1980-1999 - BRFC

Go to content

Main menu:


The early 1980s - with the new clubhouse and grandstand in use - was generally a good time for the Club.  It was also the period when Merit Tables brought more competitive fixtures to Club Rugby.  Proposals for them had been accepted by the RFU and under the sponsorship of Bass Charrington they were launched in the 1979/80 season.  Brixham were not among the 14 clubs who formed the South-West table and played in the Devon Merit Table.
For the game against West Midlands Police on April 24th 1982 the programme notes stated "Our win, by 11 points to 3, against Newton Abbot last Wednesday confirmed Brixham as winners of the Devon Merit Table for the second year in succession.  Significantly, in winning this year we have substantially improved our performance over last season, in that we did not lose a single game and were held only to one away draw - at Devonport Services. ... Our performance on the field this season should ensure our inclusion in the Bass Merit Table next season.  Had we been included this year, we would be in third position.  We must now await confirmation of our admittance."  
In addition to the Bass Merit Tables there were similar ones run by the Daily Telegraph.  At the end of the 81/2 season Brixham had been placed 4th in their South West table.  Brixham duly replaced Barnstaple in the Bass Table for the 1982/3 season.  
In December 1982 Brixham pulled off something of a coup when they hosted a match between a Presidents XV and tourists from New Zealand - Wellington.
Playing against Welsh opposition had been fairly common and at the end of the 82/3 season Brixham welcomed one of the best - Cardiff.

Robust play and perhaps some jealousy of what the club had created and achieved, nearly brought about the downfall of Brixham in what was referred to by our former President, Danny Irvine, as the Devon Affair.  Fortunately he kept much of the documentation about this and it is reproduced on a separate page.  READ ALL ABOUT IT!

There were also some memorable matches at Astley Park - against some unlikely opposition!  In the midst of the Devon Affair we played
Later, in 1985, the Bay towns came together to play
Perhaps the finest day was against Bath - read the newspaper reports here!
From the Herald Express - Monday 19 December 1983
Christmas Cheer came a month early for Brixham Rugby Club players who filled their stockings with three Bass Merit Table wins in November.  The Fishermen were voted the Bass South-West team of the month and won a barrel of beer which boosted the festive spirit at Astley Park.
From left: Keith Davies (coach), E Burridge (first aid), I Griffin, P White, K Gerry, M Faulkner, M Maslin, A Hendy, A Deane, S Irvine, J Huish (first team manager).
Front: B Houston (club captain), P Luxton, L Harvey, D Kay, J Farley (captain), N Brown, A Lamswood, S Butterworth, A Taylor,
Early in the 1986/7 season came the news that the Bass Merit Tables were to replaced by a proper League system. To quote programme notes once more "In September 1987 one year hence Rugby Union Football will see changes that many of you in your dreams thought would happen. Leagues will come to Rugby Union. What will this do for us. Last season we did very well in the Bass Merit Table finishing in fourth place. We need to finish in the same or higher place this season to have any chance of getting into the league we should be in, ie The South and South-West. Leagues will not be everyones cup of tea and some Clubs may opt out of them altogether. Our Committee has decided to go for leagues."
In September 1987 the new era started with Brixham in South And SouthWest Division Two alongside Abbey, Barnstaple, Berry Hill, Cinderford, Devon & Cornwall Police, Devonport Services, Henley, Launceston, Newbury and Reading. The first home League match - against Reading - was lost but after two seasons Brixham were promoted - replacing Torquay at the higher level.

Back to content | Back to main menu