85-year-old rugby matchday programme is discovered in Sidmouth hotel

Sidmouth RFC's Lester Willmington accepts the programme dating from 1932 from Andy Argyle from the S

Sidmouth RFC's Lester Willmington accepts the programme dating from 1932 from Andy Argyle from the Sidmouth Town Football Club. Ref: Archant5474 100217 SRFC - Credit: Archant

Historic memento is presented to Sidmouth Rugby Club

The Duke of Connaught meeting the players.

The Duke of Connaught meeting the players. - Credit: Archant

An historic rugby match-day programme, which featured a visit from the Duke of Connaught, has been discovered at a Sidmouth hotel.

The Royal York and Faulkner Hotel found the keepsake, which dates back to a match in Sidmouth in 1932 attended by Queen Victoria’s son.

The hotel initially gave the souvenir to Sidmouth Town Football Club, believing it to be a football programme.

Andy Argyle, development officer for the football club, presented the framed programme to rugby club chairman Lester Willmington.

The team that lined up for the match: Standing: George Bolt (Secretary), G Thomas, J Mills, ES Smith

The team that lined up for the match: Standing: George Bolt (Secretary), G Thomas, J Mills, ES Smith, H Davey, Bingley Pullin (President), A Pike, P Fitzgerald, F Ellis, Tommy Fitzgerald (Chairman) 2nd Row: G Carter, E Channing, R Blake, B Welsman, E Pyne, W Turner Sitting: W Harris, G Knapp (Capt). Bingley Pullin was the founder of the Club in 1884. - Credit: Archant


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Mr Argyle said it was nice to present the piece of history ‘from the round ball to the oval ball’.

Terry O’Brien, secretary of the rugby club, said: “The Duke of Connaught’s visit was the first time a member of the royal family attended a rugby match other than at Twickenham.”

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