'This rugby spellbound people'

Rugby Football in Nineteenth-Century Cardiff and South Wales

By Gwyn Prescott

This is the first detailed and original historical study of rugby union at a local level in Wales. The book draws upon previously unused sources to provide fresh insights into the origins and early years of the game in Wales. 'This Rugby Spellbound People' explores the origins of rugby in Cardiff, from being a fringe activity of the middle class to being a mass-participation sport by the turn of the 20th Century. It examines the extent and nature of the club game, how it was organized, who played and administered it, and the impact which rugby had on the town and its popular culture. At the grass roots, the game was dominated by neighborhood clubs, largely involving working-class and lower middle-class players and administrators, rather than by institutional teams organized by social improvers. At the highest level of competition, an emphasis on civic pride meant that success on the field was more important than social exclusivity. The game was played and supported, therefore, by representatives of all classes within the town, which led to rugby becoming the dominant sporting force in what was to become the capital city of Wales.


192 pages

Publication Date: 12/21/2011
Format: Cloth
ISBN: 9781860571176