Bath The Enigma - New Edition

Bath The Enigma - New Edition

By Harry Barstow



Bath, founded in 1865, rank among the oldest established rugby clubs in England, yet not for decades could they shake off their poor-relation status in the shadows of West Country rivals Bristol and Gloucester. Indeed, to do so required something approaching a miracle. But miracles do not 'just' happen, they happen for a reason, or as in Bath's case for a number of reasons. Hurdles for Bath to jump? Oh yes, plenty. Indeed, how does one even begin to define a club that by 1900 had already produced three England internationals and yet by season 1905-6 with a meagre 7 wins from 33 matches played came near to being folded-up. And who, in that same season of near despair, would ever have contemplated the transformation that would later lead Bath in season 1995-6 to be chosen to carry the Union colours against Rugby League giants Wigan (first under League rules, then Union rules) to end a century of divide between the two codes. Yet chosen Bath were! Of course, it did not happen overnight, but as the decades passed, so too did the pieces of the jigsaw slowly come together, culminating with a team (nay teams) that rose to the forefront of English (indeed British) rugby. Moreover, over the decades the friendly nature of the club and its supporters has never changed, as they remain the same rugby family they always were. And that is a fascinating part of their story, one that includes the closeness of the bond with their parent city, their cherished home on 'the Rec' (its original stands, now rebuilt, bombed to pieces in World War Two) and 'Oh, ' that banter and humour experienced on match-days. This 2nd edition of 'Bath the Enigma' relates their story with an abridged version of the original 1st edition from 1865-2015, plus the five seasons which have followed, culminating with the unprecedented season of 2019/20, a season of near unparalleled difficulties for rugby, sport in general and Bath. A Review of season 2020/21 is added. In accordance with the author's wishes all royalties from this book go direct to the Bath Rugby Foundation Charity.

ISBN: 9781787059382


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