rugbyunion
Latest News:

10 things you did not (or maybe you did) know about Wasps


A new era for Wasps

By Chris/wombles222
January 29 2015

Well its a new era for the club, financial stability is secured, our own ground bought, and a club that is on the up on and off the field. With this in mind I felt it was time to take a trip down memory lane with 10 nuggets of Information. So whether you are a long standing supporter or a new Waspie I hope you find the following interesting about the club and just a couple of the players we love.

 

1: Wasps were originally founded in 1867 in (quite appropriately) the Eton and Middlesex Tavern. The club name was simply derived from the Victorian love of naming teams after insects, birds or animals.

(Original club badge, used up until 1999).


(2nd badge, used from 1999-2014).


(Current badge 2014-present).

2: Wasps and Harlequins actually have the same origin! Although a few modern day supporters may choose to not recall this, both clubs were formed from the dividing of the original club Hampstead Rugby club.

(Brothers from the same mother!)

 

3: Wasps were nearly one of the founding clubs of Rugby Union in 1871 (held at Pall Mall Restaurant). 21 clubs were there that day, and can hold the title “founding members”. We were the 22nd signatory as our representative missed the meeting. Where he went we do not know for sure, and rumours abound, but the two predominant theories are that A: He went to the wrong location at the wrong time on the wrong day. Or, (and my personal favourite) B: He went to a venue with the same name, and a few drinks later on realising his mistake was too lubricated to orientate his way to the actual venue.

(More historically accurate than some may of realised?)

4: We were the first English club to be thrown out of a domestic competition. The RFU made the unprecedented decision to exclude us from the Powergen cup in 2004 after we fielded an illegible player (Hooker Jonny Barrett). We were replaced in the quarter final by our previously vanquished opponents Bristol, who we defeated 43-33.

5: Sadly, one of our legends, former captain and one club man, Lawrence Bruno Nero Dallaglio lost his 19 year old sister Francesca (a talented ballerina) in the infamous Marchioness disaster in 1989. Continue to rest in peace Francesca.

(Gone, but never forgotten)

6: We were the first English club to take a competitive game of rugby abroad, when our now well known “mission accomplished” LV cup game against Harlequins (our brothers from the same mother) was played out in a specially made 5,000 seater “stadium” in the grounds of the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi.

(Impressive views, shame about the result)

7: This may be of surprise to some, but the league structure we see in modern rugby was only formed relatively recently in 1987, comprising of over 1,000 clubs playing in 108 leagues. Previous to that games consisted of friendlies and a regional cup competition. In the top division, known originally as the Courage league -anyone noticing a pattern between rugby and beer yet?-Wasps were the only winners (1989/90) in the first decade that was dominated by Bath and Leicester, winning 9 titles between them. Since then we have won the league 5 more times, with our last success coming in the 2007/08 season, with the legendary Lawrence lifting the trophy in his last ever game for the club.(Great memories!!!)

8: The most famous invitational rugby team in the world, the Barbarians, formed in 1890 had to wait until 1934 (44 years after its conception) before the first ever Wasp played for them. A N.Compton, who in his 21 years of playing Rugby, starting in 1925, guided us through the Second World War years, where the club made a vow to keep the ground open for as long as they were permitted. Opening their membership to all rugby players, including the services, it was so successful that 3-4 XVs were maintained throughout the war time seasons.

(Is there a more famous badge? Well bar ours of course!)

9: Since the advent of the league in 1987 we have won the following:
6 League titles
2 Heineken Cups
1 Challenge cup
2 Middlesex 7’s
3 Anglo-Welsh
2 A-League titles

 

(Hopefully these days are returning)

10: All of us Waspies, players, staff and fans alike have a saying “Once a Wasp, Always a Wasp”. For the life of me I cannot work out where it originates from, and if anyone knows please let me know. But for old fans, current fans, and hopefully our new ones that we will gain, the saying is as relevant today as it has always been.

View a Printer Friendly version of this Story.

Bookmark or share this story with:

10 things you did not (or maybe you did) know about Wasps
DrunkenWasps.com (IP Logged)
29/01/2015 20:39
What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
If you do not already have an account Click here to Register.

