Formation of the Union
There is no report of any attempt to form an official body to control the development of Rugby Football on an organised area basis until we come to the 1886/87 season – 18 years after the first clubs were reported to have been operating.
Apart from LFC there were several early clubs in Leicester and Leicestershire, St Margaret’s Church Guild had a team in 1869, Leicester Athletic Society FC 1870, Leicester Alert 1876, Leicester Amateur 1871, Lutterworth 1873, Kibworth 1874, Ravenstone 1876, Victoria FC 1876, Market Harborough 1877, Belgrave St Peters 1881, Hinckley 1881, Loughborough Rangers 1882, Bellows (later to become Swifts) 1883, Old Nelson 1884, Dover Street (later Crusaders) 1885, St Leonard’s 1885, Wimbledon 1885, Tyro 1885, South Wigston 1886, Knighton 1886.
Discussions between clubs, players and committee-men resulted in a meeting of representatives of Leicester Clubs on 23rd March 1887, held at 21 Gallowtree Gate, Leicester with the purpose of the meeting being the organisation of inter-club competitions.
A further recorded meeting took place on 24th September 1890, held at the Old Horse, London Road, Leicester at which 12 clubs were represented. This meeting capitalised on the work done during the previous three years and stabilised the organisation.
In August 1893, it was passed that the Leicestershire Rugby Union should become affiliated to the English Rugby Union.
A year later in 1894 saw the formation of the Leicestershire Schools Rugby Union.
In 1895 the Referees Association, which was run by the officers of Leicestershire Rugby Union, at that time, joined the Midland Counties Referees Association. They then formed into the Referees Society in September 1897 to run its own affairs independently and to appoint referees to all matches under the aegis of the Leicestershire Rugby Union, which they have continued to do ever since.