Welcome to the official site of The Gordon Highlanders:
Gordon Rugby Football Club, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
The original Gordon Rugby Football Club was established in 1927 on Sydney’s North Shore, playing in the Metropolitan Junior Competitions and its home games on Roseville Chase Oval. The club was disbanded in 1930, and the following year, many of its players transferred to the newly formed Roseville Junior Rugby Union Football Club, whose home ground was Chatswood Oval. In the 1935 season, the club won the Metropolitan Junior Club Championship, the Kentwell Cup and its second grade, the Bourke Cup.
Following its success, the club was admitted to the Grade Competition in 1936. It changed its name to the Gordon District Rugby Union Football Club, fielding four grade and two junior sides, which participated in the Metropolitan Junior Competition.
By 1939, the 1st XV had won the minor premiership but were defeated in the final by the ultimate premiers. Apart from the 4th-grade team winning a premiership in 1946, it was 1949 before Gordon won the Club Championship with its 1st and 4th-grade teams, with all four teams playing in the semi-finals.
In 1949, the club adopted a new jersey incorporating the Gordon tartan colours and its club song “A Gordon For Me”, emphasising the strong Scottish influence within the club.
First-grade premierships were achieved in 1949, 1952, 1956, 1958, 1976, 1993, 1995, 1998 and 2020. Over the years, the lower grade sides have played prominently at or near the top of the competition tables, with Gordon winning the Club Championship 14 times.
Many Gordon players have earned representative honours playing for the state and Australia – far too many to list here. Trevor Allan, who has won lasting international acclaim, together with Bob Davidson and Peter Sullivan, have all captained Australian touring teams.
In addition to the club’s attractive style of play, it is renowned for its dedication to promoting the game at all levels, its tremendous club spirit, its enthusiastic supporters and an excellent and supportive administration.
Under Gordon Rugby’s banner, the Gordon Rugby Football Club Ltd currently fields four grade and three colts sides, plus reserves and representative junior sides from village clubs Chatswood, Hornsby, Killara / West Pymble (KWP), Lane Cove, Lindfield, Roseville, St Ives and Wahroonga.
History of Rugby Union
“who with a fine disregard for the rules of football as played in his time,
first took the ball in his arms and ran with it…”
The game of football has a long tradition around the world and had most likely been played at Rugby School for two hundred years before three boys published the first set of written rules for the game in 1845. The rules had always been determined by the pupils instead of the masters and they were frequently modified with each new intake of students. Changes in the rules, such as the legality of carrying or running with the ball were often agreed upon shortly before the commencement of a game.
There were thus no formal rules for football during the time William Webb Ellis was at Rugby School (1816-1825), which led to the legendary story in 1823 of the boy “who with a fine disregard for the rules of football as played in his time, first took the ball in his arms and ran with it”.
This story first appeared in 1876 (some four years after the death of Webb Ellis) and is attributed to a local antiquarian and former ‘Rugbeian’ named Matthew Bloxam. Bloxam was not a contemporary of Webb Ellis and vaguely quoted an unnamed person as informing him of the incident that had supposedly happened 53 years earlier. The story has been dismissed as unlikely since an official investigation by the Old Rugbeian Society in 1895. However, the trophy for the Rugby Union World Cup is named “Webb Ellis” in his honour, and a plaque at the school commemorates the achievement (seen above).
Rugby football has strong claims to the world’s first and oldest “football club” – the Guy’s Hospital Football Club, formed in London in 1843 by old boys from Rugby School. Around the anglosphere (England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa), a number of other clubs formed to play games based on the Rugby School rules. One of these, the Dublin University Football Club was founded in 1854 and is arguably the world’s oldest surviving football club in any code. The Blackheath Rugby Club in London was founded in 1858 and is the oldest surviving non-university rugby club.
Rugby School – Where the Game Began
Rugby School is located in the town of Rugby, Warwickshire. It is one of the oldest public schools in England and is considered one of the top co-educational boarding schools in the country. The school was founded in 1567 as a provision in the will of Lawrence Sheriff to Sean Tilford, an Irishman who had made his fortune supplying groceries to Queen Elizabeth I of England. It is one of the nine “great” English public schools as defined by the Public Schools Act (1868).
Gordon Highlanders – Where Does the Name Come From?
