A BRIEF HISTORY OF GHA RUGBY
The three constituent clubs which now operate out of BRAIDHOLM under the GHA RFC constitutional banner bring to the amalgamated Club their particular talents, complimentary strengths and unique histories.
HUTCHESONS’ GRAMMAR SCHOOL F. P. R. F. C.
The Club was formed in 1923 playing out of AULDHOUSE, the school’s sports ground in Thornliebank. Admitted as a full member of the Scottish Rugby Union in 1937, the Hutchesons’ Club entered the National League system in Season 1973 at 2nd Division level, having dispensed with tradition to some degree by opting for “OPEN” status two years previously, a significant decision forced, by necessity, on many Scottish F.P. Clubs at that time.
1990 was to see further constitutional change when the club agreed amalgamation with close friends and one time rivals to form
HUTCHESONS’ ALOYSIANS R.F.C.
Richard Allan was selected as the Club’s first full internationalist for the Irish fixture at Murrayfield in 1969 to be followed by other distinguished players who gained representative honours. Brothers Gordon and Alan Bulloch were to gain National Caps, with the former captaining the National side on several occasions. Ray Nelson was to achieve caps for the United States National Team the U.S. EAGLES.
OLD ALYOSIANS R.F.C.
By contrast, the Old Aloysians’ club was formed in 1955 for the sole purpose of undertaking a challenge match against the extremely successful SAINT ALOYSIUS’ COLLEGE 1st XV. The unexpected success of this venture resulted in a decision to seek regular fixtures which led to a continuing upsurge in interest and the inevitable and rapid expansion of the F.P. Club. The first fixture was against HUTCHESONS’ GRAMMAR F. P. R. F. C., coincident with the invitation from Hutchesons’ Grammar School to Saint Aloysius’ College Ist XV to undertake regular fixtures. This long standing friendship led to the amalgamation in season 1990-91.
THE OLD ALOYSIAN/ CLARKSTON LINK
It is interesting to note that Father Peter Banyard, an extremely popular figure in Scottish rugby circles and chaplain to the Junior School at St. Aloysius’ College officiated at the formal opening of Clarkston Rugby Football Club’s newly constructed OVERLEE LOUNGE in 1973, an essential extension to the 1970 clubhouse at Braidholm.
CLARKSTON RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB
Unlike the the two Former Pupil Clubs now involved at Braidholm, CLARKSTON R .F.C., since its formation in 1937, has always been an “OPEN” club, created by a variety of former pupil rugby players who did not wish to undertake cross city travel to indulge in their sport. Significantly the first club chairman was a Glasgow Academical, the first President a Glasgow High Former Pupil and the longest serving Club Captain and Coach, Andrew Williams a product of Allan Glen’s.
Playing initially at the local authority’s OVERLEE ground, years of tireless fund raising saw the Club’s new facility at BRAIDHOLM opened by S.R.U. President Charlie Drummond in January 1971. The Club entered the new National League structure in 1973 at 4th Division level, rising through the years to division two. With three pitches. floodlights, 450 seater stand and expanded Clubhouse, in recognition of its changing character and by a significant membership majority at the May 1995 A.G.M., the Club altered its name to
GLASGOW SOUTHERN RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB
Over several years a variety of players graduated through the Club participation from both youth and senior level to achieve representative status. Full International caps were awarded to Gordon McIlwham, and Euan Murray while others, such as James Eddie and Calum Forrester have achieved selection at Youth and more advanced levels including the national SEVENS squad.
Agreement reached with a development organisation saw the original 1970 Clubhouse demolished to make way for a health club. A new, state of the art, Clubhouse was formally opened by S.R.U. President Ronnie Young at Braidholm in January 2002. The GLASGOW SOUTHERN name was only to survive for seven years before it became evident to all concerned that the sport on the south side of Glasgow would be best served through amalgamation, an initiative formalised in May 2002 with the formation of GLASGOW HUTCHESONS’ ALOYSIANS RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB.