A LOOK AT KENYAN RUGBY
In dealing with the story of the Rugby Football Union of Kenya, it is of interest to record some of the very little that I known of the earliest days of rugby in East Africa.
The first known match to be played was at Mombasa in 1909 between the Officials and Settlers, and known that matches in Nairobi used to be played at Nairobi Club. The Royal navy played a very big part in the early days of rugby in these parts and we have ships: 1992 H.M.S Cairo; 1925 H.M.S Chatham; 1926, 1927, 1928 and 1931 H.M.S Effingham and 1928 H.M.S Enterprise (the donors of the Enterprise Cup)
Local rugby in the years prior to 1923 seems to have based on the main centers of the Plateau (Eldoret and Kitale), Rift (Nakuru District), Nairobi and Mombasa and matches conformed to the pattern of Town versus Country, Home Born versus Colonials, Officials versus settlers and matches between the various centres.
On august Bank Holiday 1921 the Rugby Football Union was formed with W.R Bartholomew as secretary. it was not until 1932 however, that this Union became really effective, when Nairobi rugby divided itself into two Clubs, the Nondescripts and the Harlequins. The latter are not to be confused with the Kenya Harlequins who were formed much later.
It may be of interest to note that this first committee made every effort to obtain a visit by the British Isles team then touring South Africa, and the question of the Union establishing its own ground was first mooted in 1930. Both these hopes were to be fulfilled in 1955.
The Rugby Football Union of Kenya carried on the administration of rugby in the three, Territories up to 1953 when the East African Union was formed. Both Unions were affiliated to the rugby Union at Twickenham, from which they received the maximum assistance and co-operation. The basis, until the formation of sub-unions was that, Clubs were represented on the committee of the Union. Sometimes these worked delegates were not properly briefed by the clubs they were representing.
In the years immediately following, sub-unions comprising of Coast West Kenya, Uganda and Central Province (including Nairobi then a district) were formed, so that all Clubs were represented through their sub-unions. Consequently, a new constitution was worked out for the Rugby Football would have a larger say in the East Africa Territories, and the more remote sub-unions would have better chances of direct representation.
Sadly at the end of 1959 the Tanganyika Rugby Union decided to dissolve, and brought to an end five years of association. The committee of the R.F.U.E.A. Was most grateful to the officials of the Tanganyika Union for all assistance and co-operation they received form them, and it was hoped that those men would carry on in what-ever new “setup” that was adopted on Tanganyika.
Apart form the administration of the game, organization and arrangement of tours (full records of these appear elsewhere) the Union is justly, proud of the establishment of its own ground and headquarters.
1909 First recorded match between Officials and Settlers
1921 Rugby Football Union
1922 Visit by H.M.S Southampton
1923 R.F.K.U. becomes operative and Nondescripts and Harlequins (first)
R.F.Cs formed visit by H.M.S. “Colombo”
1924 visit by H.M.S “Cairo”
1925 First Nairobi District Championship won by Harlequins R.F.C
Visits by H.M.S. “Cairo” and “Chatham”
visit by H.M.S. “Effingham”
- visit by H.M.S “Effingham”
- Visits by H.M.S. “Effingham” and “Enterprise”
1929/30 Combined S.A. Universities tour
- 1929 Visit by H.M.S. “Enterprise”. First Enterprise Cup Competition won by Nairobi District.
- 1930 Visit by H.M.S. “Effingham’
- 1931 Enterprise Cup first played on a club basis and won by Eldoret Sports Club, the first of five successive wins.
- 1932 Tour University of Stellenbosch, who were captained by D.H. Craven.
- 1933 First Competition for the “R.A.F. Sevens”, which was won by Nondescripts.
- 1934 Second World War, -rugby still carried on, mainly on a services basis.
- 1935 Resumption of Club rugby.
- 1936 First visit to Nairobi by Dar-es-Salaam R.F.C.
