Warrington Wolves are a professional rugby league club in Warrington, that competes in the Super League. They play at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, having moved there from Wilderspool in 2004. Founded as Warrington Zingari Football Club in 1876, they are one of the original twenty-two clubs that formed the Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895 and the only one that has played every season in the top flight, they are nicknamed "The Wire" in reference to the wire-drawing industry in the town. Warrington have local rivalries with St. Helens and Wigan, they have won three League Championships and are the fourth most successful team in the Challenge Cup with eight victories, behind Wigan, St. Helens and Leeds, their most successful season came in 1953–54 when they completed a Championship and Challenge Cup'Double', beating Halifax twice in the space of four days to first win the Challenge Cup 8–4 in a replay at Odsal clinch the Championship 8–7 at Maine Road. 1955 was the last time. Warrington are the 11th most successful rugby league club in England behind Wigan Warriors, St Helens, Bradford Bulls, Hull FC, Leeds Rhinos, Salford Red Devils, Widnes Vikings, Hull Kingston Rovers and Swinton Lions.
The official foundation date for the club is given as 1876, but rugby football was played in the town before that date and there was an earlier club bearing the name of Warrington Football Club. Under the heading'Outdoor Sports – Football' the Widnes Guardian of 25 January 1873 reports on a recent game between Warrington and Wigan at the unnamed ground of the former. On 6 December 1873 that same newspaper carried details of a match involving Warrington and Zingari and in subsequent weeks there were matches with Sale and Free Wanderers; this club folded. Warrington Zingari Football Club was formed in 1876 by seven young local men; when the earlier club folded, they decided to take the vacant Warrington Football Club name for the start of the 1877/8 season. Another local club, Padgate Excelsior amalgamated with Warrington in 1881–82, Warrington Wanderers joined in 1884 to form a representative town side. In 1886, the club won the West Lancashire and Border Towns Trophy. On 28 August 1895, the Committee decided to join with 21 other clubs throughout Lancashire and Yorkshire to form a new'Northern Union' and resigned from the RFU.
In 1900 -- 01, Warrington reached the final of the Challenge Cup. A crowd of 29,000 turned out at Leeds to see Warrington battle hard but be beaten by two tries to nil. Warrington appeared in the renamed South West Lancashire Cup against Leigh two days later; the strenuous game against Batley took its toll on the Warrington players and the match ended in a 0–0 draw, the replay never took place. In 1903–04, Warrington defeated Bradford Northern in a semi-final replay to earn a place in the final of the Challenge Cup. Warrington put up a fine performance against Halifax but lost 8–3. In 1904–05, Warrington beat Hull Kingston Rovers 6–0 to win the Challenge Cup final in front of a crowd of 19,638. In 1908, 14 November the first touring Australian rugby league team visit Warrington; the Kangaroos embarked upon a massive six months tour of Britain taking in 45 matches. Their timing was not good as the north of England was hit by strikes in the cotton mills, which badly affected attendances as fans could not afford to watch the pioneering Aussies.
On Saturday 14 November 1908 Warrington played the Kangaroos. Warrington won the match 10-3, with Jackie Fish the hero scoring one try and Ike Taylor the other and George Dickenson kicked a goal each. A crowd of 5,000 watched the match at Wilderspool; the Warrington team that day was Jimmy Tilley, Jack Fish, George Dickenson, Ike Taylor, Lewis Treharne, Ernest Brooks, John Jenkins, William Dowell, Alfred Boardman, Billy O'Neill, George Thomas, Peter Boardman, John Willie Chester. The Australians came back to Wilderspool for "revenge" in the tour but tries from Jack Fish, John Jenkins earned the'Wirepullers' an 8-8 draw. Two members of the Kangaroo squad, Dan Frawley and Larry O'Malley signed for Warrington and played the next season at Wilderspool. Warrington have the best record of any club side against the touring Kangaroos with eight wins, one draw, seven defeats from sixteen matches. In 1913, 5th challenge cup final, Warrington reached their fifth Challenge Cup Final, with wins over Keighley, Hull Kingston Rovers and Dewsbury.
