Posted: 16 July 2015
Formed in 1873 Gloucester Football Club, as it was originally known, played their first game against College School at the Spa ground. Though there is evidence of games being played here before then. Early seasons were predominantly played against Welsh teams. Now though, fans consider their main current local rivals to be Bath, Worcester, and Bristol, with these games known as West Country Derbies.
The Spa ground was shared with the owners, a local cricket team, who unfortunately asked Gloucester to leave in 1891 after they used salt to clear snow during the winter games and ended up killing the grass on the wicket! The team moved to fortress Kingsholm after that, where they've played ever since.
The club has always been popular locally where in one particular 1891-92 season game against Swansea there were 8000 spectators! Gloucester's population at the time was only 39,444. However, a move by the Northern Clubs in 1895 to split from the RFU and form the professional game, attracted a large number of Gloucester players and could have spelt the end of the club. In the last season of the 19th century every club player was 'born and bred' in the city.
The club has had an illustrious history, in the 1900-01 season they were unbeaten in all English fixtures. The 1920-21 season was again highly successful, with Fred Webb skippering the side to an incredible 23 unbeaten home games, losing only two at home. It's around this time that the media start to call them the "Red and Whites".
From its early days the club has gone from strength to strength and can count a huge number of national and international players as both previous and current squad members. Kingsholm has seen some of rugby's biggest stars and brightest emerging talent, and the Academy has helped to shape some of this sporting talent.
Since 1997 the team's Premier league success has been impressive, were they have won the league on three separate occasions, with their lowest placing of 10th position. In addition the trophy cabinet has held a slew of silverware from the Zurich Championship, European Challenge and Rugby Challenge Cups, and Rugby 7s.
Local involvement is clearly important to the club where their Community Team"aim to succeed in making a difference to the lives of many young people" bringing both sport and education to them. The focus of the project is to use the unique power of sport to address a broad range of social and community issues. It hopes to bring young people together and engender a sense of pride and passion for learning, for sport, and for each other and their community.
The club wouldn't be here without the local support and love for the team. This support is vital and is the lifeblood of Gloucester Rugby. This was clearly demonstrated during the recent 2005-06 redesign of the team kit, which moved away from the more traditional hoop design, and was very unpopular with the fans. The club listened and during the 2009-10 season reinstated the 'Cherry & Whites' hoops design, to the delight of their supporters.
It is this dedication to their fans and their community involvement which is why Storage King, spearheaded by our Gloucester store, have decided to sponsor Gloucester Rugby. We are delighted to be helping to support their Match Day Experience which is a chance for young fans aged 8-18 to be part of the action and experience a truly unforgettable day.
The Match Day Experience, run by the Gloucester Rugby Community team, includes a coaching session, a Questions & Answer session with a member of the squad, a tour of the stadium, a pre-match lap of honour around the pitch, a Match Day Experience T Shirt, a team poster or flag, and a ticket to the match. There really isn't much better for any rugby fan.
In addition to our support for the Match Day Experience there'll be some really exciting content coming your way as part of our relationship with the team. Look out for exclusive player interviews and biographies, and we'll be giving the chance for all rugby fans to win tickets throughout the year. There'll also be a selection of prizes and other club goodies that no Gloucester fan is going to want to miss, so look out for further announcements.
As rugby fans we're really excited by our partnership and are very much looking forward to a hugely successful 2015-16 season for the 'Cherry and Whites'.