- 1937 Tour by University of Cape Town, a team, which produced five players who were subsequently to win international honors. Kenya was fully representative for the first time against a touring side.
- 1938 Visit by the combined Oxford and Cambridge team who played a match at Mitchell Park on their return from touring South Africa.
Short tour by a French Parachute Regiment from Madagascar.
1952 Visit by D.Drysdale. President of the Scottish Rugby Union. First tour
Of Kenya by Nile R.F.C.
- 1953 Works started on the Union’s ground.
- 1954 First “outside” tour, of the Northern Rhodesian Copper belt, by an East African team, most of them Kenyans which adopted its present pseudonym of the “Tuskers”.
First full international match, between Kenya and Tanganyika.
Formation of Tanganyika Rugby Union.
1955 Visit by Sir W.W Wakefield Ngong Road ground opened on the
Occasion of the visit by the “British Lions”
Tour by Rhodes University invitation touring side (1955/56)
Combined Cape Town and Stellenbosch team defeated a Rugby Union Team at Mombasa by 9 points to 6.
1956 First combined Schools match at the Ngong Road ground against an
1957 Tour of East Africa and Rhodesia by a combined Oxford and
Tour of Kenya by Salisbury Sports Club.
- Visit by the Barbarian Football Club.
- First tour of Kenya by the “Scorpions”.
- Springboks were in transit and played their first game here winning 39-0 against E.Africa side.
British Combined Services in transit and meet a strong challenge against E.Africa with 10 Kenyan residents, winning 36-17
Second Tuskers visit to the Copper belt, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia)
- First tour of Richmond R.F.C. from UK.
Oxford and Cambridge Universities transit here again.
- Wales transit here winning 26-8
- First visit by the Anti-assassins renowned by their aggressive forward rush.
- Black heath visits Kenya.
Second Tuskers tour to England.
- Middle East command tours to Kenya.
- Two visits by Queens University, Belfast and Middlesex County R.F.C.
- Second visit by that famous rugby elite –the Anti-assassins from England.
- No tour.
- Constitution F.C and Black rock College both from Republic of Ireland tour
- Rosslyn Park, Richmond (second tour) comes to Kenya. Tuskers make their fourth tour to Ireland.
- Two of the famous English clubs Waspa RFC and Harlequin Football Club –visits Kenya.
Cumbria/Westmoorland on first tour to Kenya.
- Ban imposed on U.K. sides from visiting Kenya because of the English support for sports contacts with the racist South Africa.
- Fifth Tuskers tour to the Copper belt and Lusaka.
- The first visit from Italy- Rugby Roma Olympia Algid a first visit by Zambia RFU “Lechwe”
1978 Chairman XV on successful visit to the Copper
1979 Second tour by Blackheath
Sixth Tuskers visit by Zambia.
1980 London Metropolitan Police visits.
Zambia Football Union on visit.
1981 Cambrian schoolboys make a visit here
1982 Tuskers make their 7th tour to Zambia and Zimbabwe.
3rd visit by Anti-assassin
1983 Penguin RFC and Dungannon RFC from Northern Ireland arrive
for games against top local sides
- University of Edinburgh and Suttotians RFC arrive from Northern Ireland arrive respectively.
We were also blessed to welcome Insurance Offices Rugby Football Club.
1985 Bytown Blues from Canada and Coleraine RFC from Northern Ireland arrive for friend lies.
- Marys RFC from England arrives for a six match tour.
- Bedford RFC from Ireland tour Kenya.
Swansea RFC from Wales also tour.
Grauhlet RFC from France makes a short tour marred by a bad officiating.
Zimbabwe lifts the All African Games Trophy (rugby) other teams participating include Nigeria, Madagascar and hosts Kenya.
1988 Stewart’s Melville RFC from Scotland tour Kenya
Between 1909 and 1959 there were many tours by visitors and single matches which were played by teams “passing through”. The full list is fairly impressive and shows just what had been done towards improvement in the standard play in Kenya and to give additional entertainment value to the public.
