Our History

South Gower RFC was formed at a public meeting held in the "Long Room" at the Valley Hotel, Bishopston on the 8th January 1974. Snow was falling as some eighteen people and a boy made their way to the former skittle alley.

The meeting was addressed by Danny Thomas, chairman of the Swansea Boys Rugby Union. John Taylor was elected interim Chairman, a post he was to hold for a further 20 years; Phil Lee was elected secretary and Keith Roberts Treasurer. In the following weeks Bernard Hastie , a well known Swansea business man accepted the role of President.

The aim of the new club was to bring the joys and disciplines of Rugby Union Football to the young people of the Bishopston and South Gower area and to this end a first training session was called at the Bishopston football club at Pwlldu Lane on the following weekend. Thirty eight children ranging from ten years old to fourteen, plus a handful of helpers presented themselves and over the next four weekends, these boys were formed into teams at under 11, under 13 and under 14. Arrangements were made for the under 11's to play in the Swansea Schools League and the other two teams in the Swansea Boys League. 

An informal arrangement with local farmer Will Jones followed some months later whereby the new club could use the field adjoining the soccer club from September to April each year, (it was used by the Boys Brigade during the Summer months). A year later the Boys Brigade pulled out and in 1979 a twenty one year lease on the ground was entered into. Roy Wintle persuaded British Steel at Margam to donate a set of Rugby posts and these were set up in the summer of 1974 at the cost of a packet of fags and the pitch was ready for its first match in September of that year. Douglas and Jenny Jones offered the use of a redundant stone built stable block on Pyle corner (where the Douglas Court flats now stand). These were cleared out by volunteers and turned into the first make shift dressing rooms. Teams had to walk from there to the pitch and back again after the game. There were no washing or toilet facilities. A redundant wooden site drawing office was acquired in 1975 from Velindre works together with part of a site canteen from Baglan Bay and these were erected on the field (again by predominantly volunteer labour) to form the core of what is now the Club house. The old quarry in the North West corner was later filled in.

In September 1979 the club fielded its first Senior Team in a friendly match against Llangenith RFC. This first team contained over 50% of boys who had joined as under 13's and under 14's five years earlier plus a few "old heads" recruited from local teams and captained by John Bladen a former player of Penclawdd. In 1980 the first XV was entered into the Swansea and District League Section D rising over the next few seasons to become "Champion of Champions" in 1983, beating Waunarlwydd in the final. The club also ran a Second XV for a number of years. 

A problem arose around this time when it transpired that the club had no planning permission for its facilities at Pwlldu Lane, but with the help of a local councillor and publican Jack Bartlett a retrospective application was rushed through and the day was saved. About 15 years after the formation of the club, the next door field came on the market and with the help of a grant from the W.R.U. and loans from Swansea City and elsewhere, this field was acquired and levelled giving the club its present main pitch and the much used junior pitch. On the 1st January 2000, the lease on the original field expired and with the aid of a Lottery grant plus some further loans the club purchased this ground together with the soccer pitch next door (which was re- leased to Bishopston Football Club as part of the deal). January 2008 saw the soccer club fold and this ground was returned to the club. Plans are currently in place to further develop this area as a training ground, mini rugby area and cricket pitch when funds allow. 

Image entitled "The first changing rooms at Pyle Corner (from a painting by Sheila Edwards)" 
Extracted from the memory of current Vice President and Founder Mr John Taylor