Club History

1910 - Cooke Rugby Football Club was formed principally from the members of a young people’s Bible Class belonging to Cooke Centenary Church on the Ormeau Road, Belfast. Some of its members were also former members of a Club called Rosetta who folded around 1908/09. Cooke played friendlies in its first year pending entrance into the Minor League in its second year during which it was undefeated.

1913 - 2nd XV win Harden Cup

1914-19 - Rugby suspended due to the First World War in which Cooke had six of its members killed in the conflict.

1919 - The Club was reformed with their home ground first of all at Pirrie Park and later they moved to the now home of Ulster Rugby @ ‘Ravenhill’ Park Gardens.

1923 - Won the Harden Cup.
- Following the purchase of Ravenhill by the IRFU Northern Branch, Cooke moved to play at Flush Park beside Rosetta School.

1927 – Saw Cooke moving to play their rugby at Galwally on grounds owned then by Methodist College with primitive changing conditions in the infamous ‘black hut’ and only the river at the bottom of the hill for washing in.

In the late 1940’s extensive renovations were carried out with the installation of hot and cold water including showers.

1940-42 – Rugby suspended during 2nd World War in which out of a membership of 53, Cooke lost 12 players killed in action.

1954 – The grounds at Upper Galwally were purchased for £1200. This money had been obtained from the Rugby Union through Tom Watson, the first representative of a Junior Club to be elected as President of the Ulster Branch (1953-54).

1958 - The club host the first ever Canadian side to tour the Brisish Isles.

1963 – Saw the opening of a new prefabricated pavilion at Upper Galwally.

1968 – Resolution passed “that Cooke Rugby Club to sell the Club Ground, Pavilion and ancillary buildings at Upper Galwally, Belfast to Cooke Rugby & Sports Association for the sum of 1/- (one shilling)”

1971 – Saw the opening of a new pavilion adjoining the old ‘Cockpit’ prefab with a match between a Cooke 1 XV & an Ulster U21 XV.

1973 - 1st XV win the McCrea Cup. *

1982 - 3rd XV win the Foster Cup.

1987 – 1st XV win the Junior Cup for the first time in their history.

1991 – Cooke move into their new home at Shaws Bridge with an opening game of
Irish President’s XV v International XV. (Team photos in entrance hallway) This followed a move from their home @ Upper Galwally now home to Castlereagh Council Offices (2nd XV pitch) along with various retail units including Sainsbury’s service station (1XV pitch).

1992 - Cooke Women's section is established.

1996 - 6th XV win the McCambley Cup.

2000 – Ground sharing arrangements agreed between Instonians Club & Cooke Rugby Sports Association to see both Rugby Clubs based at the Shaws Bridge complex.

2007 – Won the Junior Cup

2010 – Reached the Semi Final of the All Ireland Junior Cup for the first time losing out to Monivea for a place in the final.

2013 - 2017 Women 1st XV win the Rosie Stewart Memorial Bowl every year.

2014 - Women 1st XV win All Ireland League 2.

* 1st XV also win McCrea Cup 75, 80, 83, 86, 88, 89, 96, 97, 99, 2000, 02, 03, 07, 08, 09, 10 & 16