Our visitors usually proved too strong for the opposition we could provide, but there were other factors to consider. First, the standard of local rugby was usually proved in the years immediately following a tour although, alas, the lessons were not always remembered for long. Second, we put before the public teams which had played the best type of rugby and which contained men who had won the highest honors in game.
just to consider, apart from the “lesser” talent, combined south Africa Varsities –two future Springboks, Stellenbosh – Dr. Craven, then an international; University of Cape Town (1949/50) – five subsequent internationals; Oxford and Cambridge 1951 – eight internationals; British Isles Touring Team – 15 internationals Oxford and Cambridge 1957 – six current and four future internationals; and University of Cape Town 1958/59 – two springboks trialist and one junior Springbox.
Against this we fielded two full internationals – W.B Young and M.J Dally – and a war-time international, D.L Marriott.
Kenyan rugby depended very largely for its finances on tours. Without them it would have been in a very different financial position.
One must, however, consider the difficulties of selection of an East African team. The tourists were invariably a team which had played together and knew each other’s play, whereas Kenya sides seldom had that opportunity.
Very often Kenya’s best players came from centers far apart in the country and did not have the opportunity of playing together before. Traveling and “time off” generally precluded full scale trials. Where such trial had taken place, the result was quite beneficial.
Kenyan rugby had also suffered from lack of an inter-provincial rugby which in most countries is the basis for selection of national sides.
1929-30 combines South African Universities
Combined South African Universities played 14 matches, winning all, against local invitations that included Nairobi District Homes Born, Country Clubs plateau. Trans Nzoia (test) Eldoret-Kitale, Nauru, Nyanza, Nairobi District Colonials Kenya (2nd Test) Nairobi Town clubs, Kenya (3rd Test) and two games in Mombasa. Points for: 508 against 18!
1935 Stellenbosch University
The second South African University side to visit us came here with a high reputation, and well lived up to it. The side was captained by Dr. “Daine” Craven, that famous rugby player turned author. They played against Nairobi District, Nairobi District, Nairobi Rift Valley, Nyanza, Kakamega, Goldfields, West Kenya, Eldoret, Kitale, Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya and Mombasa. Played: 13, won: 13 points for 620, against 12!
1949-1950 University of Cape Town
This university came to us as one of the best South African University sides of the year and among other notable achievements they had just won the Grand Challenge Cup for the Western Province. They included several Springbox “trialists”. Altogether, they were a very impressive side. On the last match of their tour, they trounced the Old Cambrians 50-5. The old Cambrians were and still the Old Boys of Nairobi School, then known as the The Prince of Wales. They played 15 games and won them all: 655, against 52.
The present chairman of Scorpions E.D O’Loghlen and last year’s chairman of Nondescripts Archie Evans and a Scottish international, Dr. W.B Young, to mention only a few, represented Kenya for East Africa against the University. Cape Town won 27-9.
April 1951 French Parachute Regiment from Madagascar.
Through the good offices of the Sports Board of the East African Army Command, a short tour was arranged for the French Parachute Regiment stationed in Madagascar. The visitors were a very useful team who “broke even” on their four match tour; unfortunately the abnormally heavy rains affected the tour. At Eldoret a downpour occurred just before the match, and the second Nairobi match was also adversely affected. The mainspring of the tourists attack was their fly-half, who was a French Army player with full Gallic fervour. They played against combined services at Nairobi, and East Kenya at Nairobi, West Kenya at Eldoret, Kenya Regiment at Nairobi. They won one, drew two and lost one, points for: 15 against 11.
September 1951 Oxford and Cambridge Touring Team.
The Rugby Football Union of East Africa ground at Ngong Road was opened by the British Isles Rugby Team manager J.A.E.Siggins who had been invited to do so by the governer of Kenya, Sir Evelyn Baring.
