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Frederic Alderson (1867- 1925)

ENGLAND CAPTAIN ON DEBUT

Frederic Hodgson Rudd Alderson (27 June 1867 – 18 February 1925)[1] was an English international rugby union threequarter who played club rugby for Cambridge University and Hartlepool Rovers. Alderson played international rugby for England and was an original member of invitational team, the Barbarians.

Personal life

Alderson was born in Hartford in 1867 and educated in Durham, graduating to Clare College, Cambridge in 1886.[2] He received his BA in 1889 and that year took up the post of Assistant Master of Henry Smith School in Hartlepool. He became headmaster of the school in 1892, a position he would hold until his death in 1925.

Rugby career

Alderson first came to note as a rugby player when he represented the Cambridge University team, winning a sporting Blue when he represented the team in the Varsity matches of 1887 and 1888. His Cambridge links served him well when William Percy Carpmael, a fellow Cambridge Blue, invited Alderson to join his newly formed invitational touring team, the Barbarians.[3] In 1890 he became one of the original members of the Barbarians, and was part of the team that in 1891/92 toured the South West of England and Wales.

When Alderson moved to Hartlepool he joined local team Hartlepool Rovers, and it was while representing Rovers, that he was selected for his first international game for England; an encounter with Wales in the opening match of the 1891 Home Nations Championship. Alderson was given the captaincy on his debut game, an honour he would hold for all but the last of the six matches of his international career. He served his team well, leading them to a solid 7–3 victory over the Welsh away at Rodney Parade, and picked up his first international points when he converted two of the three tries scored by England. For the remainder of the Championship Alderson led England to a victory over Ireland, but a home loss to Scotland, the eventual Triple Crown winners of 1891.

The 1892 Championship saw England win all three matches making Alderson a Triple Crown captain, as he led the team for the opening game against Wales and the Championship decider away to Scotland. Alderson missed the Irish leg, the captaincy switching to Sammy Woods, but scored a try and a conversion against Wales and a conversion in the Scotland game. This was the third Triple Crown for England, and the first time a team had finished the season without conceding a single point. Alderson played one more international game, the opener of the 1893 Home Nations Championship, a narrow loss at the Cardiff Arms Park to Wales.

After retiring from playing rugby, Alderson continued his involvement with the sport when he became a referee. In 1903 he officiated his only international match, the 1893 Home Nations clash between Scotland and Ireland.

Player stats

Frederic Alderson profile image

position THREE QUARTER (13)

height Not Known

weight Not Known

debut WALES V ENGLAND NEWPORT 3RD JAN 1881

appearances 6

Alderson was given the captaincy on his debut game, an honour he would hold for all but the last of the six matches of his international career, he was also a member of the very first Barbarian team.

Earning his England call-up in January of 1909 against France, ‘Ronnie’ went on to establish an international career that would see him earn a further sixteen caps before the outbreak of World War 1. This saw Poulton appointed captain in 1914, leading the team for all four matches of the ‘Five Nations Championship’ – a second, successive grand-slam (though the term had not yet been coined). Also this year, Poulton set a record for tries scored in an international match. It remained an unparalleled achievement for nearly a century until 2011 when Chris Ashton equalled his tally, putting four tries on the board in a fixture.

An image of Frederic Alderson
An image of Frederic Alderson

Ironically the War would provide him with his final game of rugby in the Spring of 1915 where he would captain a South Midland division (Forty-Eighth) vs. Fourth Division side. Sadly, shortly after, whilst supervising engineering works in a trench north of Ploegsteert Wood in Belgium, he was shot by a sniper. His last words were reputed to be “I shall never play at Twickenham again.”

Five other players from Poulton’s England team were also killed in the First World War: James, Watson, Dingle, Oakley, and Harrison.

He remains as one of the all-time greats, remembered for his quick-witted ‘rugby brain’, master of misdirection and embodying “the swerver par excellence”

The greatest player I ever came in contact with. It was as much a pleasure to play against him as with him for he was always the same fascinating figure.DICKIE LLOYD

An image of Frederic Alderson

The Alderson

A vintage reproduction of the classic 1891 international England rugby shirt

Each shirt is made from 100% cotton jersey fabric by local craftsmen, ensuring we control the quality at every stage of the manufacturing process for a truly authentic retro-styled garment.

Details of this classic England shirt include stunning embroidery of England’s rose emblem on the chest and also featuring a label documenting Alderson’s player statistics. Additionally, beneath the turned collar hides a nape embroidery detail commemorating the player’s debut.

The result is a unique retro jersey tailored for a contemporary audience.

100% British made in our manufacturing facility here in the Midlands, with yarn spun in the same building.

Limited Edition range with only 250 jerseys available!

We have reduced the price to support our Manufacturers during this difficult time.

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£135.00