Founded in 1872 by Henry WD Dunlop as the Irish Champion Athletic Club, Lansdowne Football Club is one of the oldest rugby clubs in Ireland as well as one of the best-known wherever the game of rugby football is played. Steeped in the history of the game, the Club’s home ground is Lansdowne Road, the Irish international stadium, which is also the oldest international rugby ground in the world.
The lease to the ground was originally passed to the IRFU by HWD Dunlop, President of Lansdowne from 1872 until 1904. Remarkably, over a hundred years later, Henry Dunlop’s son, Eric, was involved with Lansdowne until his death in July 2008, and was an Honorary Life Member of the Club.
The Club’s playing colours are black, red and yellow hoops, with navy shorts. To date, 99 Lansdowne players have won international caps, including many famous names in Irish Rugby, including: Moss Keane, Eugene Davy, Ernie Crawford, Ned Lightfoot, Mick Dunne, Jack Arigho, Morgan Crowe, Robin Roe, Mick English, Pat Casey, Sean MacHale, Gordon Wood, Alan “Dixie” Duggan, Barry McGann, Mick Quinn, Noel Manion, Eric Elwood, Philip Danaher, Michael Kiernan (dropped the goal to win the 1985 Triple Crown), Conor O’Shea, Donal and Dick Spring (former Tanaiste), Michael Gibson, Des Fitzgerald and, of course, the great Con Murphy (the only player to represent Ireland both before and after the 2nd World War).
Con was captain of the famous Irish team which defeated England 22-0 in the first official post-war international in 1947. The Lansdowne Club has also supplied 9 British and Irish Lions, including two members of the 2005 New Zealand squad, Shane Horgan and Gordon D’Arcy. More recently, Felipe Contepomi became the Club’s 99th overall and first Overseas international. On two occasions in 1931, Lansdowne supplied the entire Irish three-quarter line (Jack Arigho, Eugene Davy, Morgan Crowe and Ned Lightfoot), one of only three clubs ever to have done so at international level world-wide.
Lansdowne have won the Leinster Senior Cup a record 24 times, as well as winning 10 Leinster Senior League titles. Since the Club’s first Senior Cup victory in 1891, Lansdowne have won a total of 123 Leinster Branch trophies as well as 6 national titles - more than any other club. The Club caters for players at all levels, and currently fields six senior teams, as well as a successful Under 20’s side (they have won the Leinster League three times in the past few seasons).
They were also All Ireland Champions in 1998~1999. Mini and Youth Rugby also flourishes in the Club, with teams from under 6/7/8’s up to under 17’s. In both the 1996-97 and 1999-2000 seasons, Lansdowne finished second in the All Ireland League, on the latter occasion losing narrowly to St Mary’s College in the final. Lansdowne compete Division 1A of the All Ireland League