Edward Warrington, sporting scrum-cap with 1933/34 team

In February, in Years Past

The first records of ‘rugby football’ in Macclesfield, indicate the first game as being 1st January 1874, under the auspices of the 8th Cheshire Rifle Volunteers, billeted at the Drill Hall, Bridge Street. By February of that year football games started to feature in the weekly orders for the unit. In February 1874 the Macclesfield Courier carried notice that the Weekly Orders for week ending Saturday 7th February 1874 included a “football match’ against Langley at Boughry Lane (Boughry Lane was to be renamed Victoria Road so the first ‘home’ of Macclesfield rugby was actually where the Cricket Club is on Victoria Road). The Orders noted that the game would be 15-a-side and played under Rugby Union Rules. This was because at that time ‘football’ was the game and it was played under the governance of different organisations that had their own rules and laws eg: The Football Association and The Rugby Football Union. 

Sadly February 1945 saw the death of one of the club’s ‘Remembered’, Edward Warrington. Edward was born in 1915 and lived on Bond Street and later Blakelow Road, attending Kings School. He joined the R.A.F. in 1941, and trained for two years in Rhodesia, before being posted to India. He lost his life on 17th February 1945, as a result of air operations in India. Flying Officer, Edward Gordon Warrington has no known resting place and he is commemorated on the Singapore Memorial, Kranji, Singapore. C.W.G.C. Ref: – Column 448.

As a young man (a Colt in today’s terms) Edward played regularly for the Club in season 1933/4 (see following photo). This was a remarkably young team, average age 21 years, and demonstrated their emerging strong link between Kings School and the Rugby Club as it featured a number of School staff as well as schoolboys such as Edward Warrington.

Edward Warrington, sporting scrum-cap with 1933/34 team
Edward Warrington, sporting scrum-cap with 1933/34 team

On Sunday 25thFebruary 1962 the schoolboy link was in evidence again as a Macclesfield Invitation side took on the Saxons, a team of well known players from senior clubs in the North West. The game was played in snowy conditions and featured a strong forward performance from the Macclesfield pack that was a stone a man lighter than their opposite numbers and a young Alan McInnes who provided a constant threat. The Saxons won 11-3 but the Macclesfield team included a number of schoolboys some of whom would feature for the club in later years. They included; Roger Little (who was a North of England U19 trialist), Hugh Croxall, and Mike Welch. Mike’s brother had served the Club in the pre-war years and returned to re-establish the Club after the Second World War. Mike in turn picked up his brother’s administration and served the Club for a long time as Administrator and Selector.

As February 1970 arrived Tysul Bevan was well on his way to setting a Club record for drop goals in a season. Following a mixed set of results in January the first team travelled to Old Whitchurchians. During the game Alan Evans, playing in the game found himself in conversation with a spectator during a bit of ‘arm-wrestling’ amongst the forwards. Alan turned to the spectator and said “watch this, he’ll drop a goal”…the kick duly went over. Much to the wonderment of the spectator; that conversation was repeated twice more, as Bevan achieved a record, of three drop goals scored in one Macclesfield game. But that month saw an extra twist in the ‘fly half’ battle with Extra A (thirds) fly half Keith Oliver (grandfather of today’s starlet first teamers) scored 22 points against Old Whitchurchians on his way to scoring a record 100 points in the season for the Extra As. Over the season Bevan bettered this score total – in drop goals alone!

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