About Irvine Rugby Club

Irvine Royal Academy was predominantly a football playing school until the late forties when a rugby playing gym teacher arrived at the school. Harry Murray, or Stasher as he was affectionately known, set about introducing rugby football to the uninitiated of Irvine. For twelve or so years those who wished to continue playing rugby, after school, travelled to Ardrossan to the club there. In the early sixties some senior pupils at the school suggested that it was time that Irvine should have a team of its own and a meeting was held. By late 1962 Irvine Royal Academicals had been constituted with Bill Inglis, history teacher at the school, as its first president, a young Alastair McHarg as fixture secretary, Gus McIntyre as Secretary and Alister Rennie as treasurer.

Irvine’s first match took place, at Quarry Road, on a cold December day when an Irvine XV played host to Irvine Royal Academy 1XV and from that day, Irvine Royal Academicals Rugby Football Club became a way of life and an integral part of Ayrshire and Scottish Rugby.

From that December to March of 1963 the committee chose team colours, maroon jersey as Gala were the only team who were known to play in that colour and blue stocking to connect with the school colours. Interest in the town was so strong that fixtures were organised for two teams.

1963 / 1964 was the first competitive season for the Irvine squad and one unlikely ever to be repeated again. The first time the try line was crossed was halfway through that season. The team had gone four months without conceding a try, an unbelievable task nowadays! Irvine were only defeated once in their inaugural season and Club Captain John McHarg, who coached at the club in later years, set the standard for his future successors.

In 1969, the club were conscious of the population explosion in the area and with a number of new schools opening with the development of Irvine New Town, the team colours remained the same but the team would now be known as Irvine Rugby Football Club.