 
Re: 10 things you did not (or maybe you did) know about Wasps
backdoc (IP Logged)
29/01/2015 20:46
"Wasps and Harlequins actually have the same origin"

Medical students from University College Hospital, my teaching hospital, and where I am an Honorary Senior Lecturer and a Consultant. One of the greatest Universities on the planet [top 10 in every assessment; top 4 in most recent].

[www.ucl.ac.uk]

Great Wasps teams have always played with their heads as well as their hearts.

 
Re: 10 things you did not (or maybe you did) know about Wasps
Heathen (IP Logged)
29/01/2015 20:54
UCH - top of the tree!

 
Re: 10 things you did not (or maybe you did) know about Wasps
HenleyWasp (IP Logged)
29/01/2015 21:01
Lol played for Wasps after the 2008 final - an A team game at Henley as a warm up for the Hero's match.

 
Re: 10 things you did not (or maybe you did) know about Wasps
Choppers (IP Logged)
29/01/2015 21:20
Could have mentioned, we were the last English holders of the European Cup or more accurately the last English holders of the Heineken Cup before its demise.

I'm sorry, if you were right, I'd agree with you.

 
Re: 10 things you did not (or maybe you did) know about Wasps
Rob Smith (IP Logged)
29/01/2015 22:25
Once a Wasps Only a Wasp - was a phrase first used in the Academy Programme notes in/around (I think) 2002/3 April/May edition, to say farewell to many players when the Wasps U19 and U21 sections were ended and went from 65 listed player to just 6 Academy listed lads. It was then picked up by the marketing people I assume via Warren Gatland and introduced to the Senior squad promotion.

Prior to that it was a phrase often used by various people around the club from the late 90's to ( a bit tongue in cheek) to describe their dedication to to the club - no names no pack drill.

[robsbl0g.blogspot.co.uk]
@robsmithrugby

 
Re: 10 things you did not (or maybe you did) know about Wasps
greenwood (IP Logged)
30/01/2015 09:50
What are the 3 Anglo-Welsh ??

Heineken Cup
Winners 2006/07
Winners 2003/04

Guinness Premiership/Zurich/ Courage League
Champions 2007/08
Champions 2004/05
Champions 2003/04
Champions 2002/03
Champions 1996/97
Champions 1989/90

Parker Pen Shield
Winners 2002/03

Anglo Welsh Powergen Cup
Winners 2005/06

Tetley's Bitter Cup
Winners 1999/2000
Winners 1998/99

 
Re: 10 things you did not (or maybe you did) know about Wasps
HenleyWasp (IP Logged)
30/01/2015 11:05
How about number 11; the song. Should be sung now more often as we win more, but rarely heard by the spectators.

 
Re: 10 things you did not (or maybe you did) know about Wasps
manxwasp (IP Logged)
30/01/2015 14:19
I wish we wouldn't repeat this rubbish about having the same origins as Quins. According to one of the club's founders we were never part of the same club and weren't founded as part of some division or split. The old 1967 centenary brochure is perhaps the definitive word on this. The following is an extract (I have highlighted the relevant passage; the rest is just for interest):

The origin of Wasps F.C . is fascinating, and we must go to Hampstead to discover how it came about, a pleasant part of Northwest London which was also the birthplace of our good friends Harlequins (founded in 1866 as Hampstead F.C.) and Rosslyn Park (1879) . There can be no doubt that we were founded in 1867, even though no original records exist. The earliest team photo is of Angle's unbeaten side of 1875-6 and our earliest printed document is the 1883-4 fixture list. Both the Alfords and the Pains kept detailed records and minute books, but it is painful to record that a fussy housekeeper employed by the Alford family burned both sets of records as 'rubbish' while spring-cleaning.

At a later stage the minute books for the period 1879-95 also disappeared mysteriously and have never been traced . We owe a tremendous debt as a club to Edgar W. Nuttall , an émigré from Wigan in Lancashire, who came to London to act as Chief Bullion Clerk to Lloyd's Bank. How much time was left to guard the treasures of Lloyd 's is not clear, since apart from his immense efforts over a number of years to restore our lost records he was also Captain of the Club for 4 seasons ( 1893-7) and Hon. Treasurer for 27 years (1897-1923) . Known in the club as 'Nuttie', and far and wide outside as 'Wigan', he must have been an immensely capable and popular man, apart from his intense capacity for work.

