The Treaty Port of Shanghai was established in 1843. As the ‘Model Settlement’ grew, thoughts inevitably turned to recreation. A race course was built almost immediately, cricket was first played in Shanghai in 1854, a rowing club was founded in 1867 and in the same year the first Shanghai Football Club took to the field, playing a variant of the game that was more like ‘rugby’ than ‘soccer’, but was a hybrid of both.
This book contain the definitive history of rugby in Shanghai. The detail behind the story from 1867 to 2013 is provided in the appendices in extraordinary detail, including a list of more than 1,500 games, the names of thousands of players and hundreds of different teams. The narrative condenses this detail down to tell the story of how it all happened and includes day-to-day stories of old Shanghai’s privileged elite and of the police, soldiers and sailors who patrolled and defended the city. You will discover their heroism, sense of duty and loyalty to their country, their class and their team. On the darker side, there are stories of bankruptcy, murder, piracy, suicide, torture, and even a few sex scandals. Overlaying all of this was the commitment and dedication of men to the sport of rugby that they loved. This book documents their perseverance and legacy.