Tom Pearson (rugby union)

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Thomas William Rory Pearson (10 May 1872 – 12 September 1957) was a Welsh international wing who played club rugby for Cardiff and Newport and county rugby with Middlesex. He won 13 caps for Wales and captained the team on one occasion, against England.[3] Pearson was an all-round sportsman, representing Wales not only in rugby, but also in squash, tennis, hockey and golf. In 1902 Pearson was given the captaincy of the Welsh hockey squad, while playing for Newport Hockey Club.[4]

Tom Pearson
Tom Pearson.jpg
Pearson wearing his Newport club jersey
Birth nameThomas William Rory Pearson[1]
Date of birth(1872-05-10)10 May 1872
Place of birthBombay, India[2]
Date of death12 September 1957(1957-09-12) (aged 85)
Place of deathNewport, Monmouthshire
Height6 ft (183 cm)
Weight12 st 6 lb (174 lb; 79 kg)
SchoolMill Hill School, London
Rugby union career
Position(s) Wing
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Cardiff RFC
Newport RFC
Blackheath F.C.
Barbarian F.C.
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1891-1903 Wales 13 (10)

During World War I he was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Field Artillery.

Rugby careerEdit

Pearson was born in Bombay, but moved to England at the age of five. By 1889 he had moved to Wales and was living in the capital, joining Cardiff Rugby Club.

Pearson gained his first cap for Wales while playing with Cardiff in 1891. His debut was against England on 3 January at Rodney Parade and Wales lost 7-3, though Pearson scored a try for Wales. This try made Pearson the youngest player to score a try for Wales at 18 years and 238 days until overtaken by Tom Prydie in 2010. Pearson's try also made him the youngest player to score a try on his Wales debut until George North surpassed the record in 2010.[5] Pearson was dropped after the 1892 Championship and didn't regain his Wales place until the end of 1894 tournament, an unusual situation as during 1892/93 season, he scored a record 40 tries for Cardiff, a club record.[6] Pearson played fairly frequently for Wales through to 1898, but in 1903, with his international career supposedly far behind him, he was recalled to captain Wales against England. Pearson had already scored a try when he was forced to leave the field after a particularly heavy tackle from Harry Gamlin. His replacement, Jehoida Hodges scored a hat-trick of tries. Pearson played a total of 13 matches for his country.

International matches playedEdit


  •   England 1891, 1892, 1895, 1897, 1898, 1903
  •   Ireland 1891, 1894, 1895, 1898
  •   Scotland 1892, 1894, 1895


  • Alcock, C.W.; Hill, Rowland (1997). Famous Rugby Footballers 1895. Horefield: Yore Publications. ISBN 1-874427-42-9.
  • Parry-Jones, David (1999). Prince Gwyn, Gwyn Nicholls and the First Golden Era of Welsh Rugby. Bridgend: seren. ISBN 1-85411-262-7.
  • Smith, David; Williams, Gareth (1980). Fields of Praise: The Official History of The Welsh Rugby Union. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. ISBN 0-7083-0766-3.
Rugby Union Captain
Preceded by
David William Evans
Cardiff RFC Captain
Succeeded by
Norman Biggs


  1. ^ Newport RFC player profile Archived 2011-06-17 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ WRU player profiles[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Wales' rugby captains". The BBC. 23 November 2007. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  4. ^ History 1895 to 1974 Archived 2008-12-26 at the Wayback Machine Newport Hockey Club
  5. ^ Richards, Huw (19 November 2010). "A record-breaking debut". ESPN Scrum. Retrieved 21 November 2010.
  6. ^ Godwin (1984), pg 32.
  7. ^ Smith (1980), pg 470.