The exact date of the formation of the club is not known because no records of the early seasons are available. What is known from early newspaper cuttings is that a team was playing in Crumlin in 1880 under the name of “Crumlin Viaduct Ramblers”. This name was undoubtedly taken from the famous Viaduct that spanned the valley for over one hundred years. Hence the reason that in rugby circles the Club has always been referred to as the “Viaduct Town”, and club scribes wrote under the pen-name of “Viaduct”.
The earliest records show that the club name was changed to its present name in 1890. The secretary of the club in the early 1890’s was Mr. Prichard, and the side was captained by Willis James, a legend in his day, who was known as Mr. Crumlin Rugby.
The Club joined the Welsh Rugby Union in 1895 and in 1896 became a founder member of the Monmouthshire League, in company with Ponytmister, Cwmbran, Ebbw Vale, Blaina, Pontnewydd, Abertillery and Abercarn. The Club finished runners-up to Pontymister in the first season, and also runners up to Cwmbran in 1899.
The players under Willis James became household names in Monmouthshire Rugby in those days, players such as the Lewis brothers, Dai, John and Llewellyn (Arthur Lewis, the British Lion’s player’s grandfather), Moses Rees, Arthur Williams, J.Clifford, G.Parfitt whose son Vernon became an international referee and later in 1972 became President of the Welsh Rugby Union. Arthur Hayward in those days was acknowledged as the best Full Back in Monmouthshire and he later became secretary of the Club. Willis James’ captaincy spanned quite a few years and when he retired he became a referee, a Monmouthshire County representative and later became a Monmouthshire Representative on the Welsh Rugby Union. He is the only Crumlin man thus far to achieve this honour.
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