Club History

On September 12th 2015, Wimbledon RFC celebrated its 150th anniversary with a grand ball organised by Meg Gardiner and Louise Ayton with 500 Dons present. The film below was made to celebrate this major event featuring a poem by Olivia Whitcroft with members of Wimbledon RFC, Nick Easter, Nick Evans, Jason Leonard and Wayne Barnes.

The club goes back a long way
Wimbledon’s first recorded match was against Richmond in November 1865, making the club one of the oldest in the country, and one of just twelve surviving clubs that founded the RFU in 1871. The club’s then captain, L.J. Maton, drafted the first laws of the game and went on to become the third president of the RFU in 1875. Also that year two club members, the brothers J.D. and H.J.Graham, gained one and four caps respectively for England.

The club played on Wimbledon Common until World War 1, using the Rose & Crown in Wimbledon Village as changing rooms and clubhouse.

More recently
The club’s move to its current clubhouse in Barham Road, off Copse Hill, coincided with the launch of league rugby in Britain in 1987/88. Both events have benefited the club considerably.

After being placed, somewhat arbitrarily, in Surrey 2 in the first year of the leagues, Wimbledon began its spectacular rise through them:

Runners-up Surrey Cup, losing to 1988/89. Introduction of leagues. WRFC put in Surrey 2.
1989/90. Finished 3rd in Surrey 2.
1990/91. Finished 2nd in Surrey 2.
1991/92. Finished 2nd in Surrey 2 (on points difference).
1992/93. Winners of Surrey 2.
1993/94. Winners of Surrey 1.
1994/95. Winners of London League 3 South West.
1995/96. Winners of London 2 South. (With 26 consecutive league wins on the way).
1996/97. Finished mid-London 1.Runners-up Surrey Cup, losing narrowly to Sutton & Epsom.
1997/98. Mid-table London 1 again. Runners-up Surrey Cup, losing to Camberley.
1998/99. Top half finish in London 1.
1999/00. Although coming back strongly after an appalling start to the season (9 straight defeats), finished 6th from bottom in London 1 and, due to the re-structuring of the leagues, were relegated.
2000/01. London 2 South. With a new coach, Tim Herman, recruited from Rosslyn Park , and a new team spirit, finished 4th.
2001/02. Finished equal third with Gosport & Fareham, but with 15 wins to their 14. Only a couple of narrow early defeats prevented promotion. The 2nd XV were unlucky to lose the final of their new league.
2000/05. London 2 South.
2005/06. The club was moved to London 2 North.
2006/07. Back in London 2 South and looking for promotion.
2007/08. Club moved to London 3 South West
2014/15. Under head coach Nick Easter, finished top of London South 1 having been top of the table all season. Promoted to National 3 League - the highest league the club's ever played in. In our 150th year as well!
2015/16. Finished a strong 8th in National League - winning 13 out of 26 games
2016/17. Finished second in National League 3 London & South East. Beat Dings Crusaders 50-5 in the playoff to be promoted to National League 2 South. Once more, the highest league the club has ever played in!
2017/18. Playing in National League 2 South. After a hard fought season, the team, along with Barnstaple RFC, were relegated on the last day of the season back to the fifth tier: London and South East Premier (ex National 3 LSE). As the final match report of the season stated: "after losing their first 14 matches in this league, several narrowly (and a couple they have lived to regret), the First XV made a real fist of it in the second half of the season with eight good victories…several of them outstanding wins against top sides. If they continue to produce performances like those next season, there’s every chance they’ll bounce straight back up to National 2.
2018/19. London and South East Premier (ex National 3 LSE) league. Missed promotion by a whisker.
2019/20 & 2020/21. Covid-19 affected seasons.
2021/22. London and South East Premier (ex National 3 LSE) league.
2022/23. London and South East Premier champions. Promoted to National 2s for 2023-24 season.