Tourist defeated East Africa 39-12 and gave an exhibition of rugby which was long remembered in East Africa. The speed at which they played and the way they kept the ball moving about, always with three or four men backing up, kept the East African defence sorely pressed. Kenya was represented by D.Darroch (Nondies), D.Brodziak (Nakuru), G.P Meintjes (Eldoret) E.A Bristow (Nondies) W.W Ingram and P.J.F Wheeler (both Londiani) and J.D Humphreys (Nondies).
1955-56 Rhodes University Invitation Touring Team
The tour by the Rhodes University Invitation Team followed from December 21, 1955 to February 15, 1956. Rhodes University had been invited to tour in 1953 but this had to be cancelled due to the emergency in Kenya and its likely effect on gate takings. The situation has improved by 1955 and the invitation was re-issued.
Rhodes for their part felt that their university team needed a little bit of strengthening for a tour of this nature and they decided to invite some former Rhodes University players from Stellenbosch University and some from Natal University. This practice of invitation was repeated by the 1958/59 University of Cape Town Team who asked for player from Stellenbosch.
there was some doubt before the invitation was issued to the tourists, and this may have been due to the amount of which had been put into the “British Lions’ visit and its effect on officials of the R.F.U.E.A. however, it was generally felt that Nairobi (and those who could travel there) had been well served by that visit and it was only fair to let up-country centers have something as well.
New centers were visited by the Rhodes side among them Londiani, and although these did not necessarily pay their way, the visit did a lot of good for rugby in those centres and the overall result of the tour was profitable.
The tourists were very popular here although they did not have many “stars”. They were a very cohesive unit and played well especially in the forwards. They won all their matches against the combined Nairobi District, Coast, East Africa, Kenya East Africa, Kitale, West Kenya, Eldoret, East Africa and Combined Services.
those that represented Kenya against the visitors in these matches are the current chairman of the Kenya Rugby Referees Society, T.A Thorpe (Eldoret),B.Jacob(Kitale)A Munro (Kenya Police),D.Brodziak (Nakuru),C.Kimmins (Kenya Harlequins),A.I Mclean (Nondies),J.D Humphreys (Nondescripts), J.R Roden (Kenya Harlequins),H Kruger (Eldoret),A.G.W Field (Londiani) ,.W. Ingram(Kericho) and A..Robertson(Kitate).
1957 combined Oxford and Cambridge Universities
The tour of the combined Oxford and Cambridge team during June to August 1957 differed from all previous tours in two administrative aspects. First, the tour was run in conjunction with the Rhodesian Rugby Union, which met half the cost of air travel to Nairobi and the cost of air travel to Salisbury and back. Without the help of the Rhodesian Union it is doubtful if this tour could have taken place. Secondly, it was the first time that matches had been sold to the various centers. Previously, the Rugby Union had borne all costs and met all expenses. But under this new scheme, centers paid and agreed price for matches and were entitled to retain any profits that were made.
The tour was a memorable one, with our visitors playing the type of rugby we expected form such a talented side. The visitors were very popular both on and off the field and were added in the last twelve minutes. Tony O’Reilly scored no less than seven tries.
The East African side was represented by the following: R.L.Morgan (Kenya Police); H.A. Adams (Impala); D.W.Marshall (Kenya Police); G.P. Meinjtes(Eldoret); D.Darroch (Nakuru); T.A Tory (Impala); L.P Murrya (Moshi); K.Duncan (Kenya Harlequins) J.J. Steel(Arusha); K.V. Oulton(Nakuru); A.I Mclean (Nondescript) (captain); H.B. Isherwook(Impala); D.B.Kennedy (Nakuru) and E.Evans (Kitale)
1958-59 University of Cape Town Invitation Team
The University of Cape Town had been invited to pay a return to East Africa some years back, but it was delayed first, by the emergency in Kenya and later, by the Oxford and Cambridge visit in 1957. However, the invitation was again sent in 1958 for the team to tour from December, 1958 to February 1959. The University decided that in order to be able to play the best type of rugby, they should invite guest players and in this manner the side became an “Invitation Team” with five players from the University of Stellenbosch.
