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 15/07/1872 ( died September 1950)
Honours Gloucestershire, The South, England, British Team
Career 1900-1905 (50 games) - and many additional appearances before 1900
Scored 3pts (1 try)
Wallace Jarman was Bristol's first ever international player, gaining his cap for England as a forward in the game against Wales on 6th January 1900. This was in the pre Twickenham era when clubs around the country lobbied the English Rugby Union for the privilege of staging international matches. The Bristol committee had made strenuous efforts to have the game staged at the County Ground, but Gloucester was the chosen venue and it was at Kingsholm that Jarman created club history. This was an extraordinary game in which England awarded no less than thirteen new caps, including the entire pack. Unfortunately for Jarman, Wales won 13-3 and he and a number of others were dropped for the following game. This caused any amount of dissatisfaction in the Bristol area, especially as it was generally agreed that Jarman had played well. The Bristol committee seriously considered making an official protest, and the minutes of the time refer to the ERU executive as being "quite hopeless". Sadly, this was to be Jarman's only cap.
Irrespective of his special place of honour as the club's first international, Wallace Jarman deserves to be remembered as one of the major figures in Bristol's early years. He was educated at Merchant Venturers School, and joined Bristol from the Knowle club, then a dominant force in local rugby. He received his Bristol cap at the end of the 1893/94 season, and was appointed captain in 1896/97. Jarman held this office for five seasons, a record only equalled in more recent times by Derek Eves. It was under his leadership that Bristol gained its first victory over Newport, winning 8-5 in January 1900, just a week after Jarman's solitary international. He relinquished the captaincy at the end of the 1900/01 season, but continued to play, though less regularly, up to 1905, making his final appearance against Percy Park in April of that year. By then he was already Bristol's chairman, an office he held from 1902/1909.
Bristol's Jubilee Book provides us with a superb thumbnail sketch of Jarman: "Puritan in upbringing and habit he was a fine character, full of humour and kindliness, yet a veritable Spartan where physical fitness counted." He was greatly valued by his fellow club members, and was made a life member of the club in 1901. He was also awarded a special dinner when he was selected for the British team which toured Australia in 1899. This was by no means a fully representative side as many of the party were, like Jarman, uncapped at the time, and twelve of the tourists, including the captain, were never capped by their countries. Australia won the first test of this series, but the British team won the remaining three, and Jarman had the honour of playing in all four tests. It was to be ninety years before another British team made an exclusive tour of Australia.
It says much for Wallace Jarman's stamina, enthusiasm and ability that he was able to return from Australia and go straight into a new season as his club's captain, playing rugby worthy of international selection in the process. Other honours to come his way during his career included an appearance for The South against The North in 1899 and a total of twenty-eight caps for Gloucestershire.
Wallace Jarman emigrated to Canada in 1920, and worked for Cadbury-Fry in Alberta for many years. He made a brief return to Bristol in 1936 and his old playing contemporaries held a dinner for him at the Royal Hotel. He continued to live in Canada after his retirement and died in Vancouver in 1950.