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Club: History

1918-1939

1918-1939

Following the hostilities which saw the supreme sacrifice given by Tigers players Frank Tarr, Bill Dalby, Lionel Burton, S.E.Dove and B.McCraith, games were restarted at Christmas 1918 and mostly played against service sides. A new stand (later named the Crumbie stand) was opened on 2 October 1920 with terraces built in front of it the following year. The Members' Stand was also extended giving a ground seating capacity of 10,250. At Christmas 1921 Tigers entertained their first French visitors - Racing Club de France. Leicester won 4-0 but lost on their first trip to foreign parts with the return visit to Paris a year later.

Bernard Gadney, the first home-produced player to captain his countryAn estimated 35,000 packed the ground to the rafters for the touring New Zealanders - C G Porter's "Invincible" All Blacks in 1924. Eric Thorneloe took over as Honorary Secretary when Tom Crumbie died in office on 13 March February 1928, aged 60. The 1930s saw the first BBC radio broadcast from Welford Road when Leicester beat Waterloo 21-5.

Four players were selected to tour Australasia with the 1930 British Isles party, including captain Doug Prentice. 1931 was memorable for the Leicestershire & East Midlands side including seven Tigers who beat the touring Springboks, the only side to do so. Two years later Bernard Gadney came to the fore being the first home-produced player to captain his country, and went on to lead England to the Triple Crown.

The club faced financial difficulties during the recession, and started to sell match programmes to raise cash, in 1934 a Supporters Club was formed for fund raising. A youngster from Trent College made his Tigers debut in the 1934/5 season. He was a Russian Prince, Alexander Oblensky, who went down in history for his try for England against the All Blacks - with Gadney as captain.

George 'Pedlar' Wood in action for the Tigers

Cecil, last of the Beamish brothers - four of them in all George, Charles and Victor played for the club - made his debut in 1937/8. The following season skipper Tom Berry was picked for England before war intervened for a second time.

Tigers Record
(1918-1939):
Pld 827, Won 469, Drew 56, Lost 302
Biggest win: 71-0 vs Bedford XV on 15 Feb 1919
Most Appearances in Era: Doug Norman 453, Ralph Buckingham 325, Ernie Coleman 260
Most Tries in Era: Teddy Haselmere 136, Ralph Buckingham 117, Harold Day 108
Most Points in Era: Harold Day 1151, Doug Prentice 575, Teddy Haselmere 528
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