Old Sports Films

The Oldest Footage Of Rugby


While we’re all enjoying the Rugby World Cup, let’s take a moment to look back at some incredible rugby footage from 1901!

The Oldest Footage of Rugby: Dewsbury v Manningham (1901)



This old film shows a Rugby League match between Dewsbury and Manningham at Dewsbury’s Crown Flatt ground. What is amazing is just how rough the game was even back then.



The film has been identified by the British Film Institute as the oldest surviving footage of the game of rugby. Woo-hoo!

It shows the players entering the field, several game plays and a player losing his shirt. It also shows a very lively crowd and one man who seems to be some sort of cheerleader.



The players uniforms are also quite different, with the noticeable absence of shoulder pads. They made ’em tough back then.





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