Gala Rugby Football Club – A History
1876 – A “football club” formed in Galashiels to provide a winter alternative to the cricket
which had been started by Yorkshire workers in textiles.
1881 – Gala rugby club moved from the Public Park to Mossilee, the club’s second ground.
l883 – Gala contested the final of the first sevens with host club at the Melrose Greenyards.
1884 – First Gala sevens tournament, known as “sports” and containing athletics and goal kicking competitions as well as rugby.
1890 – Adam Dalgliesh of Gala became the first Border player to represent Scotland,
playing v. Wales.
1905-6 – Gala won Border League for first time
1912 – Gala moved to a new ground at Netherdale, built at a cost of £1150 including
pavilion and grandstand.
1914-18 – World War I – 30 of Gala’s club members died in service.
1922 – Formation of Gala junior rugby council to link the interests of all junior and semi junior clubs in the town.
1931-2 – Gala’s first and only success in the Scottish Unofficial Championship, under
Jimmy Ferguson’s captaincy. The town band turned out to welcome the players home after the final match in Edinburgh.
1932 – Gala’s success in Melrose Jubilee sevens
1937 – Gala won Melrose tournament against London Scottish with the celebrated dribble half the length of the field by Tom Carruthers.
l939-45 – World War II – more Gala players, including Tommy Dorward and Jock Dun, killed on active service. Many other players continued rugby with KOSB and other service units.
1950s-60s – international selection for George Burrell, George Lyall, Jim Lees, Bob Wilson, John Fox, Arthur Dorward and others.
1961-2 – Latest move to Gala’s fourth ground when New Netherdale was completed at a
cost of approximately £20,000, being the first new rugby ground in Scotland for a
March 1971 – on two successive Saturdays six Gala men appeared in the Scottish XV which twice beat England – Arthur Brown, John Frame, Jock Turner, Duncan Paterson, Peter Brown and Nairn McEwan.
1975-6 – Gala’s Centenary Year.
1980-8l } – Gala’s three Division I championships in the National League
1991 – The l00th playing of the Gala sevens tournament.
1994 – Gala won the first “King of the Sevens” title, with victories at the Gala, Melrose and Jed-forest tournaments.
1995 – Gala R.F.C. qualified as one of the leading eight Scottish teams to play in the new Premier League.
1999 – Gala won the Scottish Cup, Division II championship and the Melrose Sevens.
2004 – Gala won the Division II championship and were promoted to Division I, also lifting the Kings of the Sevens despite going out in the first round at Jed.
2005 – Gala relegated from Division I, but finish the season strongly to beat old rivals Hawick in the Border League final 23-13 at Netherdale
2007 – Gala relegated from Division II for the first time in their history, by the narrowest of margins, losing out by two points in the points difference tally for the season
2008 – Gala promoted back to Division II at the first time of asking
2010-11 – Gala promoted to Premier 1
2011-12 – Gala won the Scottish Cup for the second time and the Border League for the first time since 2004-05
2012-13 – finished 2nd in Premiership less than 1 win behind Ayr, and 23 points clear of 3rd place; won the Border League beating Melrose 26-21 in the final; and won our own 7s for the first time since 1995
2013-14 – our closest to winning the top flight in Scottish rugby for 30 years with it going down to the wire. The final round of matches and it was down to ourselves (playing Ayr at Netherdale) or Melrose (playing Currie at the Greenyards) that would win the league. Melrose proved too strong for 7th placed Currie, winning 26-10 and moved ahead. We had a torrid first half and staged a second half comeback with a try in injury time bringing us within 1 point. Unfortunately the ref said no further time to add and blew for full time and a 33-34 loss for us, which resulted in Melrose finishing the league on 69 points, with us on 68 points in second place. We did go on to win the Border League for the 3rd year in a row, beating Melrose 30-14 in the final staged in Berwick. In the RBS Cup it was another close call, going out in the semi-final against Glasgow Hawks in the last kick of the game for them to win 31-33.
2014-15 – looking to go one better than the year before we started the season strongly, but a run of 6 poor results in the runup to Christmas saw us hanging on to the last of the four play-off places in the new league format. Again it went down to the last round of games but we were pipped to that 4th place by Currie when they beat Glasgow Hawks in dramatic fashion. Heriots went on to win the league beating Melrose in the first play-off final in the league. The Border League changed format this year to a full league of 7 teams to play each other home or away, with Hawick running out convincing winners with 7 wins. We exited the BT Cup in the 3rd round at the hands of Stirling which was the last game in our poor run. On a brighter note Gala A won both their BT League and Border 2nd XV Cup.