In the late 1960s, Caerau’s football team used to play a game of rugby against Ely Rangers football side in a biannual fixture on Boxing Days and Easter Mondays. In 1970, the popular club chairman and baseball captain Viv Halbert approached the club’s sports committee to ask if they would be willing to finance a rugby side. The committee told Viv that if he could prove to them he could raise a side they would back it 100 per cent, a notice was placed on the Highfields Public house notice board – the club’s headquarters at that time and around 30 names were soon listed With the help of Kevin Mooney, who became secretary, and Peter Collins, who became the first captain, a meeting was arranged, a constitution was drawn up and Caerau (Ely) RFC was registered with the Cardiff and District RU.
The club’s first cup final was in the great old Mallet Cup when, on April 19, 1978, they lost to the powerful CIAC team by a converted try, 6-0, at Glamorgan Wanderers. The Caerau Ely trailblazers had Mike Fleming, the Wales baseball cap at full-back and another splendid baseballer in Brian Russ at centre a Powerful centre in Brian Jones and Colin Marshall and Tony Cotterell on the wings, Alan Hewitt at scrum-half and fly-half was Wales Youth cap Steve McCann, who went on to star as a wing with Cardiff and Penarth. Sadly, Steve passed away in 2008.
The pack had Wayne Marshall, later of Dinas Powys, Peter Hegarty and Charlie Jones up front, Tony Rogers and Clive Palfrey at lock and a back-row of skipper Alan Camp, Peter Collins and man of the match Haydn George. That season had seen 27 of the 31 games won, but McCann, Russ, Jones and George who later switched to Penarth, McCann helping beat the Barbarians with two tries and for Cardiff he had already notched 39 tries in 78 games. He finished as Caerau coach.George went on to skipper Penarth and stayed with them until his retirement, while Russ switched to full-back. A Caerau product and baseballer was the talented Wales RL cap Danny Wilson, the father of football legend Ryan Giggs, but it was in 1998 that the club had their first Welsh Districts cap.
Steve Woods and Mike Sheehan were both capped in Denmark after being reserves against Portugal at Dunvant and in 1999 both played as replacements against Germany in Hanover, when Steve Franks, formerly of St Albans, was also capped.
Franks was a Welsh second-row in the 1999 and 2000 wins over Denmark, at Llandovery and Copenhagen respectively, with Sheehan at prop in the latter game before switching to Rumney. Further caps have been won by flanker Paul Cronick (Denmark and Germany 2002); hooker Paul Healy (Holland 2005, Germany 2006-07) and splendid No.8 Wesley Palmer (Germany 2006-07).
All but Palmer won Cardiff and District caps, plus Richard Meredith and Stuart Tobin.
The club has been in Mallet Cup finals (winning in 2000 and 2007) and also reached finals of the Ninian Stuart Cup. Caerau Ely has also won the Ron Lucock Cup.
John Lovell Captained the District on numerous occasions and was presented with a scroll of all the sides he played against John had the distinction of being the Captain of the District side which won the Percy Howells Cup Also the honour of being Captain of the East Districts against the Welsh Districts Rugby Union side he was also awarded his East Districts Jersey after the game.
But the nearest Caerau Ely RFC came to what is so called the Holy Grail of welsh amateur rugby The Welsh Districts Cup was in 2005 & 2007, when in 2005 Glyncoch beat us 14-8 in a semi-final at Pontypridd after knocking out Bryncethin, Machynlleth, Beaufort and Rhayader. In 2007 we were narrowly beaten by a very good Bryncethin side at Blackwood RFC.
Season proved to be very succesful with the first XV gaining promotion as runners up from Swalec League Division 6 Central after losing only 3 games throught the season and drawing 1 which took them in Swalec league Division 5 South East.
season proved very succesful for our 2nd XV gaining promotion from Cardiff & District Divison 2 to Division 1 as runners up and retaining the Ninian Stuart Cup by beating a very good Llanrumney 2nd XV 7-6 at Cardiff Arms Park