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History of Saracens

Saracens were founded in 1876 by the Old Boys of the Philological School in Marylebone, London (later to become St Marylebone Grammar School). Saracens amalgamated with neighbouring club Crusaders two years later. In 1892 Saracens moved from Crown Lane, Southgate, to Firs Farm, Winchmore Hill and have played on nine different grounds before the move to Bramley Road for the 1939-40 season (although the war actually prevented them from playing there until 1945).


The club produced a number of internationals in pre-league era, such as hooker John Steeds who won five caps for England from 1949-50, Vic Harding a lock also for England from 1961-62 and George Sherriff an England back-rower from 1966-67.


The club enjoyed fixtures with the leading clubs for many years and enjoyed a particularly successful time in the 1970s when they reached the semi-finals of the National Cup (now the EDF Energy Cup). Special games played at Bramley Road during this period include the 1971 match against a select International XV. It was a fantastic occasion, as a 5,000 strong crowd (the largest ever to watch a rugby union game in North London at the time) came to watch a magnificent contest, ending Saracens 34 International XV 34.


After some bleak years in the early 1980s, the club responded to the challenge of the Courage Leagues, and they won the second division in 1989 with a 100% record. The next year in the first division they surprised many by finishing fourth in the league behind Wasps, Gloucester and Bath.


1992-93 season saw the leagues restructured with Saracens, along with three other clubs, being relegated to the second division. In 1993-94 Saracens finished third and narrowly missed out on promotion but the following year they finished as champions and were again back in the top flight. Saracens seesaw existence over the nineties was about to continue in 1995-96 where they again found themselves at the wrong end of the table along with West Hartlepool but they were saved by the expansion of the league from 10 to 12 teams.


In November 1995 with the advent of professional rugby Saracens gained the financial backing of Nigel Wray and this enabled the professional club to recruit the likes of Michael Lynagh, Philippe Sella, Francois Pienaar and Kyran Bracken. Saracens moved again to Enfield F.C.'s ground, Southbury Road, and then in 1997-98 season, the professional side began a ground share with Watford F.C. and their 22,000 all seater Vicarage Road Stadium, which continues to this day.


Since 1996, Amateur rugby has continued to be played at Bramley Road and continues to this day under the auspices of Saracens Amateur RFC with vibrant Adult Men's and Women's Sections and an outstanding Junior Section.


The Saracens name can be traced back to the famous desert warriors led by Saladin in the late 12th century. They were renowned for their extreme mobility, and powers of endurance, which when allied to their bountiful enthusiasm, rendered the Saracens invincible.

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