Royal Wootton Bassett Rugby Club place hidden tribute within players' shirts

By Jessica Durston - 27 September 2021

Clubs & ActivitiesSport
  • Sam Robinson presented a shirt to Mick Brown (Photo Credit - James Booth Photography)

    Sam Robinson presented a shirt to Mick Brown (Photo Credit - James Booth Photography)

The names of those who attended the club's first establishing meeting have been immortalised within the current players' uniform.

The rugby shirt displaying the thirteen names

The idea to establish a rugby club in Wootton Bassett was put in motion fifty years ago by John Forbes-Keith, with the involvement of his sons Ian and Hamish and a number of other locals who had been playing rugby for Calne Bentleian RFC.

John instigated a meeting consisting of all those interested, which was held in the lounge bar of The Curriers Arms public house on 21 December 1971.

Royal Wootton Bassett RFC has played tribute to this historic event, during its 50th anniversary, by including the names of the thirteen who attended the meeting on this season’s First XV playing shirt:

  • Ian Keith
  • Michael Leighfield
  • Royston Smith
  • Melvyn Wright
  • Hamish Keith
  • Vernon Nation
  • Tony Trussell
  • Colin Applegate
  • David Brown
  • Ian Campbell
  • John Baker
  • Michael Brown
  • John Forbes-Keith


This hidden detail can be found within the golden stripes that run down the rear of the players' shirts.

A recent club lunch saw the remaining founding members – Ian Keith, Hamish Keith, Mike Leighfield, Mick Brown, Melvyn Wright and Royston Smith, together with Stuart Nation representing his father Vernon who recently passed away - presented with a commemorative match shirt bearing their names.

The shirts were presented by current members of the club's 1st XV team, each of whom were graduates of the Royal Wootton Bassett RFC youth section.

More information about the club and its history can be found at

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