CLUB HISTORY

 

Moseley was founded in 1873 and celebrated its 125th anniversary in 1998. The team adopted its signature red and black colours in 1874.

Moseley played its home matches at The Reddings, in Birmingham, England, from 1880 through the end of the 1999-2000 season. With the start of the 2000-2001 season, Moseley moved to a temporary home at Bournbrook on the University of Birmingham campus. In 2005 the Club moved to its permanent home at Billesley Common.

Moseley is a member of the English Championship, formerly National Division One, proudly among the top 24 clubs in England. It is owned by a consortium of members and supporters who successfully gained RFU approval to run the club in August 2002.

 

Club history - Chronology
1873 Moseley Football Club founded, born out of Havelock Cricket Club whose members wanted a winter sport.
1874 The club first played in its famous red and black colours.
1880 The club first played at The Reddings, Moseley, Birmingham, defeating Leicester.

1880 medal, thanks to Kevin Eakin

1879-80 Albert Smith began the first of his 10 years as captain. In his first three seasons as captain, Moseley were undefeated, winning 48 matches and drawing six.
1881-82 Moseley won the inaugural Midland Counties Challenge Cup. The club went on to win the cup on 8 further occasions before the competition was discontinued after 1926.
1886 Moseley defeated Cardiff at the Arms Park in the last game of the season - Cardiff's first loss of the season. Gold medals engraved with the word ‘Invincible’ were ready to be presented to each Cardiff player commemorating an unbeaten season!
1888 Moseley were the first team to defeat the first-ever tourists, The Maoris.
1890 J. H. Rogers, who succeeded Albert Smith as captain, became Moseley's first international player, representing England against Wales. caps
 

1894-95 J. F. (Fred) Byrne's first season as captain. Byrne went on to captain England at rugby and Warwickshire County Cricket Club. In 1895 he became the first Englishman to kick a penalty goal in a Test, at Richmond. (The penalty goal became a way of scoring points only in 1891, a free kick by way of penalty was introduced into the game in 1882.)
After captaining Moseley for five years, he served as Honorary Secretary for nine years and as President from 1910-1929. He was also president of the North Midlands Football Union for eight years, from 1921-29. more
1900 Moseley Wanderers represent Great Britain at the Olympics in Paris, winning a bronze medal. details

 

 

 

Twickenham Museum Display

1911 A new lease for The Reddings was secured.
1923 The club’s Golden Jubilee Dinner at the Queen’s Hotel, Birmingham.
1925 Moseley's long-term future was secured when The Reddings (Moseley) Ltd. was formed and the freehold became the property of the club.
1926/7 Moseley v Gloucester in "Teek" cartoon form at www.gloucesterrugbyheritage.org.uk 1926 1927
1935 A Probables v Possibles England International Trial was held at The Reddings.
1965 The commencement of Moseley’s Golden age of rugby that lasted until 1988. Floodlights cast their light over the Reddings and did much to extend the fixture list which by the 1970s included the top Welsh clubs.
1968 Mike Coulman, Moseley and England prop, toured South Africa with the Lions. Following the tour he announced he was joining Salford Rugby League where he went on to win two championships and represented Great Britain. An interesting story forty years on, but at the time it shook the union game to its core!
1971-72 Moseley reached the final of the inaugural RFU Knock-out Competition, losing 6-17 to Gloucester.
1971-72 Sam Doble scored a total of 581 points, then a world record. In that season, Moseley scored 1128 points total in its 47 games. In the following season (1972-73), Moseley scored 1013 points in 45 games, winning the Sunday Telegraph Anglo-Welsh Trophy in the process.

Sam on the Twickenham "Walk of Legends"

1972 The Midland Counties West defeated the All Blacks 16 - 8 at The Reddings. Nine Moseley players were on the winning team. Were you there?

Coventry v Moseley that Christmas featured 16 Internationals! Teamsheet

1973 The club's Centenary year celebrated with a Dinner at the Grand Hotel, Birmingham. The Moseley team contained seven internationals.

