HISTORY OF ANNAN RFC (1877-1939):
FROM A TOUR PROGRAMME WRITTEN BY IAN 'GRUMPY' GILMOUR
(click on one of the pictures)


1877-1968
There were several attempts to set up a rugby club in Annan but all attempts eventually failed.
1968-1979*
In 1968 it was decided by a group of Annan men that after a 30 year break - it was about time the greatest rugby club ever to be called Annan RFC made its reappearance.

Although evening and weekend training sessions had been taking place for several years, the only barrier to regular games was getting a big enough pool of players.

Annan RFC: 1969/1970
Annan RFC - 1969/70

A large number of the founding members/player can be seen in the above picture:

Back Row: Bill Allison, Stuart Marshall, Donald 'Tich' Watson, Rod Wheeldon, Brian Denner, Davie Rae, Scott Little and Michael Tully

Front Row: Joe Watson, Eddie Herman, Willie Miller, Bill Bryce, Jack Thomson, Eric Dodd and Colin White

Other Founders: Davie Purdon

Although there were also a lot of other people who helped establish the club in 1968. Names that will appear here on this glorious list of honour to the founders of this great club!


In 1968 Annan played its first game before becoming formally affiliated in 1969 with the SRU for insurance purposes.

The club colours chosen at the time was based on the Annan Academy strip but in reverse order ie yellow with a black band.

A pitch was obtained (at Newington) and the colours chosen were yellow with a black horizontal stripe. Over the next 10 years, the club gathered strength and a 2nd and 3rd XV were established.

Please Note: Over the years the shade of yellow has changed. Annan have played in shades of yellow to gold to the current colour of amber. Some say that a few games at the old Weyroc changed the nice yellow strips to gold/amber strips anyway!

* Thanks to Bill Allison who helped clarify some of this early history. Bills first game was on the 9th March 1969 - a 9-9 draw with old foes Creighton. Bill was 16 and 1 day as the committee at the time would not allow u16's to play in adult matches!

1979-1990
In 1979, in search of "competitive" rugby, Annan applied to the Border District League. The teams in this Border League were the junior teams of:

Hawick, Gala, Selkirk, Jed-Forest, Kelso, Melrose, Langholm

The standard of this league was (and still is) very high but promotion to the National Leagues was impossible in this league.

1st XV from the 80s

Annan had some success in this league (but never winning it) and many players were awarded South District Union caps. In 1979, Annan decided to purchase an old Church hall in Bank Street for conversion into a club house. In 1980, the Clubhouse officially opened.

1990-1995
In 1990, mainly due to the inability to get into the National Leagues, several Annan players moved away to play for division 3 and higher clubs. Thus, although the standard of rugby in the Border League was very high, it was decided to seek entry into the National Leagues. The Glasgow District League was seen as a "stepping stone" to the National Leagues. However a drop in standard of the opposition over the next few years was expected. Annan's application was accepted and over the next 4 years, Annan were:

Champions - Glasgow Division 2 (1991-1992)
Champions - Glasgow Division 1 (1992-1993)
Champions - National League Division 7 (1993-1994)
Champions - National League Division 6 (1994-1995)

1st XV from the 90s

In 1994 Annan had their first Overseas Tour to Canada which was deemed a great success.

1995-1998
In 1995, the SRU decided that the Leagues should be restructured, and the 7 National Divisions of 14 teams were split into 4 Premier Leagues of 8 teams and 7 National Leagues of 10 teams. Annan were put into National League Division 4 for the season 1995-1996. During the 4 years of continued success, plenty of representative honours were obtained and many of the players that had left Annan returned.

Champions - National League Division 4 (1995-1996)
Champions - National League Division 3 (1996-1997)
Champions - National League Division 2 (1997-1998)

The 7 league championships in a row is to this day a Scottish Rugby record.

Champions for the 7th time in a row

Annan toured Texas in 1997. Annan completed their tour winning four out of their 5 tour matches. There only defeat being against the Texas State XV

1999-2002
In 1999 Annan opened their new ground just outside Annan at Violetbank. A full report of this great day can be found here.

President Alan Robertson on the opening of Violetbank

Violetbank has 2 full-size rugby pitches, a club house, fitness rooms and will eventually have indoor training facilities and a covered stand.

Annan competed in National League Division 1 for a couple of years.

2003-PRESENT

Annan had their most successful season to date in season 2002-2003 gaining promotion to Premier 3 and winning the BT Bowl at Murrayfield.

Annan Bowl Winners

Unfortunately Annan's Premier League journey was short lived when, despite a late rally in the season, they were relegated for the first time in the club's history.

After league restructuring in 2010 Annan played in RBS Regional West 1 for season 2011-12 and after restructuring and relegation from RBS Regional West 1 Annan were playing in RBS Regional West 2 for season 2012/13.

However their stay in West 2 was a short one as Annan were promoted as undefeated champions.

West 2 Champions 2013

After being relegated 2 years later, Annan were promoted again to BT West 1 in 2015/16.

It was another undefeated league season and was one of the reasons that the club were awarded Scottish Club Rugby's top honour of BT Club of the Season.

BT Rugby Club of the Year

In 2016/17 Annan had one of their best finishes in recent years, finishing 5th in BT West 1.

Also during season 2014/15 the Women at Annan rugby decided to get into the act, and the Annan Warriors Womens Rugby team and Annan Hornets (U12-U18) Girls rugby teams were set up.

The Warriors had their best season to date in 2016/17 when they were promoted in 2nd spot and will play in National Division 1 for season 2017/18

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PAST CAPTAINS AND PRESIDENTS
Past Captains

1969-70: J.Thompson
1970-71: W.Bryce
1971-72: E.Herman
1972-73: W.S.Little
1973-74: R.G.Anderson & R.Wheeldon
1974-75: D.G.Taylor
1975-77: A.Fleming
1977-82: G.Jamieson
1982-83: J.Gibb
1983-84: K.White
1984-85: G.Jamieson
1985-87: K.White
1987-88: K.Hogg
1988-89: I.T.Gray
1989-91: I.Thorburn
1991-92: I.T.Gray
1992-94: G.H.Carmichael
1994-96: S.Buckley
1996-97: S.McGauchie
1997-99: N.McGregor
1999-02: A.Render
2002-03: S.Williamson
2003-04: N.Smith
2004-05: K.Hogg
2005-09: P.Carruthers
2009-11: J.Nelson
2011-??: C McCann

Past Presidents

1969-70: D.A.Purdon
1970-76: I.H.Gordon
1976-83: P.S.Chisholm
1983-84: A.A.MacPherson
1984-99: A.M.Robertson
1999-05: R.Anderson
2005-12: D.H.S. Barty
2012-15: D.J.R. Fisher
2015-17: N.Wallace
2017-??: G. Coupland

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