1900-0 1. P29, W17, L,10, D2. Points 288—145.
NEW STANDS: ACCOMMODATION RAISED TO 36,800
NICHOLLS’ THIRD TERM
At the annual general meeting held in the Park Hall on 27th July 1900, members had two captaincy nominations before them, namely Gwyn Nicholls and H. V. P. “ Viv “ Huzzey. Nicholls intimated that as he had already served two seasons as captain, he was withdrawing in favour of his loyal colleague Huzzey; but the members would have none of this and insisted on a ballot which resulted in Nicholls being appointed for a third successive term. Huzzey could rightly claim to be disappointed, after all, he had acted as captain for Gwyn Nicholls for more than half of the previous season when the latter was engaged on the Australian tour, and furthermore, he and Nicholls had formed the very strong wing/ centre partnership for the club since 1895-6 and for Wales in 1898 and 1899. Alas, after playing against Bristol in the second match of the season Viv Huzzey turned professional and his valuable services were lost to the club for whom he had made 132 appearances.
Huzzey’s defection had an effect on the season’s record, there was for instance, twice as many three-quarter selections compared with the previous season, too many changes altogether in fact, all of which contributed to a poor season, our worst since 1881-2. Of the ten defeats, three were at Newport’s hands, but surprisingly, we won the fourth encounter, against the odds, as Newport had lost but one match, to Swansea, who also beat us, twice. Neath and Llanelly accounted for us, and the three other defeats were at the hands of English clubs, Oxford University. reputedly strong, Leicester away also, on the Scotland v. Wales date (H. B. Winfield, Gwyn Nicholls, Jerry Blake our vice-captain and C. Sweet-Escott were absent) and to Gloucester away. There were many ‘ ifs and buts about our losses but truth to tell our scoring was not good enough.
We had a very hard struggle to beat Edinburgh University at home on Christmas Eve by one try to nil. Amongst the ‘Varsity backs, who were reputed to have played the four three-quarter system equally as good as Welshmen, was A. B. Timms. a Scottish international who later played for Cardiff in 1903-4 and 1904-5 and gained a senior club cap. Two of our matches were cancelled because of notable bereavements, the Moseley match in October because of the death of the Marquess of Bute through whose generosity the club was using the Cardiff Arms Park, and the Neath match of 2nd February owing to the death of Her Majesty Queen Victoria.
“Wax” Williams with 19 and C. F. Biggs with 16 were the top try scorers. Caps were voted to Cecil F. Biggs, D. L Bowen, George Common, R. Grey, “Charlie “ Kestell, D. Thomas and W. “Wax” Williams. Our fullback H. B. Winfield played in 28 out of the 29 matches. The Reserves’ record was better than that of the 1st XV, with J. Williams captain, and Ivor P. Jones as vice-captain, they won 22 out of 31 matches with five lost and four drawn. One tremendous victory was that over Cheltenham College (formerly a 1st XV fixture) by seven goals, four tries to one goal. Separate scoring details of the players were not recorded, but caps were awarded to Guy Treharne, J. A. Brown, T. Franks, R. J. Auckland, G. Thomas and D, L. Evans. Our only Welsh caps this season were the captain and vice-captain.
Administratively, the season was notable for the provision of additional accommodation on the Cardiff Arms Park. W 0. Phillips who was now affectionately known as “The Father of the Club “ and currently occupying the office of chairman of the International Grounds Committee of the Welsh Rugby Union, made a report to the club members at the annual general meeting, which was this: “The club had been anxious to retain international matches at Cardiff, and to do this they were bound to make adequate provision for vast crowds. The Union had met the Club in a handsome manner and had agreed to contribute no less than 75% of the total cost. Provision would be made for 35,000 people, and the grand stand increased by 600 to 1,800 people. Stands of 25 tiers would surround the field of play.”
The work was carried out in the months of July, August and September 1900, by Mr. Harry Gibbon, the lowest tenderer, at a cost of £1,926.6,11d. of which the Welsh Union contributed £1,445.2.8d., and the club the balance of £481.4.3d. The result was the club benefit of greatly increased accommodation at a first original cost, it was made responsible for the dismantling, and erection, of the stands and for the repairs to them for five years. The project was a notable landmark, as it were, in the club’s history and was to benefit both partners in it.
The turnover of the club for 1900-01—after paying its share of the costs of the stands was £2,633.6.8d, Donations to local charities and local clubs amounted to £210.8.6d. Only £3.0.4d. remained in hand but there remained £1,700 on deposit at the bank. The membership exceeded 1,000, proof of the club’s vitality.