Sir Bill joins blooming great centenary celebrations

Sir Bill Beaumont with Ansdell In Bloom volunteers - and 'Archie' the Fylde player which is part of the centenary display
Sir Bill Beaumont with Ansdell In Bloom volunteers - and 'Archie' the Fylde player which is part of the centenary display
Share this article
0
Have your say

What a blooming great way to celebrate a landmark anniversary.

A hundred years ago to the day since Fylde Rugby Club was founded at Ansdell Institute, the club's most famous player was delighted to take a close-up look at a colourful centenary tribute prepared by volunteers of Ansdell In Bloom.

Sir Bill takes a closer look at 'Archie'

Sir Bill takes a closer look at 'Archie'

On July 25, 1919, Fylde Rugby Club was born literally on the toss of a coin, when Manchester businessmen met at the Institute to discuss the formation of either a rugby or football club.

The coin fell in favour of rugby and from such small beginnings, Fylde grew to become nationally-respected and enjoyed a particularly prominent spell in the spotlight when Bill Beaumont captain of the club as well as England with distinction.

Now Sir Bill and the leading figure in the administration of the game as chairman of World Rugby, the club stalwart was eager to see for himself how the 100th anniversary is being marked at the building where the club had its origins.

Along with an eye-catching display at the entrance to the Institute, the In Bloom team has installed several features along Woodlands Road, the shopping street which leads to the club's ground, including 'Archie' a seated figure clad in Fylde's distinctive claret, amber and white strip and flowers in the same colours.

The centenary display features flowers in the club's claret and amber colours.

The centenary display features flowers in the club's claret and amber colours.

"It was marvellous to have Sir Bill take a look at our display on the very day of the centenary," said Ansdell In Bloom spokesman Paul taylor.

"We are all very proud of Fylde Rugby Club and its foundation in Ansdell Institute.

"We felt it was important to do something special to celebrate such a landmark anniversary."

Sir Bill was a one-club man, joining Fylde as 17-year old-in 1969 and staying with the club until injury forced him to retire in 1982.

Sir Bill with volunteers outside Ansdell Institute, where Fylde RUFC was founded in 1919

Sir Bill with volunteers outside Ansdell Institute, where Fylde RUFC was founded in 1919

He earned 34 England caps, 21 as captain, including leading his country to the Grand Slam in 1980, as well as skippering the British Lions in South Africa.

In retirement he has remained in the public eye as broadcaster, columnist and leaduing rugby official is still a regular face at Fylde.

His father had played for Fylde and Sir Bill's sons have all been involved at the club.

Danny played for the Fylde 2nd team, Sam notched up over 200 first team appearances including three years as skipper before retiring through injury, and younger son

Josh, who also came up through the mini-juniors, is now a rising star of English rugby.

At the club, a wide range of celebratory events are being organised for Fylde's 2019-20 centenary season, including a Remembrance Day game between a Fylde XV and the Royal Air Force on November 10 and a visit from the world-famous Barbarians to play Fylde on May 13 next year.