In 1346, the Lord of Glamorgan formed a legion of Welsh warriors to assist Edward III in the French War. It was in Llantrisant that an army of archers was raised from among the local inhabitants.
These archers went to France to fight for the King’s son, Edward, Prince of Wales – The Black Prince. Whilst fighting for the Black Prince at the Battle of Crecy, the Llantrisant archers displayed great valour and skill as longbowmen. The outcome of the battle was the capture of King John of Bohemia along with his crest and motto. The crest was three ostrich feathers and the motto, “Ich Dien” (I Serve), a familiar crest which has since been adopted by later Princes of Wales. Those who went to battle became known as “The Black Army of Llantrisant” and even today their linear descendants, wherever they may be, can apply to be enrolled as Freemen of Llantrisant.
Llantrisant RFC has become known as “The Black Army” in local rugby circles, and since gaining full membership to the WRU in 1982, the circles have been getting increasingly larger.
The club has long adopted the image of an ancient warrior to emphasise the unique spirit and history within the club. This image has also taken pride of place on various body parts of both players and supporters as they continue to show their allegiance to “The Black Army”.
With a large number of rugby clubs within a ten mile radius of Llantrisant including two premiership teams, The Black Army depends on home grown talent. Through the years the club has continued to develop and maintain this talent through it’s Senior, Youth and Mini-rugby sides. The loyalty shown on the field is well supported off the field by the officers, committee and supporters, many of whom have donned boots and done battle for the cause. It’s loyalty on and off the field that epitomises “The Spirit of The Black Army”.