'The Accies' by David Barnes

The Accies: The Cradle of Scottish Rugby 
by David Barnes

The Edinburgh Academical Football Club is the oldest rugby club in the UK and the second oldest in the world, with as rich and colourful a history as any sporting organisation on the planet.

From its earliest days the Club and its members have played a central role in most of the key developments in the game of rugby football, in a process which has seen the sport grow from ‘a game of the most primitive kind; crude and devoid of regulation or rule’ into a multi-million pound industry which creates superstars of its players and global brands of its teams.

During its 150 years the Club has been home to a multitude of magnificent players and just as many wonderful characters, from Scotland stars in the early days such as R.W. ‘Bulldog’ Irvine, Charles ‘Hippo’ Reid, Ninian Finlay and Harry Stevenson, to W.E. Maclagan, who captained the first official British touring side in 1891, G.P.S. Macpherson, who captained Scotland to their first ever Grand Slam in 1925, and David Sole, who became Scotland’s third and so far last Grand Slam captain in 1990, to players of a more recent vintage such as Mike Blair, Scott Murray and Tom Philip.

To celebrate the club’s sesquicentennial year, The Accies looks back on the rich history of this great sporting institution, examining the illustrious names and extraordinary events which have helped make Raeburn Place such an important landmark in the sport, sealing its place in the annals of the game as the cradle of Scottish rugby. This is the remarkable history of a remarkable club.


David Barnes’s book runs to 460 pages and includes dozens of photographs of teams, action shots and club characters.

Copies of the book are available to purchase through the club. Please email administration@edinburghaccies.com for more information.


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