Ruabon Druids F.C. (Welsh – CP Derwyddon) were a football club based in the village of Ruabon near Wrexham, Wales. The club was founded in October 1872 as 'Ruabon Rovers F.C.' by David Thomson and his brother, George, of Ruabon. In 1874 Ruabon Rovers F.C. became Plasmadoc F.C. before changing their name to Druids F.C. in 1876.

Druids
Full nameRuabon Druids Football Club
Nickname(s)The Ancients, Druids,
FoundedOctober 1872 (as Ruabon Rovers FC)[1][2][3]
DissolvedAugust 1927 (merged with Acrefair United F.C. to form Druids United)
GroundWynnstay Park
Ruabon
Wrexham

Druids are notable as becoming the first Welsh club to enter the English FA Cup and Birmingham & District League and winning the Welsh Cup eight times.

Their traditional home was Wynnstay Park on the Wynnstay Estate, and their traditional colours were white shirts, black shorts with either black and cerise or simply black socks.[4][5]

HistoryEdit

It is claimed by the later successor club that Druids FC formed in 1872 when Plasmadoc FC merged with Ruabon Rovers and Ruabon Volunteers under the guidance of Llewelyn Kenrick.[6][7] Contemporary sources refute this version of events.

It was reported that on 6 October 1872, the opening game of a Football Club for the district was played at Plasmadoc Park. Mr George Hampden Whalley was selected as the captain of the club.[8] On 23 October 1872 a meeting was held by Ruabon Rovers at the Wynnstay Arms where the Club committee was selected. It included people like David Thomson and Dr Daniel Grey. George Hampden Whalley was elected as President.[9] Whalley would later also hold this position when the club became Druids and at rival club Ruabon FC.[10][11]

In February 1873 Ruabon Rovers played a fixture against Ruabon Volunteers, which shows these clubs were both still Active after the merger date proposed by the modern day club.[12] Ruabon Volunteers were also known as the 2nd Denbighshire Volunteers so were actually a Military team.[13]

In September 1873 the club was still known as Ruabon Rovers as evidenced in the annual meeting of the club, where a number of influential people, later associated with Druids were present and held key roles, such as David and George Thomson.[2][3] The issue of the club's foundation is further muddied when Llewelyn Kenrick was present at the founding of a football club in Ruabon in September 1873.[14]

The name of the club appears interchangeable between Ruabon Rovers and Plasmadoc in 1873, and the club was often referred to as the Plasmadoc Club from 1874 up until 1876.[15] When speaking in 1882, Llewelyn Kenrick stated that the club had been started by David Thomson in 1874 as the Plasmadoc Club.[16]

The name Druids does not appear in the local press until January 1876.[17] By 1877 the club were commonly referred to as Druids Football Club.

In March 1876, the Football Association of Wales was founded by Kenrick at the Wynnstay Arms Hotel, Ruabon and was followed on 25 March with Wales' first international match against Scotland. The match which was organised by Kenrick, himself, saw him gain his first cap playing in a full back position.[18]

1876 also saw Druids become the first Welsh club to enter the newly organised English F.A. Cup.[19] Drawn against Shropshire Wanderers in the First round, Druids withdrew before the match was played. In the next year, Druids once again entered the F.A. Cup, again drawn against Shropshire Wanderers in the First round, they progressed to the Third round where they were thumped 8–0 by eventual Runners-up Royal Engineers.

1877 saw the inaugural season of the Football Association of Wales Challenge Cup competition, to run on similar lines to the English FA Cup. Druids entered the competition, playing Newtown in the first ever match in the competition, and eventually reaching the Final, played at Acton Park, Wrexham, where they lost to Wrexham 1–0.

The club were allowed to play at Plasmadoc Park by George Hammond Whalley MP. However following his death in 1878 Druids lost the use of the Plasmadoc Ground.[20] Because of this, Druids were forced to withdraw form the 1878–79 edition of the Welsh Cup. This resulted in the Club folding and many players, including Kenrick, leaving the club.[5] The club briefly folded and did not play any further games until November 1879.[21][22]

Salvation was found in the form of the Williams-Wynn family as they allowed the club to use an area of the Wynnstay Estate, which became Wynnstay Park and home to the Druids for the next forty years.[23]

With their new home Druids once again entered the Welsh Cup and the 1879–80 edition saw the start of an era of success for the Ruabon Club. Druids reached the Welsh Cup final seven consecutive times between 1879 and 1886 winning the trophy five times. Druids also had some success in the FA Cup reaching the Fifth Round (last eight) in 1882–83 and the Fourth Round in 1884–85

After seven years of success in Welsh football Druids would begin to suffer with the advent of professionalism. Druids failed to reach further than the Second Round in the Welsh Cup until the 1892–93 season. The earlier success in the FA Cup was also not to be matched as after 1887–88 they did not progress to the First Round proper again.

