140 proud years for 
Kirkcaldy Rugby Club

Derek Harper (Pres), Mark Wallace (Capt), John Methven (Club Historian), Don Burns (Treas), Jimmy Bonner (Dir Rugby)
Derek Harper (Pres), Mark Wallace (Capt), John Methven (Club Historian), Don Burns (Treas), Jimmy Bonner (Dir Rugby)

“A meeting of the members of Kirkcaldy Cricket Club and also those who were favourable to the formation of a Football (Rugby) club will be held within the George Hotel on Wednesday 1 October at half past seven o’clock.”

The above intimation appeared in the Fifeshire Advertiser of September 27, 1873, and as a result of the meeting Kirkcaldy (Rugby) Football club, which is celebrating its 140th anniversary this week, came into being.

The club are holding a celebration lunch before this Saturday’s home game versus Lasswade, the first event held by the club to celebrate the milestone, and Derek Harper said he’s proud to be club president at this moment.

“We’re one of the oldest clubs in Scotland,” he said.

“I’m just one of a long line of presidents and it’s incredible that we’ve got this long continuous history.”

Back when it was first formed, Kirkcaldy was just one of scores of football clubs playing to rugby rules up and down the country in the early 1870s.

The years spanning the turn of the 19th century proved to be highly successful with as many as six players selected for the Fife County side in 1898-99 and the North of Scotland Cup won three times in five years, then following the first world war, the club quickly regrouped and Kirkcaldy regained its former status as a leading club in the district, winning the Midlands League three times in the 1920s.

One of the most historic moments in the club’s history took place in 1990 when Kirkcaldy became the first sports team from Western Europe and any discipline to visit Siberia as part of a four game tour of the Soviet Union.

The first team is now in the regionalised Championship “B” division, the old third division, but Derek says the club’s future looks bright. He said: “We’ve put a lot of hard work into the youths over the years and that’s now showing in the first team.

“We haven’t gone out and bought foreign players, most of ours are Kirkcaldy boys who have come through the ranks.

“It’s going well and is important for our future.”