INTEGRITY PASSION DISCIPLINE RESPECT
BLACKTHORN YOUTH RUGBY
The Blackthorn Rugby Football Club (BRFC) was founded in 1971 by Marshall Sturm, John Galante and Bob Kirkpatrick. Sturm had been a member of the Penn State Rugby Club and then played for Whitemarsh RFC. After playing several seasons for Whitemarsh, Sturm decided to form a club.
Sturm enlisted the support of fellow Whitemarsh players Bob Kirkpatrick and Dave Labovitz, as well as Philadelphia RFC scrum-half John Galante. It was decided not to name the club after a particular geographical area and thereby restrict recruitment or movement from field to field. Kirkpatrick, who played for a year in Ireland with the Galway Corinthians, suggested the name Blackthorn as a way to avoid geographical identification and to make an association with one to the "Home Countries" of Rugby.
The Club of those first five years was known as a hard playing jovial group. With the help of such stalwarts as Rick "MadDogg" Mossiette, Don Morsdan, Hans Sumpf, Dan Currie, Peter Brindle, Dave Lieber, Pat Luddy and Will Pike playing major roles in making the club the type of organization which many players and their families would want to remain associated with for a long time to come. Surviving a membership split, which spawned the Doylestown RFC, the club was bolstered by a number of recruits including Kevina nd Donald Rae, Stu McClay, Bill McMinn, Ed Hincken and Marc McKenna. These Players helped the club rise to the top of Eastern PA Rugby Union's second and then first division. Blackthorn capped its championship run by becoming Eastern US Champions in 1984. They went on the place 4th in the country that year.
Since then the club has gone through another generation of players and has produced a string of tournament and league success. The team has won the Reading April Fools Tournament in 1996, 1997 and 1998. Blackthorn won the Middle Atlantic's Diviiosn II in the fall of 1996. This successful season allowed Blackthorn to qualify for the National Playoff Tournament in Dallas, Texas where we faced the top teams in the nation.
The Blackthorn Rugby Football Club indeed has a storied past, a vibrant present, and exciting future. Blackthorn has played in the Irish Emerald Green Jersey since its inception in 1971. The club crest, a crossed shamrock and shillelagh on a gold field with the name of the club scrolled across the top, is embroidered on the left chest. Black shorts and our green and gold socks round out the kit.