Rugby Memorabilia Society

Sunderland v Richmond
7th November 1881

1881 Sunderland v Richmond Post Match Menu 1881 Sunderland v Richmond Post Match Menu

Match report from The Yorkshire Post:

On Monday afternoon, in splendid weather, and before a large gathering of spectators, a match was played between Richmond and Sunderland on the Chester Road Cricket Ground ‘Sunderland’. A.C Kayll who was expected to be the back for Sunderland was unable to play owing to an njury received at Darlington on Saturday and Mr Reed another of the home team was unable to play. At 3.10 Mr J Lain junior kicked off from the Pavilion end for Sunderland and after some good scrimmaging they got the ball dangerously near to the visitor’s goal, and the later were so hard pressed that they had to touch down in self defence. The leather was then brought to the proper quarter and the Surrey men by some good play succeeded in obtaining a try, which A.Kitson converted into a goal. The second twenty began by the Sunderland making a gallant effort, but they failed to make any headway against the Surrey team, who soon obtained another try, but the kick at goal failed.

After the two twenties, two fifteens were played, throughout both of which the visitors had the best of the game securing another try, and just at the close of the last fifteen they succeeded in making another goal kicked by Maclagan. The Richmond team consequently won by two goals and three tries to nothing. For Sunderland the playing of Kidson (Captain), R Reed and Dickinson was very good. The play of the strangers was particularly good in the dribbling and passing. While Sunderland were chiefly effective in their running and scrimmages.

Messrs P Laing and F.J Trewitt were the umpires.


Chester Road Cricket Ground ‘Sunderland’

J.C Patterson, O Thompson, S.N Hedley, W.A Kidson (Captain), C Welford, A.G.M Hudson, J Laing junior, J Fowles, J Pattinson, W Dickinson, R Reed, W Gales, C Elliot, G Swainston, R Fowles

W.E Maclagan, O.T Cook, A Kitson, G Twynam, W.K Arber, E.T Gordon (Captain), C Gordon, A Ward, J.E Howe, G “Southboro”, H.P Gardener, N.F.G Walkin, F Saunders, T. Erskine, S Bowman

Playing for Richmond on this day were the following Internationals

1881 Sunderland v Richmond
William Edward ‘Bill’ Maclagan

Scotland 1878-1890 (25 Caps), 1891 British Lions Tour Captain (3 Caps)
Edinburgh Academicals (1876-1880), London Scottish Club Captain 1881-86, Richmond (1881)
President of London Scottish RFC 1893-1927, President of the Scottish Rugby Union 1894-96

1881 Sunderland v Richmond
Edward Temple Gurdon
England 1878-1886 (16 Caps), Cambridge University (Blue 1874-76), Richmond Club Captain (1879-80 & 1887-88), President of the RFU (1890-91 & 1891-92), Refereed two international matches (Ireland v Scotland 1898 & Scotland v Ireland 1899).

1881 Sunderland v Richmond
Charles Gurdon
Younger brother of E.T Gurdon won 14 England Caps (1880-86) 10 of which were alongside his brother, Cambridge University (Blue 1877), Richmond, Middlesex (Captain 1879-83)

Herbert Prescott Gardner
(if anyone has any photographs of H.P Gardner please get in touch)
England 1878 (1 Cap vs Ireland), Richmond, Middlesex

1881 Sunderland v Richmond
W.E ‘Bill’ Maclagan and Edward Temple Gurdon
This photo was taken at a London Scottish annual dinner many years after their playing days had ended.

If you have any Rugby Memorabilia dated earlier than this please get in touch.


The First 100 ‘A history of London Scottish Football Club‘ by Frank Morris
The Complete Who’s Who of England Rugby Union Internationals by Raymond Maule
Famous Rugby Footballers 1895
The Bowring Story of the Varsity Match

A big thanks to the following in helping contribute to this article:
Richard Lowther (for obtaining the match report from the Yorkshire Post)
Geoff Nagle
Peter Douglas-Davies

Peter Douglas-Davies