Eccles RFC are ambitious, progressive, inclusive community club which pride themselves on offering Rugby for all and have been on the ball since first forming back in 1897.
The club currently boasts a tally of over 300 registered active players and fields 16 teams; four Senior men’s, Senior Ladies, U18 Senior Colts, U18 Girls, Juniors from U7s-U16s. They also offer Walking Rugby and Touch Rugby.
In February 2021, a member of the Eccles & District History Society made contact with the club to alert them to the existence of a photograph of 1920-21 Eccles Rugby Football Club, which had previously appeared on the online market site, Ebay.
In the background, visible behind the players and wintery trees, can be seen the distinctive old Vicarage of St James Church, (Hope) which lies along the path of Eccles Old Road, which confirms the location in the photograph as Stott Lane where they once played.
This fortuitous discovery has shone a light into the club's post-war existence and provided them with the evidence that Eccles RFC have played in the blue and white hoops for at least 100 years.
Before this dated photograph came to light, the earliest documentation of blue and white hoops in the club archives was a letterhead from 1923.
Photographs confirm Eccles RFC wore green jerseys from 1897-1910 and it looks likely the change in club identity can be tied with the the termination of activities in 1914 and upheaval of the First World War.
To mark the 100th anniversary of the clubs distinctive blue and white hooped attire, the club will be producing a limited edition classic Eccles RFC heritage shirt, featuring an embroidered club crest and "1921-2021" detailing. A mock up of the proposed design has been disclosed and advance online orders will be available, via their crowdfunder, from this Friday (26th February.)
For more information about the club and its history as well as to keep up to date on when the shirt will be available, follow this link: Eccles RFC (rfu.club)
Photos: Eccles RFC