Fri 17 Jan 2020 07:00

This Saturday the Blood and Sand make the first of our two visits to the Borough of Greenwich, this time to take on Old Elthamians. The 3rd XV stay at home and play Shelford III.

Old Elthamians was founded by the oldboys of Eltham College, which was then a school for the sons of missionaries. In this Olympic year it is probably worth mentioning the schools most famous sportsman. The Scottish rugby international and olympic athlete Eric Lidell - who was imortalised in Chariots of Fire. Having been born in China to missionary parents Eric was sent back to England for his education. After his education at Eltham he went up to Edinburgh where he excelled at athletics. He was also a fine three quarters, playing for the University and scoring four tries for Scotland in the Five Nations over two seasons before retiring to concentrate on running.

At the Paris Olympics, at the Colombes where he had made his debut for Scotland as a wing, the 100m and the 400m relay heats were scheduled for Sundays and as a good Christian Eric would not run on the Sabbath. Instead he gave the sermon at the Scots Church on Rue Bayard. He therefore ony entered the 200m,winning a Bronze medal and the 400m winning Gold. The following year in his last races he won the 100 yards, 220 yards and 440 yards and the 440 yard relay at the SAAA meet

Having gain his degree in Pure Science he tspent a year studying theology before returning to China, and for the next twenty years - apart for two visits home - spent his life as a missionary, teching at the Anglo-Chinese School in Tianjin. Eventually the twon was over run by the invading Japanese. Eric ended up being interred. He soon becamea leader of the prisoners. Those who survived and wrote about their time praised his good humour and love of life. In 1945 he died of a brain tumour - five months before the camp was liberated.

Old Elthamians play on the college fields - which are also shared with City of London School and the Blackheath and Old Elthamians Hockey Club, the world's oldest hockey club which in 1858 or earlier added football before separating into two clubs a few years later. The second pitch is past the hockey field and across a ditch.

Old Elthamians are a bit of a bogie side for Cambridge. We first met them in our promotion season - when we won at home and drew at the College. But since they joined us in National 1 they have won every match. But records are made to be broken. We have won four in a row, which again we have not done since promotion.

Old Elthamians have one of the smallest home support in the league - so a good turnout of Blood and Sand supporters should be able to drown them out. It is not a long drive - so do come long and be the 16th man. However, if you cannot make it, then the 3rd XV are at home to Shelford III. The 3rd XV are guaranteed to finish fourth in the table and will progress to the plate.

news articles

  • Autumn Nations Cup on Prime Video

    Fri 13 Nov 2020 09:12

    Catch the Autumn Nations Cup every weekend from Nov 14th to Dec 6th, on Prime Video. Tune in to watch the six EU Nations; England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France, Italy, as well as … view

  • Welcome James Hall

    Wed 11 Nov 2020 15:12

    It is with great pleasure that we are able to announce James Hall as our new Head of Girls’ rugby at Cambridge RUFC. James will continue to build on the strong foundations that have … view

  • Mental Well Being

    Thu 05 Nov 2020 11:29

    Message from Lawrence Rayner Mental Health is something everyone in modern life encounters and has a relationship with (with or without realising), including myself. Since finishing … view

  • Message from chairman Rob Dean

    Mon 02 Nov 2020 16:34

    Dear Members Following the recent government announcement it is with some frustration that we have to advise that the clubhouse will be closed from midnight Wednesday until December 2 … view

  • Club Shop - Update

    Thu 29 Oct 2020 17:06

    Apologies to all of those who have visited the shop over recent weeks and have not been able to purchase specific items. Like most rugby related matters, the summer of uncertainty … view

Facebook