1880-81 Season

Playing Record : P10, W7, D2, L1.

Club Captain : A H Richardson

This is a large wooden plaque on display at the club today and celebrates the formation of the Welsh Football Union (now WRU) in 1881. Swansea was amongst the 11 founder clubs.

The Swansea club was hugely influential with the Union’s formation with 3 former club captains taking prominent positions. Charlie Chambers (President) and Fred Meager and AH Richardson were joined by HR Knill from the club, the latter 3 being members of the Committee.

Arthur Richardson was re-elected captain of the first fifteen for 1880-81. However he only appeared in the last two games of the season due to work considerations and Fred Meager led the side through most of the season.

With the South Wales Football Club (founded 1875) being superseded by the South Wales Football Union in 1878, an intent to have an organised body to represent the increasing number of Clubs in South Wales and regulate competition and representative sides had arrived. Then Swansea Captain, C C Chambers had been a founding member of the first body and Committee member on the second. On 12th March 1881 at the Castle Hotel in Neath, The Welsh Rugby Football Union was founded with a wider ambition and more business like footing. Present from Swansea were A H Richardson (Chairman), current Swansea captain Fred Meager and Swansea President C C Chambers who was elected as the WRFU’s first Chairman. The Club, led by these men embarked on its course of taking a leading role and becoming a major force in Welsh Rugby. On the field, with only two defeats in the season, Swansea was starting to establish a strong following. At the AGM of 1880, a Second XV captain was officially appointed for the first time. Swansea had been able to put two sides out for some time and this marked the increase in players in the area wishing to play at St Helens for The Whites. 1st XV Players would sometimes be found in the 2nd XV side if unable to attend a Premier game. This happened in November 1880 when Swansea captain Fred Meager travelled to Llanelli with the 1st XV and was held to a draw while the 2nd XV beat Llanelli at St Helens with 1st team players such as Kneath, Carlisle and Morgan in their ranks. The playing strength was increasing at St Helens. Swansea were not able to defend their first piece of silverware from the previous season though they defeated Carmarthen in the SWCC by 2 tries and 13 touch downs to 2 touch downs at St Helens in November. The disappointment of losing out on the SWCC which was eventually won by Cardiff (defeating Llanelli at Neath) was assuaged somewhat by a thumping defeat of neighbours Neath at St Helens on 4th December 1880 by 5 goals, 5 tries and 6 touch downs to 1 touch down. A Cambrian report (10 Dec 1880) however, reveals that Neath had turned up 5 men short and Swansea substitutes had made up their numbers! Swansea half back William Gwynn dropped 2 goals in this match. He was becoming an early master at this art.