Early Years - BRFC

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Early Years

“Following in the wake of Totnes, the Brixhamites have established a Football Club in connection with their two Cricket Clubs, a meeting to consider the advisability of the same having been held at the Bolton Hotel on Thursday last when it was considered advisable to form such a club.
The Rev. R. B. F. Elrington was chosen as its President, Rev. G. B. Roberts captain and Dr. Searle Hon. Secretary and Treasurer. The Club is to be called the Brixham and Churston Football Club, and we have no doubt in the course of the ensuing winter matches will be arranged.”
15th October 1875

“BRIXHAM FOOTBALL CLUB – The first annual meeting of the above Club was held on Monday evening, when over 30 members were elected. The first practice will be on Furzeham Hill, next Saturday afternoon.”
Thursday, September 13, 1877

A FOOTBALL CLUB has been formed and about thirty members enrolled. Practice has begun and capital play shown.”
Saturday, September 29,1877

“Rumours are prevalent that the “Brixham Trawlers”, as a Football Club, is defunct, and that the continued existence of the “Newton Rifles” is a matter of grave uncertainty. This is dire news, if true; for the T.A.C. will be the almost sole representative of this section of the county in the national pastime, unless, indeed, their present apathy be the precursor of their own dissolution as a Football Club, an event which I should be slow to believe, did not the absence of their fixtures lend some colour to the belief.”
6th October 1883

“On Saturday evening last, a meeting was held at the Queen’s Hotel, near the railway station, for the purpose of re-constituting the old Brixham Football Club. The chair was taken by Mr Atkins at 7:30, who stated that he had called the meeting together for the purpose, if possible, of re-constituting the old Brixham Football Club. He considered that it was a great pity that a club, which had such a reputation throughout this part of the county, should have been permitted to fall through, and hoped that those present would join him in reconstituting it. There were about twenty persons present, all of whom signified their intention of joining. It was then moved, ‘That the old Brixham Football Club be re-constituted, and that the meeting be adjourned to Saturday, November 1st’ when it is hoped that many of the old players, who were away, would then be present. A vote of thanks to the chairman brought the meeting to a close.
1st November 1884

“A second meeting of the football club was held at the Queen’s Hotel, on Saturday evening, at seven o’clock, there was a capital attendance. Mr Atkins, who occupied the chair, stated that the meeting was called to elect officers and take subscriptions. The following members were elected as officers:- Mr. J. Knott, president; Mr. H. Atkins, secretary; Mr. J. H. Fox, treasurer; Mr. H. Mugridge, captain; and Mr. T. Jackman, vice-captain. Those present paid their subscriptions. The secretary stated that he had made arrangements to play two matches with Plymouth, one on December 13th, and the second on February 25th. Other clubs have also been challenged. The first practice eill take place on Saturday afternoon, at 2.30, after which another meeting will be held at the Queen’s Hotel.”
8th November 1884
A very old (and odd) match report
{From our German Correspondent}