The touring side that played attractive rugby throughout the tour was under the management of Dr. T.B. Hogo-Hamman, who toured with 1949/50 team. Like their predecessors, the touring side maintained a 100 per cent winning record. They trounced Nakuru Kenya, Central Province, Kenya, East Africa Eldoret, Kitale, West Kenya, Nakuru Athletics Club Invitation XV and East Africa.
brian Granville-Ross (Nondescripts) and George Barbour (Kitale) are, perhaps, the two talented players that were among those who represented Kenya and are still around. Both retired players are businessmen with George Barbour doing some motoring safaris.
1957/8/9 Aden Command.
During the seasons 1957/8/9 Aden Command Services team visited Kenya for a short tour. They lost more that they won but their hospitality was well acclaimed.
In 1960s much rugby attention was shifted to the British sides. Noted ones were Wales, Richmond, British Combined Services, Anti-assassins and Blackheath Rugby clubs.
These sides had no match from the Local representative sides. Kenya, with strong support from Kericho, Kital, Londiani, Nairobi and Eldoret, did much to stop these visitors. But it was the tourists that had patched up the game at the final whistle.
Most of these Kenyan representative teams were made up of expatriates whose talents, earned during these tours, was eroded again once their contracts with Kenya expired. Competition was not so strict and most games were played on a rather social surrounding with some small emphasis on the Enterprise Cup, Higgins Cup and the Kenya Cup.
Looking at the Rugby Football Union of East Africa with more than ten players from Kenya, the results and captains will reveal the strengths of the visiting teams.
In 1961, Springboks were in transit from their English tour and CC Young captained a side that braved very minute of the game to lose 0-39.
The following year R.B Laing led his side to a bruising 17-36 defeat at the hands of British Combined Services. During Young’s captaincy, a last penalty saved Richmond 11-8. He repeated the feat again when East Africa XV held Oxford/Cambridge Universities with a small score margin 19-0.
D.S Reynolds and P.J.Spark captained sides against Anti-assassins and Blackheath respectively and the results: vs Anti-assassins 0-13 and vs Blackheath F.C 5-44.
East Africa versus:
Cork Constitution F.C 6-9
Blackrock College 24-8
Rosslyn Park 9-26
Wasps F.C 13-31
Harlequins F.C 15-20
Rugby Roma Algida 9-9
Zambia RFU 6-23
1962- British Combined services
The very backbone of all rugby is the club, and it is for these reason club histories occupy a large part of this magazine.
according to records available, something like 45 clubs have played their part in Kenya rugby, and we have on our list of affiliated clubs for the current season nearly 24 teams including schools. Quite a number of clubs mentioned are now extinct and some of them had only a short life but others have taken their place. These clubs are spread throughout Kenya.
The short history of the civil Service Rugby Club was one of the trials and tribulations. We see a demise followed by a plucky comeback and then once again the odds proving too much. The first trace that we can find of the clubs is in 1927, when they were in third place in N.D.C one place above the Nondescripts in that year.
It is sad to record that this revival was short-lived –the Railway and the Pipeline came into being at this time, with the consequent loss of players to the new clubs.
The Club’s last year, 1931, was one where their playing record certainly did not do them much credit. The exodus of players hit them very hard and they did not win match or that matter score a point, but the spirit was certainly there and to their eternal credit they fulfilled every commitment in spite of their record.
it is not difficult to see when reading the histories of other clubs what the civil Service lost and the odds were too much but the spirit of the 1931 Civil Service side was a very fine example of playing the game for its own sake.
Rugby on the plateau had been going on for some years before Schermbutker arrived in Eldoret in 1926. The Club’s first president was the “blue” Tommy O’Shea and in those early days Turbo was running a side of their own and Eldoret normally had difficulty in raising a full XV. Shortly after 1928 Turbo dissolved and their member joined Eldoret. form that tie E;soret or “64” as they were otherwise known the reference number of their Railway Station really came into their own and in pre-World War II years they won the Enterprise Cup six times from 1932 to 1936(five years in succession) and again in 1939. It is only Nondies that have won it seven times.
