Guy’s Hospital Rugby Football Club, representing medics and dentists of
Guy’s Hospital, in Southwark, is accepted by the Rugby Football Union and
the Guinness Book of Records as being the oldest rugby club in the world
and therefore the first Rugby football club, with a foundation date of 1843.
GHRFC were founder members of the Rugby Football Union. On 26 January
1871, they sent representation to a meeting of twenty-one London and suburban
football clubs that followed Rugby School rules.
It was resolved unanimously that the formation of a Rugby Football Society
was desirable and thus the Rugby Football Union was formed. Guy’s Hospital
was represented on the founding committee by J. H. Ewart, one of thirteen
places on that original committee.
In the nineteenth century Guy’s produced many international players, with
much success in the Inter-Hospital Challenge Cup. However, it was in the
1920s and ‘30s that Guy’s reached its zenith and was arguably the most
formidable team in the land especially when under the captaincy of the Irish
national captain W.D. Doherty. One notable victory in 1922 over London
Hospital was watched by King George V.
In total Guy’s have now won the United Hospitals Challenge Cup 33 times.
The club has produced no less than 44 internationals including British Lions.
Twenty-two of these have been for England, including two England captains,
and others for Ireland (two, including one captain), Wales (six, including one
captain), Scotland (three) and South Africa (two).