Ach! Himmel! Vat for a game is die Football! Mein goot sir, it ish de handball! It is de rundball Ten tausend teufels! It is a dirty game. De Brixham Team, vat you calls dum, vas vary proper (hah! I know de Devonshire language) men. And vat a Captain dey have; as pig as de shiant of de Hartz mountains. And vat a proper name he have – Mister Eighty-von-ton gun, Esquire. Dare was some littler vons, but de most of de Brixham team vas vary large – never-to-be-insulted looking; and dare vas no doubt dey had feasted most largely upon de lager beer, vat ve calls it, and de Rosbif-plum-pudding of merrie England. De Totnes men vas also pig; and dey assailed de foe, standing most proudly upon dare own grounds, like de iron warhorse champing de fiery bit. (Ah! Hah! Dat is poetry. I know your Shakespeare, your Drydens, your Popes). Totnes von de toss, and dey took the goal vere de vind vould not blow dare eyelashes into dare eyes. By shingo! Vat a kick de long leg Brixham man give. Avay go de ball, and avay go de Brixham forvards. How dey run, how dey catches …. ; how dey kicks; how dey tumbles. Vat a game it is. But soon it begins to rain, vat you calls cats and dogs; but dey must have been very small, for I could not see dem. In ten minutes de players vas vetted through and through. Off runs some of de Totnes. Off runs some of de Brixham. “Play up! Play up!” roars Mister Eighty-von-ton-gun, Esquire. “If you gives up, I calls play on and claim de match.” Den he runs to de tent and brings every little nigger out. De vater was now an inch deep in many parts of de grounds, vich itself vas von pig mudpool. How dey schlipped about, and de ball vas like de greased lightning. And so dey vent on for von and a half hours, until dey vas all mud and no clothes. I vas told of Mister Eighty-vo-ton-gun, Esquire, dat he expected to be peated, but dat he hope to make de draw, vich he did make. I vas also told dat Brixham vould most likely have von de match if de veather had been fine. De Brixham most often drive de ball behind de Totnes goal, and would have many vat dey say Touchdowns, but de ground vas like de plough field and de fast runners of Brixham could not get up to collar de Totnes back before he kicks de ball into de air. And de match vas drawed, and de Brixham team goes home vary muddy and vary pleased. Himmel! How de vashwomen vill schwear at de dirty clothes. I likes your foot ball. It is a goot game. De players do all de vork, dey amuses me. I schmokes mein pipe. Dey gets vet, I vare an umbrella. De match is over, I goes to de hotel. I orders de Rosbif-plum-pudding mit de schnaps (vot you call drams) and lager beer, and I says “Dree jeers for de jolly Rosbif-plum-pudding and de Brixham Dabs” (Ah! Hah! I knows your local illusions, your Devonshire languages).
In case our distinguished foreigner is obscure to any of our readers, we will add to his account, that the match was played at Totnes recently, and resulted in a draw. Only those who saw it can realize the excellent play shown all round; the indescribable condition of the muddy ground and the bedaubed appearance in flannels face and hair which the Teams presented at the end of the match.
The Teams were as under : - Totnes. W. Bowden (back); Faulkener (captain) and T. Heath (halfs); J.Heath and W. Hambling (quarters); Husham, Eynon, Bunclark, Luscombe, Kellock, Oaphan, Dodridge and Chaster (forwards). For Brixham – Dames (back); Searle and May (halfs); Knott, Martin and Sciville (quarters); Roberts (captain), Birligton, Carlile, Wyatt, Ryder, Cobley, Turner, Collins and Kendrick (forwards).
On the whole the play was so equal, and the ground so muddy, that only a few had the chance of distinguishing themselves, and these were the dop kickers. Of these J. Heath and Bowden, for Totnes, and Dames and Sciville, for Brixham, did good service.


Mr Roberts of Brixham (the curate of Lower Brixham) had the nickname “Eighty-one Ton Gun”. This was presumably due to his size. In 1875 the Navy had successfully proved their largest gun ever – rated as 81 tons.
“A meeting was held in the Infant Schoolroom, in connection with the Brixham Football Club, to consider the desirability of forming a club for the ensuing year. Mr. C. Edwards presided and it was decided to alter the name from “Stars” to “The Brixham Football Club”. The Rev. Stewart Sim, the vicar, was elected President, Mr. C. Edwards, captain, Mr. H. Matthews sub-captain, and Mr. R. Dugdall, hon secretary.
It was resolved that the colours for the coming year should be a dark blue jersey with gold sash. On the proposal of Mr. H. M. Smardon it was decided to enter the junior cup.”
TOTNES TIMES 26th July 1890

“The late secretary of Brixham Football Club informs a correspondent that there is no likelihood of a Brixham team being in the field this season. Want of funds is alleged as a reason, there being an adverse balance of £9. Brixham has to rely on the team in connection with All Saints to keep the ball rolling.”
TOTNES TIMES (?) 18th September 1897

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