 

1973 Moseley defeated the Fijians and the Barbarians.
1976-77 Moseley won the Daily Mail Anglo-Welsh Trophy.
1977 The untimely death of Sam Doble was marked by a match against the full British Lions side, The Rugby Writers International XV, arguably the finest team ever to play in the British Isles.....more
1978 15 Moseley players were in the North Midlands squad in the County Championship final, defeating Gloucestershire at The Reddings. finals
1978 The Moseley Mini and Junior section was founded.
1979 Moseley reached the final of the RFU Knock-out Competition, the John Player Cup, losing to Leicester 12-15. Leicester Match report

             

1982 Moseley again reached the final of the John Player Cup, drawing 12-12 with Gloucester after extra time and thus sharing the cup. This was the first draw in RFU Knock-out history. In the semi-final they ended Leicester's run of 18 Cup games undefeated, spread over four years.
1986-87 The Moseley Supporters Player of the Season award was established at the end of Season 1986-87 and presented to Sam Masters. (More)
1987-88 League rugby commenced, with Moseley in the then top flight, Courage National Division 1, finishing 7th. 87/88 League table

Moseley defeated Bath 4-3 in the quarter-finals of the John Player Special Cup, ending Bath's record sequence of 22 Cup matches unbeaten. Moseley were later defeated by Bristol in the semi-final.

1988-89 Moseley finish 10th in Courage League Division 1.  North One Aspatria 6, Moseley 3, marked a low point in the Cup  1988/89 League Table
1989-90 Moseley finish 11th in Courage League Division 1 1989/90 League Table
1990-91 Moseley finish 12th in Courage League Division 1 but are relegated from the top flight under the two clubs down rule in force at the time.      1990/91 League Table
1991 Alex Keay appointed Director of Player Administration, joining the groundsman, bar steward, commercial manager, clubhouse manager and administrative secretary appointed in previous years and who made up the professional staff of the club. 1991/92 League Table
1992-93 Rugby (then Division One), 5, Div Two Moseley, 11, gives Moseley a bizarre place in the Cup "Giant Killers" list! (Rugby Lions were later to suffer successive relegations)1992/93 League Table
1994 Moseley became an Industrial & Provident Society under the 1965 Act.1993/94 League Table
1995 Alex Keay was succeeded by the former England international Barrie Corless as Director of Rugby. 1994/95 League Table
1995 In August, the door to full-scale professionalism in the Rugby Union game was opened as a result of a meeting of the International Rugby Board. The Moseley management committee began to explore possible sources of finance so that the club could compete in terms of playing strength and facilities.
1996 After special Board meetings in July and August, Moseley became a Limited Company under the 1985 Companies Act. 1995/96 League Table
1996 Mark Anscombe, a New Zealander, was appointed Director of Rugby.
1996 A group of backers - successful entrepreneurs - was assembled and in September financing and administration were put in place. The nine backers were appointed investor directors. The Board included several Moseley members. 96/97 League table
1997 Alan Lewis, the former Wales backs coach was appointed Director of Rugby. Since September 1996 eight internationals had been signed.
1997-98 Senior Colts (under 19) went undefeated and won the National Colts Cup, beating Leeds 8 - 3 in the final. The Junior Colts (under 17) lost just one game. Several Colts won Colts and Schools international honours.1997/98 League Table
1998 On 30th January, the club went into Administration, after overstretching its financial resources in the unreal world of professional rugby union. The Reddings had been sold on a 'delayed sale' basis to Bryant Homes and the future of the club was in jeopardy. However, the club's playing commitments were still fulfilled except in the North Midlands Cup in which the 2nd XV was entered.
1998 On 12th June, the club was given another chance to fashion its own destiny when a group of Moseley Rugby Club members, assembled by Simon Cooper, a former club player and official, formed Moseley Ventures Ltd. and bought the club out of Administration.
1998 On 27th June, a large number of members pledged their support for the new group to make a 'leap of faith'.
1998-99 Former Moseley player, coach and chairman John White took over as Director of Rugby.
1998-99 The club's 125th anniversary season. Celebratory events included a Colts tournament, a golf day, an Anniversary Dinner at Warwickshire County Cricket Club on 24 October, 1998, a match against 'The Penguins' on 7th April and an Anniversary Ball on 12th June 1999 at The Reddings. 1998/99 League table
99-2000 Moseley continued successfully its fight for survival both on and off the field after coming out of Administration. The League position was improved from 10th in 1998-9 to 7th, six points clear of the 8th placed club. 99/00 League Table
2000 In the last 1st XV match at The Reddings on 6 May, Moseley defeated Worcester 34-17 in a National Division One game. On 7 October Moseley defeated Exeter 27-18 in the first match at its new home at the University of Birmingham. 2000/01 League Table
2002 Planning problems at the University made it more difficult than expected to raise the necessary finance. An offer by Firoz Kassam, chairman of Oxford United Football Club to buy out the club and take it to Oxford, became the catalyst for a consortium of Moseley stalwarts to come forward to raise finance to match the Kassam offer. At a predictably traumatic meeting at the Grand Hotel on 26 July, the consortium gained the support of the creditors by a narrow 1.7% majority. The new consortium’s business plan was approved by the RFU and with additional backing by the politicians of the City of Birmingham and the North Midlands RFU, the club survived in Birmingham. So Moseley Rugby Club was reborn and appointed David Warren as Chief Executive and former players John Beale and Derek Nutt as Director of Rugby and Head Coach respectively.2001/02 League Table
2003 The young squad assembled in a few August weeks in 2002 was inevitably relegated from National Division One, after 12 seasons in the second tier. Negotiations for planning permission for a new ground at Billesley Common, in the same postal district as The Reddings, began. 2002/03 League Table
2003-4 The Minis and Juniors section celebrated its Silver Jubilee. The Moseley Women’s RFC enjoyed its 5th year. Player/Coach Steve Ojomoh became the 70th international to play for the club. Permission for a new ground at Billesley Common, a mile from The Reddings, is obtained. 2003/04 Table
2004-5 Ian Smith took over as Coach. In a record-breaking League season in which 15 club records in League rugby were broken, the 1st XV finished third in National 2 and recorded its highest percentage of wins – 65.4%. Oliver Thomas was the highest points scorer in National Division League 2. Moseley won its last League match at Bournbrook 29-25 against Waterloo. Moseley Colts reached the final of the National Colts Cup before losing to Harlequins at Bedford. The Moseley Mini Festival was held at Billesley on 1 May 2005 and the end of Season Presentation of Awards Dinner took place at the new clubhouse at Billesley on 6 May. (2004/05 League Table)
2005-6 The first League match at Billesley took place against Manchester on 3 September - and another record breaking season began. By April Moseley had confirmed promotion to National Division 1 as champions.

