places on the original committee in the person of R. Leigh.
While many of these teams have subsequently disbanded, the 1871 Ellis Rugby Founders 21 Club Collection brings these clubs back to life to form an exciting range of contemporary fashion wear.