His endless stories and anecdotes of Lancashire life made him constantly in demand at dinners and convivial evenings. One of his most famous stories about a Lancashire lady with a tin chest in difficulties at Crewe station while en route to Blackpool is still repeated by an older generation of Rugby players, although there now appear to be eleven different versions of Nuttie's original script.

The Sporting Life described him as 'a faded Viking, a giant of a man in stature and character'; the Morning Post as 'that great craggy pillar of the Wasps Football Club, to whom they owe so much' . Nuttall actually reconstructed our records painstakingly from 1867-97 by means of personal research in the newspaper files of the British Museum. He also visited the offices of all leading London and provincial newspapers and journals to check their records, and was given access to the files of many other clubs. He interviewed old playing members and opponents and anyone who could throw the slightest light on the early days of Wasps F.C.

...

Let us look for a moment at the Hampstead Football Club which first played in 1866 on the ground used by Hampstead Cricket Club. Their colours, significantly enough, were black and gold.

Unfortunately Nuttall was never able to find the precise date of the original meeting at which Wasps Football Club was formed: ‘After preliminary meetings had been held late in 1867 at Dr. Alford's home in Haverstock Hill, and in Mr. James Pain's house in Upper Park Road', states Nuttall , 'the first formal meeting was held in the Eton and Middlesex Tavern in Adelaide Road.' (Presumably still in 1867.) 'Mr. James Pain was elected President at this meeting, Mr. William Alford Hon. Secretary, and Fred S. Alford Captain, and the club successfully got going.

A fairly large contingent from the Hampstead Football Club were present, and joined. Nuttall gives the names of eight Hampstead F.C. members who joined us; four others appear to have been present. It is possible that these Hampstead players attended in their black and gold woollen jerseys, a custom of the time, and that this influenced the choice of our name, Wasps.

Incidentally, though F.S. Alford was elected as Captain he rarely acted as such in the field, at least in the early games! But Nuttall dealt brusquely with the story, repeated at public dinners as late as 1905, that Wasps Football Club were a split from the Hampstead football Club, formed in 1866. He repeated the story to Freddie Alford, who strenuously denied it. He said we never were any other Club, or part of a Club, than the Wasps,' wrote Nutall, and we accept that statement today.

The three Alfords were all former pupils of Merchant Taylors' School, then in London, and students at University College Hospital, where they qualified as doctors. Certainly the Hospital were opponents of the Club at Rugby football once in 1868, and twice in 1869. James Pain remained President until 1875, when he resigned. (He lived to the great age of 95, and died in 1915.)

'The first game', wrote Nuttall, was played at the foot of Primrose Hill, but against whom there is no record; but l had it from Fred Alford that we played against Association Clubs, when Rugby opponents were not to be had . Later on we played on Hampstead Heath, and changed at and used both the Freemason's Arms and the Magdala, the former being especially used by the Titchener Club.' (Titchener was a founder of the Hampstead Football Club.) 'After that we had a ground of our own in Finchley Road, with a large notice board facing the road, painted in black and yellow, the Club colours till 1873, when the present black jersey and yellow wasp came into use. It is probable that this first Wasps fixture was arranged by Dr. Alford and took place against University College Hospital in the spring of 1867. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the wise and kindly guidance of Dr. Alford in these early days. He placed his home, experience and influence freely at our disposal.

I t does seem odd now that we played in black and yellow hoops from 1867-73 in Hampstead , when the Hampstead football Club, founded a year earlier, were also playing there in black and gold. At the beginning of the 1869-70 season, as recorded by Colonel H. B. T. Wakelem, Hampstead decided to change their name and colours; it was unanimously agreed not to change the 'H .F.C.' monogram and a dictionary was solemnly produced and the H's read out. When the reader arrived at ' Harlequin' he was immediately stopped, and this new name was adopted. Instead of the old Hampstead black and gold', writes Wakelem in Harlequin Story (the official history of the Quins published by Phoenix House in 1954) ‘new colours were chosen, the same which we wear today. This change of name attracted several new members and the club took on a new lease of life'.

 
Re: 10 things you did not (or maybe you did) know about Wasps
Vespulavulgaris (IP Logged)
30/01/2015 17:25
Thank you Chris for writing this article. I for one appreciate the effort that went into not only writing it, but sourcing appropriate pictures to go with it.

