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.
To search for a particular player, use the Search box below.
Date of Birth: 12/12/1934
Career: 1957-65 85 games
Scored: 180 pts (60t)
Ron Bridgeman played on the wing with distinction for Bristol for 9 seasons. A prolific try scorer, he was very unfortunate to have been plagued with injuries and was never able to achieve his full potential.
His first love was athletics. Bridgeman was Somerset County champion at 440 yards and he ran in AAA meetings at the White City.
Later a semi-professional soccer player with Weston super Mare, Bridgeman, a centre forward, accompanied a friend to watch Dings Crusaders play in November 1956. The fourth XV were short of players and so he played against Old Elizabethans thirds. He had never played rugby before but made 13 appearances for Dings before being recommended to Bristol United in February 1957. He made a fine debut against Newport United. Raw, inexperienced, but very fit and fast, he could evade tackles and score tries - he scored in every remaining United match that season.
At the end of the 1956/57 season he made his first XV debut at Cheltenham when John Broad withdrew. He had an impressive match, in what was only his 30th game of rugby, and as Broad retired at the end of the season it seemed certain Bridgeman would fill the gap on the wing.
However fate took a hand in the end of season sevens when he badly broke his collar bone. The injury forced him to wear shoulder pads, a rare sight at that time.
The writing was on the wall for Bridgeman. Every time he recovered from injury, he'd play a few games in the United, be promoted to the first XV and get injured again. Consequently Bridgeman didn't play as many games for Bristol as he might. On the road to recovery he played 108 games for the United, scoring 124 tries in the process, a remarkable strike record.
1959 was a vintage year for Bridgeman. A regular Somerset player, he scored Bristol's winning try in a tough encounter with the successful St Luke's College side in February, and scored two magnificent tries for Bristol in a floodlit game against Newport in a spectacular and exciting match.
His final game was at Exeter in October 1964 when he suffered a full dislocation of the knee and never played again. However he continued to be involved with the club. He looked after the players physical fitness, assisted coaching, and was one of the club's "sponge men" until 1978.
Ron Bridgeman was one of the finest try scorers Bristol have had. Supremely fit, he now plays tennis for Hereford & Worcestershire county veterans.