Dowlais Rugby Football Club
“Bachgen Bach o Ddowlais, eriod, eriod”
Dowlais Rugby Football Club was formed for season 1975/76 by Sid Hill, an army cadet force Captain, who had a real passion for rugby.
Sadly “Captain Sid”, as he was known by everyone, died in April of 1999 at the age of 73 years. Captain Sid was renowned throughout the borough for setting up youth rugby at Cefn Coed, Merthyr, and his beloved Dowlais.
Dowlais Rugby Club is situated at the northern end of Merthyr Tydfil just off the Heads of the Valley road.
We currently run two senior sides and a youth side.
The first fifteen play in WRU National League Division One East Central, with the development squad playing in Division One of the Rhondda and East Glamorgan league. The youth team also play in the youth league. We enjoy a very large Mini & Junior section consisting of five teams.
After a quarter of a century in the Rhondda and East Glamorgan District Union Dowlais started their 26th year as a W.R.U team playing in Division Seven East. This is an amazing story for a team which grew out of a casual side based at a local public house.
In 1983 the team moved to their present location with the opening of a new clubhouse in Blaen Dowlais. This, however, is not the first
time that a rugby side has played under the name “Dowlais”. Back in 1895 there was a rugby side linked with the Dowlais ironworks.
More than any other club in the Merthyr Valleys Dowlais epitomises family values. It is not unusual for three or four sets of brothers to take to the pitch at one time. Dowlais RFC has become a very successful club in a short period of time, reaching the last eight of the WDRU cup, and have twice won the Coleman Cup and the REGRU district “7” title.
Dowlais won the Rhondda and East Glamorgan Keith Jones Cup for the first time in just their eighth season in 1983. That win over local rivals Cefn Coed came at Merthyr’s home ground, the Wern. The success was repeated again in 1989 when they pipped Wattstown to the title. Other honours include winning the first and second division titles in the Rhondda and East Glamorgan league, and having a very successful record in the Merthyr Valleys Cup, where they have won the competition four times and played in the final on eleven occasions.
Despite being the smallest club in the borough, Dowlais RFC has carved out a formidable reputation as cup winners and league champions. Many of the Dowlais players have gone on to high honours and many bigger clubs have benefited from the success of Dowlais RFC including Merthyr, Tredegar, Newbridge, Ebbw Vale, and Glamorgan Wanderers.
The Welsh District side has also benefited from Dowlais with Huw Griffiths captaining the Welsh Districts and Anthony Griffiths representing the same side. In the season of 2001 Dowlais fielded nine players in the Rhondda and East Glamorgan district side who beat Swansea in the inter-district cup.
Dowlais RFC has a very successful record which has been achieved in a short space of time, and seen many big games played at “Fortress Klondyke” including, Newbridge RFC, Llanelli RFC development squad, and several touring sides from all around the world.