It's easy to sit on the sidelines and say how much better you'd have done, but the fact is this board only exists because people like you actually do it.

Well done mate, and thanks.

 
Re: 10 things you did not (or maybe you did) know about Wasps
arquero (IP Logged)
31/01/2015 00:55
Quote:
Vespulavulgaris
Thank you Chris for writing this article. I for one appreciate the effort that went into not only writing it, but sourcing appropriate pictures to go with it.
It's easy to sit on the sidelines and say how much better you'd have done, but the fact is this board only exists because people like you actually do it.

Well done mate, and thanks.


(Sm128)

 
Re: 10 things you did not (or maybe you did) know about Wasps
manxwasp (IP Logged)
31/01/2015 08:45
Sorry - i wasn't trying to just snipe. I liked the article. I just thought it might be interesting to note that one of the oft-claimed "facts" about the founding of the club isn't actually true. I've always thought of it as a foul piece of Quins propoganda. We were never any club but Wasps. I think that's something to be proud of smiling smiley

 
Re: 10 things you did not (or maybe you did) know about Wasps
Gaz (IP Logged)
31/01/2015 09:17
Manx - your post would have made an interesting article in its own right. It's not too late to turn it into an article and submit it!

Keep this site alive!

 
Re: 10 things you did not (or maybe you did) know about Wasps
Chilham (IP Logged)
31/01/2015 09:49
So twelve members of Hampstead FC were at the inaugural meeting, eight of whom joined the club. That seems to support everything that I ever knew about the "common heritage" with our friends from Twickenham.

I guess phrases like, "From the dividing of the original Hampstead Football Club", are misleading but not entirely without merit.

I do wish that someone would commission an official history of the club. One of the best historic texts, the 1895 "Football; The Rugby Union Game" by the Rev. Frank Marshall makes no mention of Wasps despite having an entire chapter on, "Metropolitan Rugby". Interesting though that one of Harlequins best players went by the name of Cipriani.

Eastcote and I spent a most fascinating time exploring the old team photographs at Twyford Avenue when we visited in December. Such a rich source of information.

 
Re: 10 things you did not (or maybe you did) know about Wasps
manxwasp (IP Logged)
31/01/2015 09:56
I can't claim any of the credit. Just a cut-and-paste job from the old Centenary Brochure. A very long and interesting article about the founding and early years of the club written, I believe, by Jack Cox. The whole thing is well worth a look for those who are interested.

Centenary Brochure

 
Re: 10 things you did not (or maybe you did) know about Wasps
manxwasp (IP Logged)
31/01/2015 10:05
Quote:
Chilham
So twelve members of Hampstead FC were at the inaugural meeting, eight of whom joined the club. That seems to support everything that I ever knew about the "common heritage" with our friends from Twickenham.
I guess phrases like, "From the dividing of the original Hampstead Football Club", are misleading but not entirely without merit.

I've always just liked to think that the fact that eight members of (what became) Quins joined us as soon as we were founded is merely proof that even the greatest of sinners can be saved smiling smiley

 
Re: 10 things you did not (or maybe you did) know about Wasps
Chilham (IP Logged)
31/01/2015 11:12
Quote:
manxwasp
I can't claim any of the credit. Just a cut-and-paste job from the old Centenary Brochure. A very long and interesting article about the founding and early years of the club written, I believe, by Jack Cox. The whole thing is well worth a look for those who are interested.
Centenary Brochure

I know someone who has a copy of that. One of his dearest friends bought it for him for his 50th. A-hem.

 
Re: 10 things you did not (or maybe you did) know about Wasps
manxwasp (IP Logged)
31/01/2015 11:55
Ah well, I have a copy too. Weirdly mine seems to have come via New Zealand! From the inscription in the front it was presented by a Wasps member at the time to someone at the New Zealand Wasps club. No idea how it made it's way back to blighty before I bought it.

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
We record all IP addresses on the Sportnetwork message boards which may be required by the authorities in case of defamatory or abusive comment. We seek to monitor the Message Boards at regular intervals. We do not associate Sportnetwork with any of the comments and do not take responsibility for any statements or opinions expressed on the Message Boards. If you have any cause for concern over any material posted here please let us know as soon as possible by e-mailing abuse@sportnetwork.net
 

Wasps Poll

Will Christian Wade be called up for the Lions again?

See results > Submit >>