Pontypool RFC's 150th anniversary celebrations have coincided with a resurgence in the club's fortunes.

The club sit top of the Championship, aiming for an unprecedented second consecutive unbeaten season.

With the celebration at the Parkway Hotel and Spa last week, it's time to look back on history of the club.

The club was formed in 1868, and was one of the eleven founding members of the WRU - or the Welsh Football Union as it was known at the time - in March 1881.

Many Welsh and British and Irish Lions players have come through the club - perhaps most notably the famed Pontypool Front Row of Charlie Faulkner, Graham Price and and Bobby Windsor in the 1970s.

South Wales Argus:

The Pontypool front row of Tony 'Charlie' Faulkner, Bobby Windsor and Graham Price.

The formidable trio was Wales' first one-club front row when they lined up against France in the 1975 Five Nations Championship.

They were immortalised in song by entertainer Max Boyce as the ‘Viet Gwent’ in his song The Pontypool Front Row.

This period during the 1970s and 1980s is widely considered the club's highpoint.

The club were unofficial Welsh Club champions six times during these two decades, including in 1987-88, when they won 35 matches out of their 36 matches.

During this period, Pooler were narrowly edged out by a touring Australia side which lost only four of their 18 games in their 1984 tour of Britain and Ireland.

South Wales Argus:

Pontypool's John Perkins, Graham Price, Steve 'Junna' Jones, Staff Jones, Eddie Butler, Jeff Squire and Mark Brown in action against the 1984 Australians.

Pooler suffered through a rocky period after the WRU's decision to trim the Premiership from 14 teams to 12, with the club being cast out of the top flight.

The club took the WRU to the High Court for what it felt was a breach of contract after the original proposal was to reduce the Premiership to 10 sides, based on criteria including stadium facilities and league results over the previous six seasons, before it was changed to 12.


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The High Court rejected Pontypool's appeal, saying that as the club had finished outside the top 12 in the WRU's meritocracy criteria.

The legal battle left the club on the brink of bankruptcy, before self-made millionaire and owner of medical services provider Medinet Peter Jeffreys stepped in.

South Wales Argus:

Pontypool celebrate winning the 2017/18 Championship.

The relegation hit Pontypool hard, losing 18 of their first 19 games of the season, but a run of six wins from seven lifted them out of the relegation places to 12th.

A brief rebuilding period saw the club soar the Championship title in 2016/17, and retain their crown the following year, becoming the first side to go a season unbeaten in the history of the league.

This season, the club are on course to repeat that feat, winning their first 15 matches.

The club have played at their historic Pontypool Park stadium - which played host to Australia in the 1991 Rugby World Cup - since 1945.