In this competition Eldoret and their oldest rivals the Nondescripts are well ahead of all their rivals.
To revert to the early days in ’64 we quote from Mr. Schermbrucker’s note:
“Our main rivals at the time of course Kitale, who has some good player and were on top up to 1928. I think I am right in saying that in 1928 honours were seven and Pharazyn came out with a classic article in the local Nzoia paper reporting on the first, or one of the first defeats of Kitale on the Eldoret ground. His article ran something like this – “while the Kitale players were looking for the ball in the hills and dales of the Eldoret rugby field the local players having better knowledge of their own geography and topography were nipping trough the forest of grass to score tries behind the line”
Eldoret rugby had only just been established at Elgon View on the Kisumu Road and it was still far from being a good, flat grassed ground. by purely voluntary help at he local player and particularly the farmer members who brought in dam scoops and oxen we converted the “hills and dales” into a reasonable playing field and as far as I can remember it was it was on the occasion of the first South African University tour in 1929 that we managed to get a pipe line connection from the local water supply after which the kikuyu grass we had planted began to show itself. it was previously an exceedingly dry and wind-swept spot.
The first club-house was built almost entirely by local voluntary hep and workers mostly form among the players and the same applied to the building of the tennis courts on the Club premises and the building of the secretary’s house from murram blocks made by the members with some African assistance. Trees were donated and planted around the ground mainly to cope with the prevailing wind and by the time the first South African Universities tour took place, the ground was in fair condition.
Since then of course a new club-house had been built and grandstands erected.
Nothing was fully organised when I knew Eldoret. I remember quite distinctly that my first game happened in this way. I was out on a farm and an old-box-body Rover drove up and Fred Pohl who was a perfect stranger to men ten tot out and said “I believe you play rugby”. Having given him an affirmative answer, he said “Get into my car quickly, we have a match against Kitale in a few moments” and very soon after that I was on the field.
By the end of 1928 Turbo had joined Eldoret and the rugby section was fairly organised although for some time it was a matter of having to select a team of 15 from something like between 16 and 18 players.
The highlights at that time were the occasional safari to Nairobi, where opponents were Nondies and the annual or almost annual visit of the Navy who eventually presented the Enterprise Cup for inter-district competitions. For the first year of possibly two years of that competition: Eldoret and Kitale combined, but soon afterwards they played individual affair.
One of the outstanding things to my mind about rugby in those days on ‘The Plateau’ was that virtually nothing was done by the players themselves from running the club to organising fixtures arranging transport and even down to bringing the club into existence and making the field fit for play.
There were some very enthusiastic old players who always turned out to support form the touchline. Advice and tips were freely given but all the work and the entire organisation and the players themselves for travelling or anything else. It was always a matter of those who had transport helping those who did not and of course members had to come from quite long distances. In all my time the spirit was always keen and there was never the slightest trouble about getting people to turn up for games and even for practices.”
The origin of the present Rugby section of the Impala Club dates back to 1930 when an Old Boy of the Nairobi School, Gregory Comminos, on leaving school started raising teams of “old boys” to play regular mid-week matches against the “School”. These teams consisted of old boys who were playing members of the few Nairobi, Ruiru, Muthaiga e.t.c
These fixtures proved a great success and as there were a growing number of younger members who were leaving school and could not afford to join one of the regular Nairobi Clubs, it was decided to form a club to encourage these members to continue playing rugger.
A meeting was held at the Prince of Wales School (now Nairobi School) and the club was launched with Mr.Larby as vice president, capt Nicholson as Chairman and Gregory Comminos as Secretary and Treasurer. it was decided that the club would play friendly fixtures in the first instance and would adopt the Welsh team’s colours of red jerseys and white shorts.
between 1931 and 1939 this team had varied fortunes but there was at all times a very keen spirit amongst the players and although it lacked experience players the number of boys leaving the Prince of Wales School was growing year by year and the majority were now joining the “Old Cambrians” and the club was growing in importance in the rugger world.
it was in 1951 during when history was made as Old Cambrians by being given a fixture in 1950 against the all-conquering Cape Town University side, although needless to say most of the old boys who played were picked from up-country and the team was led by Bert Styen of Kitale.