The Final was lost 9–5 to the mighty Huddersfield team of "All-Stars". Warrington scored first through a try by Bradshaw converted by Jolley and gave a wonderful display in what was considered to be the best Cup Final of the pre-war era. A disappointing league season had seen Warrington finish their lowest pre Great War. So the Challenge Cup performances were a tremendous achievement. Warrington closed for the 1915-16 season but recommenced playing in 1916 following the introduction of conscription which meant that would not be accused of keeping men from volunteering for the First World War. After a bad start to the 1921 -- 22 season, Warrington won; this included an 8–5 victory over the visiting Australasian team of the 1921–22 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain. Warrington beat Leigh to reach the final of the Lancashire County Cup. Wire beat Oldham 7–5, despite playing with only 12 men for most of the match after centre Collins sustained a broken collar bone. After a bad start to the 1927–28 current and a poor previous season Warrington notched up victories over Hull Kingston Rovers and Leeds in the semi-final of the Challenge Cup.
The final against Swinton was played at Central Park, with an estimated 1
Hunslet F.C. (1883)
Hunslet F. C. was a professional rugby league club in Hunslet, West Yorkshire, which played in the Rugby Football League from 1895 until being dissolved in 1973. Founded in 1883, before the split between rugby league and rugby union, Hunslet were a strong force in the early years of the Northern Rugby Football Union, winning All Four Cups in 1908. New Hunslet took Hunslet's place for the 1973-74 season. A special general meeting of the Hunslet Cricket Club was held on 21 May 1883, the committee resolved to grant two local teams: Albion and Excelsior the sum of £130 to form the Hunslet Rugby Club at Woodhouse Hill; the name of the cricket club was changed to Hunslet Cricket and Football Club. The players wore blue and white quartered shirts; the new club played their first match on 6 October 1883, beating Hull "A". In December, another side, amalgamated with them. In 1884, Hunslet entered the Yorkshire Cup, they changed their strip to chocolate and white, built a stand. Hunslet announced their arrival the following season by beating Leeds St John's in the third round of the Yorkshire County Cup.
Better fixtures drew larger crowds and as a result the landlord wanted to put up the rent. The search was on for another ground, club officials purchased at little cost 10.25 acres of waste land at Hunslet Carr from the Low Moor Iron and Coal Company and had to shift 2,000 tons of rubbish to create what would become Parkside, which they moved to in 1888. The first game at Parkside was played on 11 February 1888, when they beat Mirfield. Just four seasons Hunslet won their first trophy, the Yorkshire Cup, beating Leeds; the city of Leeds had an abundance of rugby football clubs and although members of the Yorkshire RFU, it was decided to form a'more local' association. It was for this reason that the Leeds & District organisation was formalised when a meeting took place at the Green Dragon Hotel, Leeds, on 27 September 1888; the foundation clubs were Bramley, Hunslet, Leeds Parish Church, Leeds St John's, Wortley. In 1895, Hunslet were one of the twenty-one clubs that broke away from the Rugby Football Union, joined the Northern Union.
In 1897–98 Hunslet became Yorkshire Senior League Champions, in the following season they reached the final of the Challenge Cup, going down 19–9 to Oldham. Billy Batten signed for Hunslet as a 17-year-old in 1905. In the 1905–06 Northern Rugby Football Union season, Hunslet won the first Yorkshire Cup, beating Halifax, 13–3, they were the first club to win All Four Cups. Oldham had finished as league leaders but Hunslet beat them 12-2 in the Championship Final following an initial 7-7 draw, they changed their colours to chocolate and white after this feat. Powered by a pack known as the Terrible Six, Hunslet were led by Albert Goldthorpe in his late thirties but a dominant figure in the early years of the code. Many players left Parkside following this success either being transferred to other clubs or going into retirement. After a dispute about pay, Billy Batten was transferred to Hull in 1912, he was transferred to Hull F. C. for the record sum of £600. 1912 say the introduction of the Lazenby Cup, awarded to the winner of an annual friendly against Leeds.