In September 1888 at a meeting at the Wynnstay Arms, the Club was reformed when they merged with neighbours Ruabon Wanderers. It was decided to retain the name Druids as it was a well known title. A follow up meeting was held at the Bricklayers Arms, Ruabon where the committee was selected. Llewelyn Kenrick was present at this meeting.[24][25]

In 1897–98 season Druids joined The Combination and remained there until 1899–1900 season, finishing Fourth in 1898–99 and Third in 1899–1900. The 1897–98 season also saw Druids win the Welsh Cup for the Sixth time. More Welsh Cup success followed the following year, followed by two Runners-up spots in 1899–1900 and 1900–01. More silver ware would follow in the form of the Welsh Amateur Cup in 1902–03 and the Welsh Cup again for the Eighth and final time in 1903–04.

By now the Wynnstay Park Ground was fast becoming unsuitable and as the Estate would not allow improvement on the site, Druids began to suffer financially.[23] With the outbreak of World War I in 1914 football in the country ceased until 1920, which in lue prevented Druids from becoming nothing more than a foot-note in the History of Welsh football.[23] After the War Druids left Wynnstay Park and combined with Rhosymedre F.C. to form Rhosymedre Druids F.C. who played on the Church Field in Rhosymedre.[26][a]

Despite this new pairing, Druids still faced financial trouble and amalgamated once more in August 1927 with Acrefair United F.C. to form a new club Druids United.[27]

Druids United F.C. continued to ply their trade in the area and they too amalgamated, with Cefn Albion F.C. in 1992 to form Cefn Druids F.C., who still carry on the name and success of the old club as Cefn Druids in the Welsh Premier League.

League historyEdit

For a full history see; List of football seasons involving Cefn Druids and its predecessor clubs

Season Club League Cup[28]
Division P W D L GF GA Pts Pos Welsh Cup[29] FA Cup[28] Welsh Amateur Cup Other
1876-77 Druids Withdrew
1877-78 Druids RU 3R
1878-79 Druids Withdrew
1879-80 Druids W
1880-81 Druids W
1881-82 Druids W
1882-83 Druids RU QF
1883-84 Druids RU
1884-85 Druids W 4R
1885-86 Druids W
1886-87 Druids 2R
1887-88 Druids 2R
1888-89 Druids 1R
1889-90 Druids 2R
1890–91[30] Druids Welsh Senior League 10 7 1 2 45 14 13* 1 1R
1892–93[31] Druids Welsh Senior League 14 9 3 2 46 21 21 1 SF
1893–94[32] Druids Welsh Senior League 14 10 2 2 59 19 22 2 SF 1R
1894–95[33] Druids Welsh Senior League 15 7 4 4 50 32 18 3 2R
1895–96[34] Druids Welsh Senior League 12 4 5 3 26 22 13 3 1R 1R
1896–97[35] Druids Welsh Senior League 14 10 3 1 49 19 23 1 4QR 2R
1897–98[36] Druids The Combination 24 9 3 12 43 46 21 10 W 2R
1898–99[36] Druids The Combination 28 16 1 11 64 31 33 4 W 3R
1899–1900[36] Druids The Combination 16 9 3 4 38 28 21 3 RU 3R
1900–01[37] Druids Birmingham & District League 34 11 9 14 61 62 31 12 RU 1R
1901–02[37] Druids Birmingham & District League 34 12 4 18 54 82 28 13 4R
1902–03[37] Druids Birmingham & District League 34 13 5 16 48 58 31 11 SF W
1903–04[37] Druids Birmingham & District League 34 10 4 20 63 78 24 16 W RU
1904–05[36] Druids The Combination 26 7 5 14 29 54 19 13 4R
1905–06[36] Druids The Combination 28 14 5 9 52 46 33 4 2R
1906–07[36] Druids The Combination 26 6 6 14 29 70 18 13
1907–08[36] Druids The Combination 26 9 5 12 53 58 23 8 PR
1908–09[36] Druids The Combination 30 10 4 16 51 74 24 14 2R
1909–10[36] Druids The Combination 30 7 3 20 44 83 17 14 2PR
1910–11[38] Druids Liverpool County Combination Division 1 24 6 5 13 30 48 17 11 PR
1911–12 Druids Wrexham & District League Division 1 14 4 2 8 18 27 10 7
1912–13[39] Ruabon Druids North Wales Alliance League 26 7 2 17 39 80 16 12
1913-14 No record of club playing in any League 2PR
1914-15 No record of club entering any competitions
1915-1919 No Football played due to World War I
1919-20[40] Rhosymedre North Wales Alliance League Division 1 26 16 2 8 66 35 34 4
1920-21[41] Rhosymedre North Wales Alliance League Division 1 29 19 3 4 76 20 41 1
1921-22 Rhosymedre Druids 3PR
1922-23 Rhosymedre Druids
1923-24 Merged with Acrefair United to form Druids United

International playersEdit

Several Druids players have represented Wales in international matches, who are listed below, with the number of caps won whilst with Druids and the total caps in parentheses:

For further details of their international careers, see List of Wales international footballers