Click here for a seasons Retrospective, and here for final tables

2006-7 The first season back in National One started with a very tough programme against four of the top six clubs. The derby tradition against Coventry was reinstated with "The Moseley Trophy" presented to the winners. After a gruelling season with up to 14 first choice players on the injury list at times, a final day victory at Waterloo secured the hard won ND1 position. 2006/07 Table
2007-8 The season started with the announcement of a ground-breaking arrangement with Gloucester Rugby, with young England Academy players dual registered to play for both clubs. The relegation of Northampton Saints brought about a revival of an historic fixture between the two clubs and the Teddy Brookes Trophy was dusted down. Moseley Players were selected to appear on the covers of the World Cup programmes. At Christmas, the death of Peter Woodroofe, author of much of this page, saddened the whole club. By May an impressive away record helped secure 10th place in National League One. A Phil Bennett XV helped recreate the Sam Doble memorial game. Moseley Women’s RFC were promoted with a 100% record. 2007/08 Table
2008-9 Moseley won the EDF Trophy at Twickenham defeating Premiership bound Leeds Carnegie 23-17. Although this was Moseley’s fourth visit to Twickenham for a National Cup final it was the club’s first outright victory having shared the Cup with Gloucester in 1982. Andy Binns scored a vital try in his last season after fifteen years with the club.

In the League, the reduction of the16 team ND1 to a 12 team “Championship” from 2009 meant that achieving 11th place or better became the focus. An excellent Cup run and weather problems played havoc with the fixture list, necessitating an appeal to win an extended season. Despite the disruption, Moseley finished a creditable 8th.

Moseley Women then followed up their unbeaten season in 2007/08 with a second successive promotion. The Senior Colts won the North Midlands Cup, and only lost in the quarter-finals of National Cup to the eventual winners. Meanwhile the Junior Colts went all the way to the National Plate Final.

The ever growing Mini & Junior section held a successful 30th anniversary Mini tournament with over 1,250 children participating. The club’s exceptional community department once again coached over 15,000 children in Birmingham .

A successful first year for sister club Moseley Oak provided a full range of rugby opportunities for every level of player as the dynamic development of the Billesley Common rugby centre of excellence continued.                                                                   
2008/09 Table

2009-10 The first year of the new 12 team RFU Championship and the British & Irish Cup. Moseley missed out on the promotion play-offs by a single point, and after a troubled run in the relegation play-off group finished comfortably second of four. The season was marked by three of twelve clubs going into administration, and the welcome return of visits to Wales in the cup. 2009/10 Table
 

 

Moseley England Internationals - Full listing

                      Moseley Club Records & player facts (League & Cup rugby)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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