Hawick RFC: history of the club - International players - books

A wee bit of history

Members of Hawick and Wilton Cricket Club met in October 1872 and decided that they should encourage their members to play football during the winter to keep fit. Some experimentation with rules took place over the next few months, with advocates of both association and rugby union football. The rugby format won as it was considered "manlier and more congenial to the Border nature than the tamer association game". The club was formed on December 8th 1873 and played at Buccleuch Park, the home of the cricket club. In the earliest years playing dress was blue and white striped jerseys and stockings, navy "shorts" and caps. There were few games played as there were not many other rugby clubs in the area, players had difficulty being released from their work, and Edinburgh sides were seldom willing to travel down to play individual club teams.

In 1885 the rugby players reorganised themselves as Hawick Football Club, and were given the use of the Volunteer Park, just beyond the cricket pitch. New colours - dark green jerseys and stockings with white shorts - were adopted. Hawick was, in 1886, the 19th club to be admitted to membership of the Scottish football (later Rugby) Union, the only earlier Border clubs being Gala and Melrose. In 1888 Hawick Football Club moved to its present home, Mansfield Park, at the other end of the town. The early seasons brought keenly contested games against Edinburgh Academicals, Gala, and Watsonians, and in 1896 Hawick won their first Scottish championship. Famous players of the first fifty years included Davie Patterson, Matthew Elliot, W.E.Kyle, Wattie Sutherland, Doug Davies, Willie Welsh and Jock Beattie, internationalists all.

The years between 1945 and 1972 saw the Hawick club even more firmly established among the leaders of Scottish rugby, winning the unofficial championship eight times, taking the Border League title fifteen times, and earning fame as sevens specialists. In this period, Hugh McLeod, George Stevenson, Adam Robson, and Derrick Grant alone won 100 international caps between them, while fifteen other Greens played for their country.

The official Scottish championship began in season 1972-73 and Hawick have won the championship on twelve occasions. Since that time Hawick Rugby Football Club had maintained its prized place in Division One until season 2008-2009 when they were relegated to Division 2. The following season they finished in second place in Division 2 and were promoted back into Premier 1 where they have since remained. The proud record of winning the first Border League in 1901-02 and the first Scottish championship in 1972-73 was added to in 1995-96 when the club were also first winners of the SRU Tennents Scottish Cup. Indeed, in season 2001/02, the Greens completed the treble, winning Scottish League championship, Scottish Cup and Border League championship.

Fifty-nine players have been capped for their country, with Colin Deans, Jim Renwick, and Tony Stanger appearing fifty two times each, Alan Tomes forty eight times, and Hugh McLeod forty.

Hawick's 59th and latest internationalist is the exciting Stuart Hogg who made his debut in 2012

Hawick Scottish Captains

T M Scott 1900J A Beattie 1936J N G Davidson 1954C T Deans 1986

Hawick British Lions

D S Davies 1924W B Welsh 1930H F McLeod 1955D Grant 1966
J M Renwick 1980A J Tomes 1980C T Deans 1983A G Stanger 1997
S W Hogg 2014...

Hawick Barabarians

Jock Beattie 1931Willie Welsh 1932David Thom 1934Dave Valentine 1947
Norman Davidson 1952Hugh McLeod 1954Adam Robson 1955Jack Hegarty 1960
George Stevenson 1961Oliver Grant 1962Drew Broatch 1963Norman Suddon 1964
Derrick Grant 1965Billy Hunter 1965Ronnie Grieve 1966Derek Deans 1967
Colin Telfer 1969Jim Renwick 1976Alan Tomes 1976Alistair Cranston 1978
Colin Deans 1978Sean McGaughey 1984Gerry McGuinness 1988Tony Stanger 1992
Greig Oliver 1992Derek Turnbull 1992Jim Hay 1996Cameron Murray 2003
Scott MacLeod 2003Garry Law 2007John Houston 2011.

Hawick international referees

A Turnbull 1898R L Scott 1927W Burnet 1932H B Laidlaw 1963
T F E Grierson 1970J Short 1979K McCartney 1990.

Hawick international players: total caps 719

I A Barnes (7)R W Barrie (1)J Beattie (23)W Burnet (1)
D Callam (11)A J Campbell (14)R G Charters (3)S Coltman (5)
A G Cranston (11)...
J N G Davidson (7)D S Davies (21)C T Deans (52)D T Deans (1)
M Elliot (6)W T Forrest (8)R A Foster (4) D Graham (1)
D Grant (14)T O Grant (6)..
J A Hay (1)C B Hegarty (4)J J Hegarty (6)G C Hogg (2)
S W Hogg (63)...
W J Hunter (7)W D Jackson (8)..
W E Kyle (21)...
A Laidlaw (1)R H Lindsay-Watson (1)A W Little (1).
H F Mcleod (40)S McLeod (23)S K McGaughey (1)J R Morgan (1)
C A Murray (26)K T Murray (3)..
C T Ogilvy (3)G H Oliver (3)..
D Patterson (1)D W Patterson (1)N E K Pender (4).
J M Renwick (52)A Robson (22)..
R Scott (3)T L Scott (11)T M Scott (12)A G Stanger (52)
G D Stevenson (24)N Suddon (13)R Sutherland (3)W R Sutherland (13)
C M Telfer (17)D A Thom (5)A J Tomes (48)D J Turnbull (15)
A R Valentine (3)D D Valentine (2)..
N Walker (24)R B Welsh (2)W B Welsh (21)T Wright (1)

Mansfield Park today

The grandstand at Mansfield Park holds 1400 spectators and is the biggest rugby club stand in the Borders. In the early days, crowds of four or six thousand were common, and ten thousand would come to watch overseas touring teams. In recent years two thousand or more might attend on three or four games each season, including the sevens, or sports, day in April. Facing the grandstand is a steep natural banking, south facing, which attracts many spectators on a sunny sports day. The clubrooms have modern bar facilities and a function hall. The Pringle Lounge holds many of the club trophies.

Hawick has a tradition of producing many fine players, yet, after World War Two until season 1997-98, the Hawick club itself had only one team! The system in the town was that boys start to play rugby at primary school, at one time being coached by TV commentator, Bill McLaren, and then play for Hawick High School and Hawick Albion (12 - 16 years old), the "semi-junior" (16 - 18 years) teams of PSA (originally Pleasant Saturday Afternoon) and Wanderers, and the four "junior" teams, Harlequins, Linden, Trades, or YM. It is this system that fed players to the senior Hawick team. In July 1997 however, significant changes appeared in the set-up. A Hawick "A" team was established in the belief that with a larger squad of players training and preparing at Mansfield the club would be better equipped to meet the demands of the new professional game. Sadly, Hawick Trades has now ceased to exist as a playing club and the 3 others, Quins, YM and Linden are all now competing in the National Leagues. Hawick "A" was wound up following Season 2009-2010 with the players dispersed among the remaining 3 Junior clubs.

In season 2003/04, the club embarked on another major initiative, the Hawick Rugby Academy, which, under its manager Rocky Johnstone, is charged with developing the rugby playing skills of younger players in the town and preparing them to take their place in the Greens' ranks in the future.

Further Information can be obtained from several books:

The Green MachineEdited Bogle & Smith1998Hawick RFC. Download for free here
100 Years of Hawick RugbyEdited Bill McLaren1972Hawick RFC
Rummle Them Up!Walter Thomson1989Sportsprint Publishing, Edinburgh
You're a Hooker, ThenColin Deans1987Mainstream Publishing, Edinburgh
Talking of RugbyBill McLaren1991Stanley Paul, London
Glimpses of GreenEdited Smith2002Hawick RFC