12 May 2021
From The Vaults
On 26th January 1871 the representatives of twenty-one football clubs met at the Pall Mall restaurant in central London to form the Rugby Football Union. 150 years later this special exhibition will chronicle the colourful history of one of the world's oldest sporting institutions.
The exhibition will describe how a small group of men created the union and helped arrange the world's first international football contest. It will describe how Twickenham Stadium saved English Rugby and the Red Roses blazed a trail for the women's game. Finally, it will describe how the RFU adapted to the professional age and Twickenham Stadium became a 24hour 24/7 destination.
Star items include a 1:1000th scale model of Twickenham Stadium, a Letter from the King and articles from the very first 1871 meeting.
Says Museum Curator Phil McGowan "this exhibition describes how the Rugby Football Union has steered a course through War, class-conflict, commercial pressure and the new challenges of the professional age and how, for a century and a half, it has responded and evolved through all of these challenges and more."
The official launch in 2021 will be precisely 150 years to the day since the RFU's foundation date, 26th January 1871. A social media campaign presented by England Rugby will share content digitally until the museum is able to reopen to the public.
Tickets are included in the standard price for Museum Entry or can be combined with a joint ticket for Twickenham Stadium Tours.