Frederick J “Chumpy” Russell
Position: Outside half / Forward
Born: 1881 in Bath
Education: St Marys R C School, Bath
Debut game: 10th November 1900 v Old Edwardians
Final game: 3rd April 1922 v Devonport Services
Number of Appearances: 215
Fred was one of the finest, yet most controversial player, ever to wear a Bath jersey
Educated at St Marys R C School in Bath Fred did not do much at school in rugby but in the year 1896, when 15 years old, he commenced playing rugby for a local club named St Georges, as a forward, and in 1897, he figured as captain of the Parkfield 2nd XV. In this club he played threequarter, with his other threes as Dick Meister, P Cox, W Holmes and with W Curtis as halfback, four of these players appearing in the County side later.
In 1898 he was scrumhalf for the Parkfield 1st XV. Later Fred appeared for Oldfield Park but in the season 1899/1900 his services were requisitioned by the Bath Club.
Fred took up boxing and athletics to keep in top condition for his rugby. – he was quite a handful with his powerful running. His favoured form of training was to send the team out on a road run and knock them all around his makeshift boxing ring upon their return.
Fred gave loyal and unstinting service to the Premier Club and it is noteworthy to record that he played in every position for the parent club. As a forward he undoubtedly became an acquisition and was rewarded with the Vice Captaincy. He reluctantly retired from rugby at the age of 43.
Fred’s brothers Bill, Tom, Ted and Jim also played for Bath. Fred, Ted and Jim played in the 1909-1910 season – and in April 1913 against Abertillery all three played in the same game
His geniality and good comradeship on the field caused considerable amusement among Bath Supporters from time to time.
Like Frank Cashnella, Fred excelled in horticulture.
After retiring Fred took up refereeing and continued until he was 63. He was also an active member of the Old Players Association and became Chairman
When Fred died in 1964 at the age of 83 he was a club Patron.