In 1921, Harold Buck became the game's first £ 1,000 transfer. According to some sources, the deal included a player in part exchange. Soon after the First World War Hunslet were at their lowest position in the league. In 1924, the club's record attendance was set at 24,700 for a third round Challenge Cup match. In 1927, Jack Walkington started a career as player until 1946 as coach to 1960. In 1927–28 Harry Beverley, Leslie White, James "Jim" Traill, Billy Thornton joined and prospects improved when they finished 4th in the league that season. In the remaining years up to the 1930s, Hunslet had rather a lean period, until 1932 when they regained the Yorkshire League Trophy and made it to the final of the Yorkshire Cup; the 1931–32 season saw them win the Yorkshire League. In the 1920s, the club had played in white jerseys. Determined to prevent this happening, the club changed to coloured jerseys in 1932, they could not use the Leeds city colours as rivals Leeds wore those, so Hunslet decided to adopt the University of Leeds colours of myrtle and flame-red having been given new kit by the university.
Hunslet celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1933–34. The club did this in some style, they toured with the cup. Hunslet reached the RL Championship Final in 1938 meeting their neighbours Leeds in the only all-Leeds final; the match was played at the Elland Road football ground, to accommodate a huge demand from the city's rugby league supporters. Over 54,000 people watched the game, a record for a match in England, Hunslet triumphed, 8–2, to take the title for the second time in the club's history. In the late 1930s the club was played in front of large crowds; this wave of success was only halted by the Second World War. Hunslet dropped out of the wartime Yorkshire league in 1942–43 but returned to the competition in 1943–44. Hunslet stopped being a multi-sport members club with sections for bowls, athletics, social events, other smaller sections in 1951 and became a limited company; the new status as rugby league club saw a decline in Parkside being used by other sports and other members of the community.
The Parksiders lost the 1956 Yorkshire Cup Final to Wakefield Trinity. Hunslet lost, 44–22
The Huddersfield Giants are an English professional rugby league club from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, the birthplace of rugby league, who play in the Super League competition. They play their home games at the John Smiths Stadium, shared with Huddersfield Town F. C.. Huddersfield is one of the original twenty-two rugby clubs that formed the Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895, making them one of the world's first rugby league teams; the club is the world's oldest professional rugby league club. They have won 7 Championships and 6 Challenge Cups, but have not won a major trophy since 1962, some 53 years ago; the club amongst older supporters, is sometimes referred to as Fartown, named after the ground in Fartown, Huddersfield, the club's home venue from 1878 to 1992. The club was known as Huddersfield Barracudas from 1984–88 and Huddersfield-Sheffield Giants for the 2000 season; the team plays in a distinctive strip of a claret shirt with thin gold hoops, claret shorts and claret and gold hooped socks.
They have rivalries with Warrington, Bradford and Wakefield Trinity. The earliest record of a football match being played in the Huddersfield area is in 1848, when a team of men from Hepworth took on a team of men from Holmfirth near Whnuil Bank in Holmfirth. Hepworth won a close fought game which "exhibited the usual amount of confusions, bloody noses, etc" and took the prize of £5, jointly donated by each side. There appears to have been no formal structure to sport in the Huddersfield area until the opening of the Apollo Gymnasium on 3 August 1850. At this time the gymnasium was the only venue in the town where young men could take part in physical activities, it offered the opportunity to participate in fencing, bowling and many other sports. In 1864 the Apollo Gymnasium was turned into the Gymnasium Theatre; the athletes of the gymnasium responded by forming a more organised athletics association. In an advertisement headed "Huddersfield Athletic Club" they invited "gentlemen desirous of becoming members" to a public meeting at 8 o'clock on the evening of 16 November 1864 at the Queen Hotel.
The meeting went a committee was formed. Within a month a new gymnasium was in service in a basement on Back John William Street; the club's 1864 foundation means that it is the oldest Rugby League club, both in terms of foundation date and continuous history. On 27 January 1866, twenty members of the Huddersfield Athletic Club agreed to play a football match against twenty of the Huddersfield Rifle Corps at Rifle Field in Trinity Street. Although the result was a scoreless draw, a large crowd was attracted. In light of this, the Huddersfield Athletic Club agreed to start a football section, to start at the beginning of December 1866; the Huddersfield Athletic Club made no contribution to the support of the football club and each paying member was forced to pay a subscription of 2s/6d. As the football club grew, it became a useful recruiting tool for the Huddersfield Athletic Club. In 1869 six matches were played and by 1870 three of the club's players had been selected to represent Yorkshire.
By 1872 there were so many players. The growth in popularity of the club and the need for better facilities led to the Huddersfield Athletic Club approaching St John's Cricket Club with a proposal to merge the two clubs. St John's Cricket Club had moved to Fartown ground. By 1875, when amalgamation talks began, over £800 had been spent on developing the new ground. At a meeting on 27 November 1875, at the Thornhill Arms Inn the two clubs agreed to merge to form the Huddersfield Cricket and Athletics Club; the motion was passed by 55 votes to 37. The football section stayed at Rifle Field, but alterations made in the summer of 1878 meant that rugby could begin at the start of the 1878–79 season with the visit of Manchester Rangers on 2 November; the new ground would become the club's home for 114 years and would provide the club's famous "Fartown" nickname. In 1895 the club were founder members of the Northern Rugby Football Union; the club has seen many ups and downs in its long history, but for the first 60 years of rugby league it was one of the powerhouses of the game, with only Wigan as rivals in terms of trophies won.
Harold Wagstaff was only fifteen years and one hundred and seventy-five days old when he played his first match for Huddersfield, against Bramley in November 1906. At the time, he was the youngest first-team player the game had seen, he had signed on for a £5 signing-on fee. Huddersfield beat the touring 1908–09 Kangaroos 5–3, they were impressed enough with stand-off Albert Rosenfeld to sign him up that evening along with Australian Dual Code International Pat Walsh one of the best forwards of the Kangaroos. Rosenfeld played his first game against Broughton Rangers on 11 September 1909; the club's golden period came around the time of the First World War. The club was able to assemble a team of players from across the British Empire who swept all before them. Known as "The Team of All Talents", they were led by Harold Wagstaff and are still regarded as one of the finest football teams to have played. In the five years leading up to the First World War they won 13 trophies. Two members of the team, centre Harold Wagstaff and wing Albert Rosenfeld were honoured by inclusion in the original Rugby League Hall of Fame.
They were joined by the Cumberland second row Douglas Clark. Of just seventeen players to be elected to the Hall of Fame, no fewe
The Widnes Vikings are an English professional rugby league club based in Widnes, Cheshire that plays in the Betfred Championship. The club plays. Founded as Widnes Football Club, they are one of the original twenty-two rugby clubs that formed the Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895, making them one of the world's first rugby league teams, their historic nickname is "The Chemics" after the main industry in Widnes, but now they use their modern nickname, "The Vikings". The club enjoyed a period of success in the 1970s, 1980s, early 1990s, were described as "Cup Kings" reaching the Challenge Cup Final 7 times in 10 years between 1975 and 1984. In 1989, after winning their third Rugby League Championship, Widnes became the first official World Club Champions by beating the Australian champions Canberra Raiders 30-18 at Old Trafford, they have a strong local rivalry with Warrington Wolves. The Farnworth & Appleton Cricket Club was formed in 1871 and four years the members decided to embrace the burgeoning football code.
At their fourth annual evening party in the Drill Hall, Widnes, in November 1875, club Chairman Henry Lea "gave a short account of the club since it commenced about four years ago, indicated that they had now started a football club in connexion with it, hoped all would join". The first known game for the new Farnworth and Appleton FC was in Widnes in January 1876 played under rugby rules against Northwich Victoria. A few weeks a return match was played at Drill Field, Northwich under soccer rules. Vics won both games; these are the only two known fixtures in that truncated first season. By May 1876 the club had changed its name to Widnes FC and the cricket side of the organisation had disbanded to concentrate on football activities. By the late 1870s the club was being referred to as "The Chemicals"—subsequently shortened to'The Chemics'; the first ground was on Albert Road behind what is now the Premier Wetherspoon's pub and a short spell followed in the Simms Cross area. From around 1878–84 the club were based at the junction of Millfield/Peelhouse Lane, apart from season 1880–81 when they played on the Widnes Cricket Club ground at Lowerhouse Lane.
From 1884–95 they rented a field at Lowerhouse Lane before moving to their third separate site on that road in October 1895. The first game at what became Naughton Park was against Liversedge on Saturday 12 October 1895. In 1895, Widnes were founder members of the Northern Union which broke away from the Rugby Football Union, their first game was an away fixture against Runcorn which they lost 15–4. During the early years, the club had to sell players to balance the books; the strength of junior rugby league in the area meant the club had a steady stream of new players to offset any losses. In 1902, the Lancashire and Yorkshire leagues were combined to form a second division, Widnes was added to the first division. In 1914, Arthur'Chick' Johnson was capped for the Lions in the famous Rorke's Drift test, a match in which they overcame all the odds, injuries to beat Australia with a depleted side of 10 against 13, he scored an extraordinary try to win the game. Widnes closed for the 1915-16 season but recommenced playing in 1916 following the introduction of conscription which meant that would not be accused of keeping men from volunteering for the First World War.
Thirteen Widnes players were killed during the conflict. The club's first success came when they won the Lancashire League trophy in the 1919–20 season. However, the 1920s saw the club go to the wall. Local rivals Warrington donated their share of the traditional Easter and Christmas derby matches to keep Widnes afloat in 1927–28. In 1930, Widnes with 12 local-born players defied the odds to beat St. Helens 10–3 to bring home the Challenge Cup; the Kingsway housing scheme threatened the loss of Widnes' ground. After several years of fundraising during the Great Depression of the 1930s, £3,250 was raised to save the ground; this came with a stipulation that the ground could be sold only to the local council at the original price. The newly named Naughton Park was opened in 1932. A major boost for the club was Widnes' first trip to the Challenge Cup final, staged at Wembley, their opponents were St. Helens, Saints scored after 6 minutes to take a 3–0 lead, but Widnes hit back with a penalty try, a further try and a penalty to take a 10–3 half-time lead.
A scoreless second half meant. Widnes became the first club to make two trips to Wembley, with a loss to Hunslet in the 1934 cup final. In 1935–36, the team came close to being rugby league champions. Having finished third in the table, Widnes beat Liverpool 10–9 but lost to Hull FC, in the championship final. A third trip to Wembley came in 1937, with an 18–5 win over Keighley; the final was dubbed "McCue's Match" as the halfback played an important part in the win. Widnes dropped out of the wartime Lancashire league in 1940–41 and did not return to league competition until 1945–46. Tommy McCue led the club to its first Lancashire County Cup win, with a 7–3 victory against Wigan in 1945. Back at Wembley in 1950, the team was beaten 19–0 by Warrington. During this period, the club reverted to selling its players to richer teams. Local man Vince Karalius was appointed club captain. In his first season, Widnes finished third in the Championship, which equalled the club's best league placing. In 1962, the league was split into West of the Pennines.
With two minutes remaining, Lowdon dropped a goal to
Salford Red Devils
The Salford Red Devils are a professional rugby league club in Salford, Greater Manchester, who play in the Super League. Formed in 1873, they have won one Challenge Cup, their home ground since 2012 has been the AJ Bell Stadium in Barton-upon-Irwell, before which they played at the Willows in Weaste. Before 1995, the club was known as Salford, from 1995–98 Salford Reds and from 1999–2013 Salford City Reds; the club was founded in 1873 by the boys of the Cavendish Street Chapel in Manchester. Using a local field, the boys organised matches amongst themselves before moving to nearby Moss Side. In an attempt to recruit new members, the link with the school was broken in 1875 and the name Cavendish Football Club was adopted, they moved to a new base on the Salford side of the River Irwell at Throstle Nest Weir in Ordsall. Two seasons they moved again to the west side of Trafford Road to a ground known as the Mile Field where they spent the 1877–78 season, their next home was a field north of New Barnes.
Their first season there, 1878–79, was the last to be played under the Cavendish name. Cavendish became Salford Football Club in 1879; the first match as Salford was at Dewsbury on 4 October 1879. The following week heralded the first home match at New Barnes against Widnes, on 11 October 1879; the result was a draw with one try each. Salford struggled to attract support. In 1881, they disbanded but instead merged with the Crescent Football Club; this placed Salford on the rugby map, it was an exciting period and, during the remaining 15 years as members of the Rugby Football Union, seventeen Salford players were selected for Lancashire, three by the North of England and two, Harry Eagles and Tom Kent, for England. Since the 1881 merger, only 62 matches were lost from 263 played in the remaining nine years of the decade. In 1889, Salford moved their headquarters to the nearby London and North Western Hotel on Cross Lane. Salford switched from their traditional amber and scarlet hoops to red jerseys.
The club became the first side to win the Lancashire League in 1892–93. In 1895, the leading Lancashire and Yorkshire clubs formed the breakaway Northern Union, Salford remained loyal to the Rugby Football Union but in April 1896 Salford held a special meeting to discuss joining the new organisation. Only three members opposed the motion. Salford were admitted to the Northern Union on 2 June 1896, their first competitive Northern Union match was on Saturday, 5 September 1896, with a visit to Widnes. The Reds, competing in the Lancashire Senior Competition, lost 10–0, only three matches were won in the League that season, their form improved and they finished third place in 1898–99. In 1900, Salford met old local rivals, Swinton, in the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final at Fallowfield, Manchester. After a keenly fought contest, the result was a 16–8 win for Swinton. In 1900, Salford received notice to vacate New Barnes as the Manchester Ship Canal Company had purchased the land. Salford agreed a 14-year lease on 5 acres of land belonging to the Willows Estate Company, named after the abundance of willow trees in the area.
Salford made their début at the Willows on 21 December 1901, beating Swinton 2–0, the official attendance reaching 16,981. James Lomas became rugby league's first £100 transfer, from Bramley to Salford in 1901; the club continued making progress in the Rugby League Challenge Cup, reaching the semi-final stages in 1902, 1903, 1906, 1907 and 1910. On three occasions, they succeeded in reaching the final, but lost 0–25 to Broughton Rangers in 1902, 0–7 to Halifax in 1903 and 0–5 to Bradford in 1906; the Championship proved elusive, the Reds finishing runners-up for three consecutive seasons from 1901–02. In the last of those and Bradford finished level on points with Salford having the superior scoring record. Despite that, the Reds had to take part in a deciding match at Halifax, which they lost 5–0; the Kiwis known as the All Golds, visited in 1907, Salford played them on 28 December, losing 9–2 in front of a reported 9,000 spectators. Lance Todd, to have such an influence at the Willows 20 years was in the New Zealanders' side.
A year the Australians stopped off at the Willows on 17 October. The result was a 9–9 draw. Salford won the Rugby Football League Championship in 1913–14; the club had financial problems and was in the hands of the official receiver but somehow in the Championship final, beat Huddersfield's "Team of All Talents" 5–3 on 25 April 1914, this was the club's first major honour. In August 1914, the Salford Football Club Company was wound up and a new company, Salford Football Club Limited was formed. During the First World War, Salford continued to function. Thirty-two Salford players volunteered for the war; the 1920s was an era of survival, on and off the field, the team opening the decade with their worst league placing, finishing last in 1920–21. There was a dramatic change of fortune during the summer of 1928 when Lance Todd became team manager. In his first season in charge, "Toddy's Toddlers" went from 26th to fourth place in the table with the same set of players. Gus Risman was talent-spotted by Lance Todd.
He made his début for Salford on 31 August 1929. Other legendary names included Alan Edwards, Jack Feetham, Barney Hudson, Emlyn Jenkins, Billy Watkins and Billy Williams. Salford were considered the leading club in the game during the 1930s, winning three League Championships, five Lancashire League Championships, four Lancashire Cups and the Rugby League Challenge Cup. Salfo
Bradford (Park Avenue) A.F.C.
Bradford Association Football Club is a football club in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. Its name, derived from its former home Park Avenue, was used to avoid confusion with Bradford City, but the club is traditionally known locally as Bradford; the present club is a reincarnation of the club which played in the Football League from 1908 to 1970 before dropping to the Northern Premier League and going into liquidation in 1974. The new entity, established in 1987 competes in the National League North, the sixth tier of English football, plays home matches at the 3,500-capacity Horsfall Athletics Stadium. Bradford are one of 35 clubs to compete in all four top tiers of English football; the new club started life at what was the thirteenth tier: Division Three of the West Riding County Amateur League. The club is a community benefit society owned by its supporters; the original club was formed in 1863 as the Bradford Football Club, playing rugby football, achieved its first major success by winning the Yorkshire Cup in 1884.
A member of the Rugby Football Union, Bradford FC became a founding member of the breakaway Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895. Bradford were runners-up the 1898 Challenge Cup in 1897–98, won the championship in 1903–04, won the 1906 Challenge Cup in 1905–06. In 1907, what is known as "The Great Betrayal" occurred when a narrow majority of members decided to abandon the Northern Union game in favour of Association football, still based at the Park Avenue ground; the minority faction formed a new club within the Northern Union, Bradford Northern. Bradford Northern applied for and was granted Bradford FC's place in the 1907–08 Northern Rugby Football Union season. Bradford FC began playing association football in 1895, alternating home Saturdays at Park Avenue with the Northern Union; the club shared the West Yorkshire League championship with Hunslet in 1895–96 winning the Leeds Workpeople's Hospital Cup. Bradford played in the FA Amateur Cup in 1896–97, progressing to the FA Cup in 1897–98 and 1898–99.
It entered the Yorkshire League in 1897–98, finishing next to last, was banished to Birch Lane the following season, closing down at the end of the 1898–99 season due to mounting losses. The success of cross-town neighbours Manningham after switching to association football, prompted the Northern Union club to abandon rugby in 1907 and apply to join the Football League, they were not accepted, instead filling a gap left by Fulham. Their nearest opponents were Northampton Town. In 1908, Bradford FC was elected to the Second Division of the Football League; the club was promoted to the First Division in 1914 after finishing second, achieved its highest-ever league position at the end of the 1914–15 season. In 1914 Donald Bell at the outbreak of war asked to be released to serve. Rising to the rank of lieutenant, in 1916 he received the VC for conspicuous bravery on the Somme before being killed that year. After the First World War the club began a steady decline, relegated to the Second Division in 1921 and to the Third Division North in 1922.
In 1928, the club were promoted back to the Second Division. They were relegated again in 1950, placed in the Fourth Division after a 1958 reorganisation. Although the club won promotion to the Third Division in 1961, they were relegated back to the Fourth Division in 1963. After several difficult seasons, in 1970 they were replaced in the Football League by Cambridge United; the club joined the Northern Premier League, selling Park Avenue in 1973 and sharing facilities with Bradford City. Bradford went into liquidation on 3 May 1974 with debts of £57,652 and re-formed as a Sunday league club playing in the league club's former colours. After playing at Bingley Road and Hope Avenue in 1974 in Bradford Amateur Sunday League Division Four, the club moved to Avenue Road and won promotion in 1975; the next season, they were again promoted into the newly formed Bradford Sunday Alliance League. Although the stands and other buildings at Park Avenue were demolished in 1980, the playing field and terraces remained.
The stadium was renovated for amateur football during the mid-1980s, the Sunday League club played a full season there in 1987–88. However, it was forced to move out at the end of the season to accommodate an indoor cricket school on part of the pitch. A new club was formed to return Bradford to Saturday football for the 1988–89 season, joining the West Riding County Amateur Football League and the Central Midlands League for 1989–90; the club moved to the North West Counties League from 1990–91, playing matches at rugby-league grounds such as McLaren Field and Mount Pleasant, Batley). The Sunday side formed in 1974 merged with the new Saturday club in 1992. In 1995 Bradford won the North West Counties League, re-joining the Northern Premier League and moving to Horsfall Stadium. At the beginning of the 2004–05 season they were founding members of the Conference North, although they were relegated to the Northern Premier League at the end of the season and to Northern Division North the following season.