The Cambrians managed to acquire their own home ground in 1949 when a pitch was marked out and used as the cricket oval at Ngong Road. This was of course part of the amenities which are now the inheritance of the Impala club and which were due to the foresight and drive of such old boys as Reggie Alexander, Bernard Kampf and Tubby Block.
The begging of the emergency saw the eclipse of the Old Cambrians rugger section. With the possible exception of the Railway R.F.C no club failed worse than the Old Cambrians and no rugger of any kind was played on the Ngong road ground during 1953.
in the final season under the name Old Cambrians the club had possibly its worst season over highlighted only by a victory in the Nakuru sevens tournament. Players were only slowly returning from emergency duty and on many occasions it was difficult to put a full side on the field. David Lee, Derek Prophet, Bill Harvey,Peter Spencer, Robin Duff, Howie Clark were new acquisitions of note and although George Marshall formerly of Nondies worked extremely hard as coach team spirit was generally lacking.
in 1956 the Club first played as the Impala and a number of new players joined including Lane, Phillips Jones who acted as Club secretary Adams,Lester, Stephen, Chubb and Gooch.G.Marshall remained as coach and R.G. Taylor returned as captain with Campbell Gilles as vice-captain. For the first time honours caps and year badges were instituted.
altogether 61 players were utilised for 64 matches and a regular “A” XV was run a number of players gained provincial or other presentative honours including four in an outstanding gamed at the Coast where Nairobi Province defeated the coast 13 points to 12. The first actual Impala player to gain major honour was Taylor for Kenya against Tanganyika and the first honours caps issued went to him and the vice-captain Colin Gilles.
In 1957 “Spike” Bulley took over the captaincy with Peter Spencer as his vice. Alf Drummond as new coach and Ron Taylor as secretary. Unfortunately Bulley was injured early in the season and did not play anymore. Peter Spencer took over the captaincy. New players who joined included a new full-back in G. Wain also Tory, Lynch, Archbold, Bwye a new hooker from Prince of Wales and David Hogg, Danny O’Loghlen played for the club on a number of occasions and was instrumental in bringing about the defeat of Nondescripts in the N.D.C flag came to the club house for the first time ever.
The club continued to play good rugby but big moments did not come until 1971 when they started winning both the Nairobi district championship, the Enterprise Cup and several seven-a-side tournaments. with Peter Hiley, Kevin Lillis, Mike Andrews, David Parker and David Parsons, the Impala pack was the best in the land followed by Nondescripts. Peter Mills admired by many Ex-Lenana players played a big role at full-back years in a row Impala was unbeatable.
then came the disaster in 1975 Mike Andwers retired, Mike Barnes, Peter Hiley, David Parsons, David Parker and Kevin Lillis all went back hom and so went the strengths of Impala. There can never be a day from 1975 that Impala has played well. apart from those already mentioned players Chris Onsitti, Bill Okwirry, Nick Kado, Chief Edebe J.B Nyamwange, Patrick Wakhu and John Muhato have been fully capped on several games especially the international ones but the morale potential has been drained to the lowest ebb. And it will take quite a bit of time to get people like Chief Edebe, Peter Giraudo and J.B Nyamwange to steer Impala back to its early glories of the seventies.
“There were some very enthusiastic old players who always turned out to support form the touchline. Advice and tips were freely given but all the work and the entire organisation and the players themselves for travelling or anything else. It was always a matter of those who had transport helping those who did not and of course members had to come from quite long distances. In all my time the spirit was always keen and there was never the slightest trouble about getting people to turn up for games and even for practices”.