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Club: History

1900-1914

Tigers in action during the 1905 County Cup final

The turn of the last century saw Leicester Football Club in very much the same strong position as it finds itself at the turn of this. The premier tournament for Midlands-based rugby clubs was the Midland Counties Cup which the Tigers had first won in 1897 and then began to dominate by securing eight successive wins to 1905.

The great Tom Crumbie had taken over as Honorary Secretary of the Club in 1895 - a position (which in the amateur era was a vital one) he retained until his death in February 1928 presiding over a massively successful period in the history of Leicester Tigers and introducing the concept of invitation sides.

Tigers in action during the 1905 County Cup Final

Tigers in action during the 1905 County Cup Final

Welford Road regularly had five figure gates, and in 1902 hosted its first international when England beat Ireland 6-3, whilst a year later Jack Miles became the first home-produced international for the Club.

Leicester met their first touring team, the All Blacks, in 1904 but lost 28-0. In 1906/7 the East Midlands played touring South Africans with seven Tigers in the side.

In 1907/8 the first Tigers players toured abroad when John Jackett, Fred Jackson and Tom Smith were invited to tour Australia with Anglo-Welsh party (a forerunner of the British Lions).

Tom Smith, F.S. Jackson & John Jackett of 1907/1908, the first Tigers players to tour abroad

Tom Smith, F.S. Jackson & John Jackett of 1907/1908, the first Tigers players to tour abroad

Christmas 1909 saw the first Barbarians game - they took up a vacant spot after the regular fixture with Scottish team Fettes-Lorettonians was cancelled.Sid Penny reached the fabulous milestone of 500 first team games and there was reconstruction of the Members' Stand which had been moved from the Belgrave Cricket and Cycle Ground in 1899.

The outbreak of war in August 1914 saw the cancellation of sport and Welford Road was now used for military training. Mr Crumbie himself was responsible for recruiting 3,500 men to the Colours.

Tigers Record
(1900-1914):
Pld 549, Won 318, Drew 52, Lost 179
Biggest win: 65-0 vs Newbold-on-Avon on 23 Mar 1912
Most Appearances in Era: Sid Penny 355, Pedlar Wood 281, Sammy Matthews 280
Most Tries in Era: Percy Lawrie 152, Ernest Hind 79, Pedlar Wood 78
Most Points in Era: Percy Lawrie 519, JW Bream 332, Jacky Braithwaite 270
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