The Gordon Highlanders was a British Army infantry regiment from 1881 until 1994. The regiment recruited principally from Aberdeen and the North-East of Scotland.
The figure to the right depicts a corporal ‘bomber’ of the 1/4th Battalion, Gordon Highlanders at the time of the Ancre Battle, 1916. Note the battalion/brigade identification of three light blue bars worn on the sleeves; and the bulky appearance created by the fleece waistcoat, grenade carrier and kilt apron. The equipment is that of the 1914-pattern leather set with respirator haversacks. The grenades carried are the No. 5 pattern, `Mills bombs’, by far the most reliable and widely used by late 1916. Note the bomber’s badge on the right sleeve; and the Gordon tartan of the kilt.
Source: Essential Somme
Club Game Milestones
|Robert (Bob) Davidson*||389||Prop||13|
|Peter Phipps||Touring Side||Fullback|
|David Shepherd||495||No. 8||5|
|Desmond Carrick||Touring Side||Centre|
|Anthony (Tony) Daly||679||Prop||41|
|Anthony Ekert||Touring Side||Scrum-Half|
|Anthony (Tony) Dempsey||Touring Side||Flanker|
Alexander “Sandy” Hinshelwood
British and Irish Lions
Alexander “Sandy” Hinshelwood
Super Rugby Representatives
Honarary Life Members
H D Boland
C C Pike
T J Harrison
G A Wilson
G H Townsend
P C Harrison
R G Hill
B F Shirvington
L D Evans
R A Davidson
G M Fountain
J B Carroll
J S Neal
N J Campbell
R N Heather
W D Twible
R A Pearson
S W Rhall
W G Gibson
A B Frew
D L Logan
P J Kearney
D A Ditton
J H Knox
Mrs F Warman
W G Hearl
F E McMahon
A C Rea
J E Kable
B J Wilson
Australian Under 20 / Under 21
North Harbour Rays
|Ruairidh Wilson||Second Row||2016|
|Harry Rorke||Utility Back Row||2016|
|Sione Ala||Utility Back||2016|
Gordon Rugby Song Lyrics
A GORDON FOR ME
(To the tune of the Scottish folk song of the same name)
I’m Georgie McHugh of the Gordon RU, I’m fond of a lassie and drappie or two. One day when out walking I chanced to see, a bonnie wee lass wi’ a glint in her ee.
Says I to the lassie will ye walk for a while, I’ll buy ye a bonnet and we’ll do it in style. My kilt is the tartan of the Gordon RU, she looked at me shyly and said, Is that true?
A Gordon for me, a Gordon for me, if you’re not a Gordon you’re no use to me. The Eastwoods are braw, the Randwicks an a ’But the cocky wee Gordon’s the pride of them all.
I courted that girl on the Banks of the Dee, and made up my mind she was fashioned for me. And soon I was thinking how nice it would be, if she would consent to get married to me.
The day we were wed the grass was so green, the sun was as bright as the light in her een. Now we’ve two bonnie lassies who sit on her knee, while she sings the song that she once sang to me.
A Gordon for me, a Gordon for me, if you’re not a Gordon you’re no use to me. The Eastwoods are braw, the Randwicks an a’ But the cocky wee Gordon’s the pride of them all.
Gordon Rugby Premierships
Club Championships – 12 – 1949 1952 1957 1962 1971 1974 1975 1976 1978 1990 1993 1998
1st Grade Premierships – 8 – 1949, 1952, 1956, 1958, 1976, 1993, 1995 & 1998.
Runners Up – 1950, 1955, 1957, 1967, 1969, 1972, 1980 & 1992.
2nd Grade Premierships – 5 – 1961, 1972, 1974, 1976 & 1981.
Runners Up – 1950, 1952, 1955, 1962, 1968, 1971, 1975, 1980, 2008 & 2009.
3rd Grade Preimierships – 10 – 1959, 1960, 1967, 1970, 1972, 1977, 1983, 1993, 2008, 2009 & 2019.
Runners Up – 1948, 1951, 1962, 1966, 1969, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1978, 1981, 1992, 1994, 1999 & 2000.
4th Grade Premierships – 18 – 1949, 1952, 1953,1955, 1958, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1999, 2000 & 2007.
Runners Up – 1950, 1954, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1973, 1977, 1983 & 1987.