Galwegians RFC – 100 Years of Rugby History

As part of Galwegians centenary celebrations, the club committee decided to document their history and commissioned well-known Galway-based rugby author Linley MacKenzie to write the book.

Designed and printed by local company iSupply, Galwegians RFC – 100 Years of Rugby History vividly captures the club’s history from its foundation in 1922 through to present day, with numerous stories, recollections and photographs featuring many of the club’s key personalities. 

Purchase your copy

From the back cover

Why is it that Galwegians RFC has contributed more presidents of the Irish Rugby Football Union than any other club in Ireland?

For a club that was homeless for its first 41 years, and now finds itself searching again, Galwegians has carved a tradition of success both on and off the pitch, all from the amalgamation of two of the earliest rugby clubs in the city.

From its beginnings 100 years ago, the club’s founding members fostered a culture of ambition, driven by their love of the game. In welcoming visitors, they promoted a sense of belonging, and took a leading role in both branch and Ireland affairs.

Celebrating their golden age of the fifties, this west of Ireland;and club boasted one of the best teams in the country, winning five-in-a-row Connacht League and Cup trophies, while enjoying an illustrious fixture list of both leading Irish and foreign teams. Then, with the advent of the All Ireland League, they enticed a visiting All Black player to take the reins. Warren Gatland would turn their fortunes around and become one of the world’s most sought-after coaches.

Yet, Galwegians’ history is much more than rugby. Squad players have represented the club at the highest level, its facilities have been widely used by the local community and clubs. Unwavering in its commitment to strengthen community ties, it has fostered links throughout the world which remain undiminished as it begins a new chapter in its history.

In this centenary season, it celebrates the thousands who have made a significant contribution to its success and longevity, not just on the field, but on the sidelines – sponsors, coaches, administrators, supporters, volunteers, visitors, opponents, who have been integral to preserving the passion for the game in Galway city and the west of Ireland.

Authored by Linley McKenzie

Linley McKenzie hails from Fielding in Manawatu, New Zealand but has lived in Ireland for over 30 years. She has carved out a career covering rugby in addition to her position as deputy Editor and Sports Editor of the Galway Advertiser.

Linley is a member of Rugby Writer of Ireland. and continues to cover rugby in Connacht for the Irish Times while also having contributed to the Irish Examiner, New Zealand Herald, Waikato Times, the Scotsman and the Guardian.

Table of Contents

  1. Galwegians RFC – More Than Just A Rugby Club
  2. Ambitious Return To Play Post War
  3. Setting The Standard – Henry J Anderson
  4. The Golden Era (excerpt)
  5. Racing Club de France – The Biggest Scalp
  6. The Golden Years – From Bare Cupboards To Full Shelves
  7. Group Captain Walker’s XV
  8. New Life Membership Scheme
  9. Family Affair – Brendan, Phil, Enda and Shane Guerin
  10. The Legacy Of Johnny Glynn
  11. A Letter from St Paul to the Corinthians (excerpt)
  12. Blake Family – A First Three Generations At The Helm
  13. The Blake Sevens – The Place To Be At Easter
  14. On The Move In The Sixties
  15. Chris Crowley – A Man For All Seasons
  16. The King and I (excerpt)
  17. CP Hopes To Add A Few More Strings To His Bow
  18. Heaslip Dynasty Makes Things Happen
  19. The Seventies – Growth and Consolidation
  20. Canada – A Spirit-Building Adventure
  21. Glenina – More Than Just A Rugby Club
  22. Clouds Gather In The Eighties
  23. John Moore – A Positive Force In Irish Rugby
  24. How Gatland Duped Galwegians and Led The Club To Success (excerpt)
  25. All Ireland League
  26. Deacy Generations Make Their Mark
  27. Youngsters Remain Galwegians’ Priority
  28. Eric Elwood – Breaking Boundaries From An Early Age
  29. Behind Every Good Club Are The Women
  30. Galwegian Women – Connacht’s Standard-Bearers
  31. Don Crowley – A Gent For All Seasons
  32. From Dizzy Heights To Relegation 1993-96
  33. Galway United 1993-94 Sporting Ecumenism
  34. Club Game Was The Only Game
  35. The Northern Connection
  36. John Kingston Turns ’Wegians Into Hot Stuff
  37. The Highs and The Lows
  38. The Galwegian Sheriff With Four Lives – Billy Glynn
  39. The Browne Brothers – Damian and Andrew
  40. Time To Refocus
  41. A New Home