Welcome to the Club's Information pages
Wanstead Rugby Club was founded in 1892 as Leytonstone RFC making it the second oldest rugby club in Essex next to Southend. The club took the Heron as it symbol, those being the most historically associated to Wanstead after being brought to the area by Sir John Heron in the 16th Century to mark his name and thus figuring in the borough's arms. Soon after being established the club adopted the team colours of blue and white which are still in use today.
In the early 1900's Wanstead won the Eastern Counties Cup 3 years running, and right up to the 2nd world war had regular fixtures with the likes of Wasps and Saracens. In 1933 we had RF Davey playing for England twice only for him then to be told to move to a more fashionable club (!). He refused which gives a clue to the Wanstead culture even then.
During the 2nd world war we were the only rugby club in East London to carry on playing, acting as a magnet to all returning servicemen in the area. At that time we were playing at Nutter Lane where we stayed until 1963 and where numerous representative matches were played.
Many Wanstead players represented Eastern Counties, including Geoff Elliott the British pole vault champion who was also twice Commonwealth Games champion who would probably have also played rugby for England except for his athletics. Wanstead High School were the main provider of talent at that time and that included several players who played for England Schools.
Since then we have recruited from all over the East End of London which gives the Club a quite unique, distinctive blend most noticeable in the high number of members who are self employed, and the loyalty everyone shows to the Club. Once you've joined you don't go anywhere else.
In 1963 Wanstead moved to Lechmere Avenue in Woodford and this proved to be the start of a nomadic existence which lasted until 1973 when we moved to Roding Lane. It also proved to be the start of our financial insecurity and a very unsettling time, culminating in the old clubhouse burning down in October 1987.
Only now are we getting somewhere close again to stability. What was also true, however, was the way Wanstead responded to all these challenges, very much based on the self help principle as shown with the rapid building of our new clubhouse.