The Arncliffe Scots Club has been playing Rugby League in the St. George District since 1926. This year (2020) will be Scots 9th anniversary.
Over this period Scots has become one of the most renowned and respected clubs in Rugby League, its famous jersey and colours are recognised Australia wide. It has established a name for Sportsmanship and Fair Play and is held in high esteem in all Rugby League circles. The impressive record of competition wins and the number of players the club has prepared for St. George and higher honours is second to none.
In 1913 members of the Arncliffe Presbyterian Church formed a cricket club. Being mostly of Scottish heritage they called the club Arncliffe Scots. In 1926 some of the young cricketers formed the Rugby League Club.
The first colours were Black and Gold. When the club reformed after the war, the red was added to the now famous strip and the Scottish thistle was kept as the Emblem.
The First Teams
In 1926 the club fielded one B grade and two C grade teams. In those early years there was competition for A, B and C grade only. In 1928 the club fielded A, B and C grade teams. There were no finals in those days; the winner was first past the post. Both C and A grade won in 1928; the C grade a fortnight before the A grade. The club continued to be strong, fielding teams in every grade until the outbreak of the Second World War. The club’s home ground was the famous Earl Park; this was also St. George’s home ground.
Rebirth – 1947
The club did not operate during the war years. In 1947 Percy Davis, Glyn Price and Tiger Black called a meeting to reform the club. From 1947 to 1960 the competition level ended at E grade (under 16). Scots always fielded sides in every grade and to this day hold the record for the most Senior Club Championships. During the period between 1953 and 1961 Scots won 6 out of 8 A grade premierships.
1960 – The Junior Grades Start
The introduction of grades below 16 started in 1960 and for the first few years was on age and weight restriction. Scots from the very beginning were fielding most sides. The first junior team to win a competition was the under 12 team captained by Mark Schulman, Coached by Percy Davis and Managed by Glenys Davis (Ellis). During the period between 1978 and 1989 the Club won the Junior Club Championship 12 times
We move to Cahill Park
In 1961 Cahill Park was acquired as the clubs “Home Ground”. In the first few years the field ran the opposite way, the playing field was surrounded by a white picket fence and the entire ground was enclosed by a wire fence. This allowed Scots to charge entry “but only to the opposition”. At the end of season 2013 the new lights and picket fence were installed this giving Scots the ability to play night football. Season 2020 will see Scots celebrate 59 years of playing on Cahill Park.
When the N.S.W. League introduced Second Division in 1963, it was to promote the outer and new districts. Scots was the only junior club from an existing district accepted. This was on the recommendation of the A.R.L. President Bill Buckley with the words “Gentlemen we need the best junior club in NSW in this competition and that club is Arncliffe Scots”.
A tradition of long service
Scots has always had both officials and players who have shown their loyalty and love of the club by giving many years of service. In 1970 the Percy Davis Award for 10 successive playing seasons was introduced and the first player to receive this award was Colin Bramley. Since then 121 players have celebrated 10 years of playing service. Seven players have earned life membership for 20 successive playing seasons, with Ian going on to play for 25 years. In 2004 a plaque called the Ian Maclean Jnr Honour Board was introduced to hold the names of the 15 year, 20 year and 25 year players. The names of Rhys Ellis and Huw Ellis have now been added to the 25 year list – Rhys now holding the record for 30 seasons. Officials in Alan Parry, Jack Hannon, Ron Jarrett, Glenn Ellis have all clocked up 20 years – Frank Lobina serving 25 straight. Percy Davis giving 40 years as President alone. Ian Maclean Jnr celebrated 40 years of service in 2007 and Glenys Davis-Ellis reached her 50 years in season 2018.
Scots breeding ground of the Saints/Dragons
From the very early years Scots has been a breeding ground for St. George – by 1930 six of the early Scots players had gone to grade. The club has strived to send as many boys on the further honours as possible; Matt McCoy, Ross Kite, John King, Bruce Starkey and Pat Jarvis among the best of these. The famous drawn Grand Final of 1977 had no less than four Scots players in the St. George line-up. In all 30 Scots players have played first grade with St. George
Breeding ground for officials
Scots has also proved a great breeding ground for officials. St. George has long been served by officials from Scots. Tiger Black the famous Saint and Broadcaster, Arthur Davis President NSW Referees, Glyn Price (Mr. St. George) and Alex Mackie Vice President A.R.L. host to the Queens visit were all loyal Scots to name just a few.
The song we sing
The song was written by Henry Howard an A. grade player from the late 40’s who composed it as an after match drinking song. It has been sung in dressing rooms and at functions ever since.
This is a title only Percy Davis can truly claim. He was the captain of the 1928 winning C. Grade, then the 1930 A grade side before being graded with St. George. He reformed the club in 1947 and became its President, a role he held for 40 years (turning down the President’s job at Saints to stay with his beloved Scots). He was the A grade coach in the early reforming years, and then when Scots started the little grades he again took on the role of coach to the young Scots. He was the visionary and founder of the Scots Licensed club and was its Secretary Manager for the first 20 years. He was and always will be Mr. Arncliffe Scots.