In its rich history, Bristol has nurtured some of the great stars of the past and present.
We would like to thank Dave Fox and Mark Hoskins for allowing us to take advantage of the superb research they did for their book "Bristol Football Club (RFU) - 100 Greats". Dave and Mark contributed the information and the images.
If you would like to get more information on the club, its players and its history, then you can buy their book at most leading bookshops in Bristol.
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Date of Birth: 24/5/1927
Date of Death: 2/7/2001
Honours: Gloucestershire, England trialist, British Isles
Career: 1951-57 157 games
Scored: 61 tries, 2 dg = 189 pts
John Broad was one of the most popular Bristol players in the 1950s. A fanatical rugby enthusiast, he was a founder member of Thornbury RFC.
He served as an artificer in the Royal Artillery at the end of the Second World War. An outside half, he played rugby in Palestine and North Africa on grassless grounds which were flooded after each game to make the pitch soft enough to play on the following week. This was a largely unsuccessful exercise, and going to ground became a precarious occupation to be avoided at all costs. Small, nimble and quick, Broad escaped the dreaded tackle far more than less elusive colleagues.
He joined Bristol in early 1952 when he left the Army. He was initially selected at centre but was moved to the wing where his pace and swerve could be better used. He became a regular the following season, scoring ten tries in his 23 games for the club. Broad was one of the fittest players of his generation. He was once told by a Bristol Rovers player that Bristol rugby players trained more than professional footballers did. A perfectionist, he supplemented club training with an extensive personal training programme which he continued into later life.
He played in many of the floodlit matches staged at Ashton Gate and played for Gloucestershire on ten occasions. Principally a creator of tries rather than a try scorer, he contributed greatly to the side in which the seeds of Bristol fashion rugby were sown. He also helped advise the Bristol players on personal fitness, a factor which was fundamental to the successes of the late 1950s. He was elected vice captain for the 1956/57 season.
Broad stopped playing for Bristol at the end of the 1956/57 season, joined the Bristol committee and played for the Stokes Croft Old Boys club. He played once for the United in 1961 to help out, and then helped found Thornbury RFC in 1963, playing for them for many years and later becoming President.
Apart from a brief period playing for Camberley, Broad continued to play rugby for Thornbury, his last game was in an international veterans tournament in Caen, France, against a Czechoslovakian side, at the tender age of 60.
He was passionate about rugby, and Bristol in particular. Frequently outspoken, he left the listener in no doubt of his opinion. A personnel manager, John Broad stood for the good things in the game, its traditions and the value of its amateur ethos.