Club History

Early Days

Cartha Athletic Club  was founded in 1889 and moved to Dumbreck in 1891. It was one of the largest, diverse and successful sports club in the country in the first half of the 20th Century.

The Rugby Section of the Athletic Club started in 1906 with full sets of fixtures for seasons 1906/7 and 1907/08. In 1908 the Cartha Rugby Section achieved membership of the Scottish Rugby Union. The Rugby section quickly established a substantial playing membership, fielding two fifteens with “20 players over” by 1912. Cartha has continued its ability to attract a large player base in subsequent years.

The Rugby club in the first half of the 20th century had some success in district Junior Championships and won the West District League on three successive seasons in the thirties. Players from Cartha were selected for the West District side in this era. Cartha players today continue this achievement with the Glasgow District sides. The Club continued to enjoy success at various times in the Glasgow District Union until the 70’s when major changes started at the club.

The first sevens tournament took place in April 1935 and continued for the following two years. After a break the Sevens were reintroduced in 1950 and in all the subsequent years. This was the forerunner of the successful Glasgow Sevens Tournament that has been held at Dumbreck since 1935.

1970’s till 21st Century

Around the early seventies there were many changes. Cartha Rugby Club became the major part of the Cartha Athletic Club and effectively “owned” the Club. The rugby season 1971/72 was very successful including a long unbeaten run. Cartha were operating three teams and the sevens tournament was starting to attract senior teams.

In season 1973/74 both Cartha and Queen’s Park FP entered teams in West Division 5 of the Scottish League system. The merger at the end of that season meant Cartha Queen’s Park RFC appeared for the first time In West Division 5 in season 1974/75. The merger of Cartha Rugby Club with Queen’s Park FP gave the Club greater playing strength. (In later years Bellahouston FP and Shawlands FP also linked with the club and expanded Cartha Queen’s Park RFC’s playing strength).  Links with local schools and colleges were helpful in giving Cartha QP a role in the South Side Community.

The strength of the Youth Sections (Mini and Midi) has been vital in introducing youngsters to rugby and to Cartha QP RFC. The work of Jim and Margaret Gibbon (among many others) with the Youth Section has proved vital in the development of the rugby club at Dumbreck.

These developments put Cartha QP in a strong position to take advantage of the introduction of National Rugby Union Leagues in Scotland in season 1973/74. Progress in the new league structure has put Cartha in a position to play in the top three Premiership Leagues since their promotion in 2003/04. Cartha has managed in these years to boast a large playing membership. The successful progress of the club through National Leagues, player development and promotion of rugby generally, is a tribute to Club Officials and Members over many years.

Like all Rugby Clubs the development of the social activities of the club have kept pace with the playing side. This helps give Cartha QP the funds to develop the club and a welcoming atmosphere for all who take an interest the Rugby Club and its wide range of associated activities.

Re-development and the 2000’s

The improvement of the Clubhouse and playing surface (100 years of floods) has been ongoing. The following are the most recent efforts of the Club. These improvements are the result of massive efforts of club members and friends. Funding was supplied by members, sponsors, Glasgow City Council, Sports Scotland and Lottery Sports Fund.

Playing Surface

Major drainage work and maintenance has resulted in far fewer postponements of matches due to flooding. Playing surfaces for all three pitches are improved and a good practice area is available. The selection of Cartha QP as a host Club for the IRB Under 21 World Championship reflects these developments as well as the achievements of the Club in the Premier Leagues.

Club House

The major redevelopment of the Club House has been a great success.

Since its opening, on 19 September 2001, with more comfortable surroundings and much better Bar and Catering Facilities the Club has been able to host Rugby Events for Scottish and International fixtures. The Club was selected as avenue for the IRB Under 21 World Championship in June 2004. The development has greatly enhanced the welcome available to touring sides visiting Dumbreck. The Club’s facilities now befit its position in Premiership Scottish Rugby.

The Club now hosts many Social as well as Rugby events and is often the choice of local organisations and members for functions. The facility is able to generate income, which enhances the Rugby playing sections.

Playing Sections

In addition to the new facilities, the Club has been moving forward steadily on the field of play, from National Division 3 in 1998/99 to Premier Division 3 in 2003/04. They have continued in the Premier Division since this time (season 2009/10).  Promotion to Premier Division 2 and finishing second in this division in season 2005/06 were magnificent achievements. Cartha QP were not promoted to Premier 1 as a result of league reorganisation. At present they are I Premier Division 3 (season 2009/10).

In the same period, the second XV was promoted in three successive seasons and is now in division two of the second fifteen national leagues. welcoming to Dumbreck their opposite numbers from clubs such as Hawick, Melrose and Gala. The 2nd fifteen continue in this division.

In 2000/01 the Club played at Murrayfield in the final of the Bowl competition.

Cartha QP has often fielded 4 or 5 senior teams on a Saturday. The Youth sections regularly have large numbers playing and training on Sundays. The Club is pleased that it encourages such a large participation in rugby.

The youth sections have continued to develop in this time, with an army of volunteers helping with coaching and transport etc.. The employment of local Rugby Development officers has supported this. The Cartha Youth Teams have recently produced a number of players who have represented Glasgow in National Pathway squads.

A ladies rugby section was started in 2007. They were promoted to the Premier Scottish League at the end of season 2008/09.

2006 The Centenary Year

Cartha Queen’s Park RFC was in great shape to celebrate 100 years of rugby at Dumbreck. With the New Club House and the playing side enjoying playing in the Premier Divisions in Scottish Rugby it is hoped the Club will continue to thrive.

Players of all ages, club members and friends of the club enjoyed the year. The culmination was a magnificent Civic Reception at Glasgow City Chambers. This was a fitting tribute to the efforts of many people in a range of capacities who have made Cartha QP a most successful Club both on and off the field of play.

For more information on our League Standings in recent years, see the download in the right column.


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