Back in 1883, Melrose became the birthplace of rugby sevens when club captain Ned Haig organised a Sports Day to raise much-needed funds.
Haig proposal to stage a rugby tournament was initially rejected as unworkable by the club’s committee due to the number of players it would involve. However, Haig’s boss at the local butcher’s, former Melrose captain David Sanderson, made reference to having played in some sort of reduced numbers tournament, while working on the English side of the border.
The solution became obvious, to cut down the size of the team from 15 to seven players, and the playing time to two halves of seven minutes each. The Melrose committee agreed unanimously to add a rugby tournament to the Sports Day, unaware of the historic significance of their decision.
Traditionally held in April, the Melrose Sevens continues to be an important part of the rugby calendar to this day.
Want of money made us rack our brains as to what was to be done to keep the club from going to the wall, and the idea struck me that a football tournament might prove attractive