Get your diaries out for ‘The Big Match’ against Richmond on 11 November
Blackheath and Richmond have a long and rich history, and both were founding members of the Rugby Football Union. On 4 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…”. This led to a meeting on 4 January 1871, with 21 clubs in attendance (including Blackheath and Richmond), where the RFU was formed.
Further history was written in the 1945/46 season when the two sides combined forces to keep rugby being played after WWII. As this 2019 report from England Rugby says “Blackheath and Richmond’s relationship is unique in rugby circles, and having already shared a team, pitch, clubhouse and now league again, it’s one that looks set to continue for many years to come.”
Des Diamond, Country Membership Liaison and former President, says
“Blackheath and Richmond have been great rivals and great friends over the years and we are happy to celebrate another chapter of this historic fixture. The Blackheath v Richmond fixture is the oldest continuing meeting of two rugby clubs in the world and was first played on 2 January 1864. Such was the rivalry in the early days that the matches in 1866 and 1877 had to be abandoned as the game had become “very competitive”!!
Recently, Richmond gained promotion from National 1 and the last league match was on 4 January 2020, but the fixture was retained as a pre-season game. And here we are now, back together in league action in National 1.
Do get along if you can!”
Blackheath v Richmond: the oldest continuing rugby fixture in the world! Tickets cost £15 and can be bought in advance from https://blackheathrugby.ticketco.events or will be available on the gate.
Blackheath Rugby v Richmond Rugby KO 15:00
Club XV v Richmond Saxons KO 14:00
Blackheath U12s v Richmond U12s KO 13:30
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