Club: Wasps RFC
Moved to Ricoh Arena: December 2014
Stadium Name: Ricoh Arena
Stadium Address: Phoenix Way
Telephone: 02476 992326/7
Capacity: 32,500 (All Seated)
Club Web Site:
Colours: Home: Black and Gold Trim
League (2016/17) : Aviva Premiership
For Fixtures Go To:
London Wasps : Stadiums Past,Present …..and Future
Hampstead Football Club was founded in 1866. A split in the membership resulted in the formation of two different clubs: Harlequin F.C. and Wasps. Wasps Football Club was itself formed in
1867 at the now defunct Eton and Middlesex Tavern in North London.
(Apparently, names of insects, birds and animals were considered fashionable in the Victorian period).
In December 1870, Edwin Ash, Secretary of Richmond Football Club, published a letter in the papers which said, “Those who play the
rugby-type game should meet to form a code of practice as various clubs play to rules which differ from others, which makes the game difficult to play.” As a reasonably well-established club, the Wasps were eligible to be founder members of the R.F.U. (Rugby Football Union) On January 26,1871, the meeting was scheduled to take place. However a mix-up led to them sending their representative to the wrong venue at the wrong time on the wrong day. Another version of the story was that he went to a pub of the same name and after consuming a number of drinks was too drunk to make it to the correct address after he had realized his mistake. Wasps were, therefore, not present at the inauguration ceremony and forfeited their right to be called foundation members.
Wasps’ first home was in Finchley Road, North London. Later grounds were rented in various parts of London until in 1923 the Wasps found a permanent home at Sudbury, Middlesex, eventually buying the ground outright.
By 1996/97 Wasps had become the first English champions of the professional era. Off the field, the club split into two parts, with the professional side becoming part of Loftus Road Holdings PFC, who also owned Queens Park Rangers F.C. One element of the deal saw Wasps move from their traditional Sudbury home to share Q.P.R’s Loftus Road Stadium.
The by-now renamed London Wasps agreed to move out Loftus Road to allow Fulham F.C. to rent for two seasons between 2002 and 2004 while their Craven Cottage ground was being re-developed. At the end of the 2001/02 season they became tenants to Wycombe Wanderers at their Adams Park ground on the outskirts of High Wycombe.
At the beginning of the 2007/08 season it was announced that Wasps would begin their defence of the Heineken Cup in Coventry, playing their “home” tie against Munster at Coventry City’s Ricoh Arena. While commercially the game was seen as a success, with Wasps winning 24-23 in front of a crowd of 21,506, the move attracted criticism from some of the clubs’ supporters.
In recent years, Wasps have played their season opener in the “London Double Header” at Twickenham. The 2010/11 game attracted a record crowd of 75,112.
Additionally, in April 2010 Wasps inaugurated what is planned to be an annual “Game-For-Heroes” Premiership match. Bath were the first visitors-and winners.
Wasps are different from a lot of clubs in the Premiership in that they have no traditional support base on which to draw. The likes of Gloucester and Leicester attract fans primarily from the local community, but Wasps have more nomadic roots. Formed in North London in 1867, the Club then made Sudbury in Middlesex their home before moving to Loftus Road, West London, and then settling at Adams Park in 2002.
“It’s not a traditional club, explains Mandy Richardson, vice-chairman of the London Wasps Supporters Club. “We’re nomads and people come from all over the place to support the team. I
come from Epsom and I’ve got friends who come from Kent, Surrey, Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire, and London-all over.
Fans come from all over the place and the team come from all over the place, so we’re all in the same boat; we’re all in it together.”
Last Updated August 2016
Copyright Miles & Miles Publishing 2016