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The Early Years

The beginning of Wasps and a Union missed

Wasps RUFC was originally formed in 1867 at the now defunct Eton and Middlesex Tavern in North London, before the advent of the Rugby Football Union as an administrative body. The Club gained its name largely due to the fashion of the Victorian period when clubs tended to adopt the names of insects, birds and animals. The name in itself has no particular significance other than this vogue. Presiding over the club in its embryonic stages was Mr James Pain, who was elected as First President. Mr Pain was still at the helm when the Rugby Football Union was formed on 26th January 1871. As a reasonably well-established Club, Wasps were invited to join the Union and, therefore, were eligible to be Founder Members. And so they would have been had it not been for a calamitous mix-up that led to them not being present at the inauguration ceremony. In true rugby fashion the team turned up at the wrong pub, on the wrong day, at the wrong time and so forfeited their right to be called Founder Members. The Club's first home was in Finchley Road, North London although subsequent years saw grounds being rented in various parts of London. In 1923 Wasps moved to their previous home of Sudbury, eventually buying the ground outright. Although the team currently grace the Adams Park Stadium, High Wycombe, on home matchdays, the Sudbury clubhouse still exists and Sudbury is still considered the Club's spiritual home by diehard fans.