HonoursEdit

LeagueEdit

CupEdit

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. a Church Field, Rhosymedre was home at one point to the original Druids F.C. as well as the preceding club Druids United and Cefn Albion. Cefn Druids, who were formed by the amalgamation Druids United and Cefn Albion, play in a newly built stadium in Rhosymedre called The Rock/Rhosymedre Stadium. This new stadium is mere metres away from Church Field.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "CEFN.|1872-10-11|The Cambrian News and Merionethshire Standard - Welsh Newspapers".
  2. ^ a b "CEFN AND RHOSYMEDRE.|1873-09-12|The Cambrian News and Merionethshire Standard - Welsh Newspapers".
  3. ^ a b "BANGOR LICENSING SESSIon's. !|1873-09-13|Wrexham and Denbighshire Advertiser and Cheshire Shropshire and North Wales Register - Welsh Newspapers".
  4. ^ Druids kit on historicalkits.co.uk Archived 2011-09-12 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 27 August 2009.
  5. ^ a b The History of the Welsh Cup 1877–1993 by Ian Garland (1991) ISBN 1-872424-37-6
  6. ^ "Cefn Druids AFC | Our History".
  7. ^ "NEWI Cefn Druids - a brief history". Official NEWI Cefn Druids. Retrieved 2020-02-20.
  8. ^ "CEFN.|1872-10-11|The Cambrian News and Merionethshire Standard - Welsh Newspapers". newspapers.library.wales. Retrieved 2020-02-18.
  9. ^ "Football Meeting - Ruabon Rovers". Wrexham Guardian and Denbighshire and Flintshire Advertiser. 26 October 1872.
  10. ^ "DRUIDS' FOOTBALL CLUB ATHLETIC SPORTS.|1877-05-12|Wrexham Guardian - Welsh Newspapers". newspapers.library.wales. Retrieved 2020-02-18.
  11. ^ "Ruabon - Football". Wrexham Advertiser. 21 October 1876.
  12. ^ "CEFN.|1873-02-14|The Cambrian News and Merionethshire Standard - Welsh Newspapers".
  13. ^ "RHOSYMEDRE.I|1873-02-28|The Cambrian News and Merionethshire Standard - Welsh Newspapers".
  14. ^ "Wrexham Advertiser - Saturday 04 October 1873".
  15. ^ "... FOOTBALL.|1876-01-08|Wrexham Guardian - Welsh Newspapers".
  16. ^ "The Druids Dinner". Wrexham Advertiser. 5 August 1882.
  17. ^ "Local News.|1876-01-15|Wrexham and Denbighshire Advertiser and Cheshire Shropshire and North Wales Register - Welsh Newspapers".
  18. ^ "Kenrick family". Dictionary of Welsh Biography. National Library of Wales. Retrieved 27 August 2009.
  19. ^ The Guinness Record of the FA Cup by Mike Collett (1993) ISBN 0-85112-538-7
  20. ^ "THE WELSH CHALLENGE CUP.|1878-10-19|Wrexham Guardian - Welsh Newspapers". newspapers.library.wales. Retrieved 2020-02-18.
  21. ^ https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000496/18781026/034/0005. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  22. ^ https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000496/18781228/038/0008. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  23. ^ a b c History of Elements Cefn Druids AFC on welshpremier.com Archived 2011-07-18 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 27 August 2009.
  24. ^ "CEFN AND RHOSYMEDRE.|1888-09-14|Llangollen Advertiser Denbighshire Merionethshire and North Wales Journal - Welsh Newspapers".
  25. ^ "The Ruabon Parish Football Club". Wrexham Advertier. 15 September 1888.
  26. ^ "'Oldest club' Tesco deal approved". BBC News (Wales). 13 March 2009. Retrieved 17 October 2010.
  27. ^ https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0003153/19270805/077/0007. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  28. ^ a b "Football Club History Database - Druids". fchd.info. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  29. ^ "Year-by-year". www.welshsoccerarchive.co.uk. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  30. ^ "WELSH SENIOR LEAGUE TABLES 1890–91". Welsh Football Data Archive. Archived from the original on 2015-12-25.
  31. ^ "WELSH SENIOR LEAGUE TABLES 1892–93". Welsh Football Data Archive. Archived from the original on 2017-10-05.
  32. ^ "WELSH SENIOR LEAGUE TABLES 1893–94". Archived from the original on 2017-10-05.
  33. ^ "WELSH SENIOR LEAGUE TABLES 1894–95". Archived from the original on 2017-10-05.
  34. ^ "WELSH SENIOR LEAGUE TABLES 1895–96". Archived from the original on 2017-10-05.
  35. ^ "WELSH SENIOR LEAGUE TABLES 1896–97". Archived from the original on 2017-10-26.
  36. ^ a b c d e f g h i "England – The Combination". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 2017-10-26.
  37. ^ a b c d "Football Club History Database – Ruabon Druids". www.fchd.info. Retrieved 2017-10-26.
  38. ^ "Liverpool County Combination 1909–1950". nonleaguematters.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  39. ^ "NORTH WALES ALLIANCE LEAGUE TABLES 1912–13". Archived from the original on 2017-02-13.
  40. ^ "North Wales Alliance League 1919/20". Welsh Football. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  41. ^ "North Wales Alliance League 1920/21". Welsh Football. Retrieved 2019-05-09.

External linksEdit