The story of Dalziel Rugby Club began in the year 1924 when the first ever game was played.
The inaugural match took place on 26th January against Uddingston 2nd XV, and Dalziel won by 9-5. Their pitches were beside the Cricket Clubs at Dalziel policies. By 1926 Dalziel High School had started to play Rugby and they shared the facilities of the Rugby Football Club, which were at that time located in Motherwell’s Ladywell Road. By 1931 the developing links between the Rugby Football Club and the High School became formalised with the setting up of the Dalziel High School Former Pupils’ Rugby Club. The name Dalziel RFC disappeared and the new Club, Dalziel High School Former Pupils was formed. This guaranteed a regular supply of players from the local school whilst giving young men an opportunity to play a competitive team sport.
At end of season 1938-39 the club had lost its playing fields at Low Motherwell , now known as Ladyfield , but by start of WW2 no satisfactory conclusion had been reached.
With the arrival of World War II, the Club ceased its Rugby playing activities until it was re-formed in the immediate post war years by the late Harry Morton OBE, who was a longstanding Player, Captain and Honorary President of the Club until his death in 1992.
On the 8th August 1946 returning members stood silent for 2 minutes in memory of 5 Club members who lost their lives in WW2.
Dalziel played rugby at Carfin Hall until moving to Cleland Estate.
Cleland Estate, now known as Dalziel Park, was purchased by Dalziel High School in 1947 to be set up as a War Memorial to all of the school pupils who had been lost in the two World Wars. Dalziel High School FP Rugby Club then began to use the newly created facilities at Cleland Estate.
The League System
In season 1973-74, the Scottish Rugby Union set up competitive leagues and Dalziel HSFP found that that they were slotted into National League Division Five (West). In the first season of competition, the Club obtained promotion to Division Four and by season 1980-81 they were playing in Division Three. By season 1987-88, Dalziel had moved through the Leagues to Division Two and this had confirmed their status as the leading National Club in Lanarkshire, also making them one of the top thirty-five clubs in the country. In the same season, the Club won the Glasgow and District Knock-out Cup for the very first time.
By the mid-1970s, shortly after the commencement of National League Rugby, the ‘F.P’ tag was dropped from the Club name with the Club reflecting modern trends and becoming fully open. Over many years prior to this, a large number of Club Members, who were not school F.P.s had contributed greatly to the Club in many areas. At that time, the Club reverted to its name of Dalziel Rugby Club, although then, as now, the Club maintained very strong links with Dalziel High School.
Cleland Estate to Dalziel Park
By the late 1980s, the land and buildings at the old Cleland Estate were deteriorating and at a stage where extensive redevelopment was required. Brian Miller, the new Rector at Dalziel in 1990, took up the challenge and, along with longstanding Rugby Club Member, Chartered Accountant, Ian Watson, started a long process of redevelopment. It is mainly due to the hard work and foresight of Brian Miller and Ian Watson that the facilities at Cleland Estate, which are now known as Dalziel Park, are now well established. The Dalziel Park facility is intended to be a living, active memorial to those Dalziel High School Former Pupils and Teachers who gave their lives during World War I and World War II.
The facilities at Dalziel Park are second to none and, since the first Under-18 International was played at Dalziel Park in Easter 2003, serious interest has been generated within the SRU following the recent Scotland-v-France U-19 International, and it is hoped that many more internationals will take place at Dalziel Park in the future. The Rugby, football, hockey and athletics facilities which are available at Dalziel Park are amongst the finest in the country and Dalziel Rugby Club has contributed to extending the facilities offered by engaging in the preparation of a rough training area, which will be floodlit, along with provision of a Junior Clubhouse for the youth sections of the Club. These developments have taken place, not only with the support of the War Memorial Trust, but also many Club Members at Mini, Midi and Senior levels.
The Club Today
Dalziel Rugby Club is a progressive, warm and welcoming Club and is eager to introduce new members from all sections of the community to enjoy the great game of Rugby football at the tremendous facilities located at Dalziel Park. All new members will be welcomed, whether for P3 or the over 70’s age group!
The present team set up at Dalziel Rugby is as follows:
- Mini Section (meet Saturday mornings), comprising teams from Primary 1 to Primary 7.
- Midi Section, comprising S1, S2, S3 and under-16/under 18 teams (meet Sunday afternoons with the exception of Under-18s).
- Senior Section, comprising First, Second, Third and Fourth XVs.
Over many years, the Club has developed young players and made contributions to the Lanarkshire, Glasgow District and National Rugby Teams with a number of under 18 and under 19 players gaining International Honours at that level.
The Club has also produced a number of referees, who are contributing in refereeing games at all levels throughout Scottish Rugby. The Club will also give encouragement to any player who wishes to extend their refereeing skills and contribute to Scottish Rugby in this way.
A more recent development within the Club is the decision to consider forming a Past Players Organisation, which is designed to be pro-active and inform past players of the opportunities for playing, refereeing, spectating, advertising or sponsoring Rugby at Dalziel.
The Annual Festival of Youth Rugby, masterminded annually by the late Past President Alan Calder, has been running since 1991. With some 800 Players, Coaches and Officials visiting Dalziel Park on the third Saturday in April each year, Dalziel Rugby Club has now firmly plotted its name on the Scottish Rugby Map as a Club which caters for the whole range of participants seeking to play the Game.