The club returned to the Northern Premier League as champions in the 2007–08 season. The club reached the FA Cup quarterfinals in 1912–13, 1919–20 and 1945–46. Since re-forming they have reached the first round three times, in 2003–04, 2011–12 and 2012–13. Since dropping into non-league football, the club's best FA T
Halifax R. L. F. C. is a professional rugby league club in Halifax, West Yorkshire, which formed in 1873. Halifax were one of the original twenty-two rugby clubs that formed the Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895, they have won the Challenge Cup five times. They were known as the Halifax Blue Sox between 1996 and 2002, they have rivalries with neighbours Bradford and Huddersfield and with fellow Championship side Featherstone Rovers. Known as ` Fax', the club colours are white shorts and blue and white socks, they share the Shay stadium with Halifax Town. The club was founded as Halifax in 1873. After winning the first Yorkshire Cup in 1878, they went on to win it on another four occasions. Several players were picked for the Yorkshire County side in these years, five were for the England rugby union team. In 1886, the club moved to Thrum Hall; the first game there was played on 18 September 1886 against Hull F. C. and drew 8,000 spectators. Halifax were founding members of the breakaway Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895.
In 1896, Halifax lost out on winning the first Rugby Football League Championship by a single point, with Manningham becoming the inaugural champions. In 1902–03, they achieved the'double' by winning the Challenge Cup and finishing top of Division One, they won the cup again the following season, were the first Championship play-off winners in 1906–07. Halifax won their first Wembley Challenge Cup final in 1931, beating York 22–8. An estimated 100,000 people lined the route to a civic reception at the town hall. Towards the end of the 1937 season and Mitcham folded after just one full season in the league; the club had made a number of high-profile signings from the New Zealand All Blacks, including George Nepia and Charles Smith, these players now joined Halifax. In 1938, Halifax reached the semi-final of the Challenge Cup, after winning three replays in a row, before they were knocked out by Barrow at Fartown, Huddersfield in the dying seconds of the game. In 1939, Halifax became the last team to win the Challenge Cup final before the war.
Favourites Salford were beaten 20–3 in front of a record 55,453 spectators. In 1947 Halifax's Hudson Irving died from a heart attack. In 1949, Halifax's David Craven died after breaking his neck playing against Workington Town; the 1949 Challenge Cup final was sold out for first time as 95,050 spectators saw Bradford Northern beat Halifax. In the 1950s, Halifax were Championship runners-up three times, beat Hull F. C. in Yorkshire Cup finals in 1954 and 1955, were Yorkshire League winners in 1950, 1953, 1954 and 1956. Halifax were unbeaten at their home ground of Thrum Hall between December 1952 and November 1956, they played in a Wembley final of the 1953–54 Challenge Cup, featuring in the first drawn final against Warrington in 1954, losing in the replay at Odsal Stadium, Bradford in front of what was a world record rugby league crowd given as 102,569, although estimates suggest another 20,000 plus entered unofficially. After securing a Yorkshire league and cup double in 1955–56, the club was in sight of winning "All Four Cups".
Wembley was reached after an 11–10 Challenge Cup semi-final victory over Wigan at Odsal and Halifax beat St. Helens 23–8 in the Championship semi-final. However, St Helens ran out 13–2 winners in the Challenge Cup and a week Halifax lost in the Championship match against Hull at Maine Road, Manchester, a last minute penalty goal securing a 10–9 victory for Hull. In 1959, Halifax hosted Wigan before a club record 29,153 people in the third round of the Challenge Cup. Halifax finished 7th in the league in the 1964–65 season and won the Championship Final after a 16-team play-off. Halifax was hit hard by the financial situation of the late 1960s, 1970s. Fortunes on the pitch suffered. In 1970, a concert was held at Thrum Hall in an attempt to alleviate these financial troubles. Horrific weather conditions meant that only around 3,000 arrived to watch the Halifax Pop and Blues Concert which made a loss of £6,000. Despite victory in the inaugural Regal Trophy Final in 1971–72, financial problems continued for the next decade.
In 1983, local businessman, David Brook provided much needed investment in the club. Chris Anderson was player-coach of Halifax from November 1984 to May 1987 when he retired from playing to be coach in 1987–88; the team won the League Championship in 1985–86, the 1986–87 Challenge Cup against St. Helens and made a second successive appearance in the Challenge Cup final in 1988 when they lost to Wigan. Despite this on-field success, Halifax were banned from signing new players by the RFL after complaints of non-payments in November 1988. In 1989, John Dorahy took up a position as captain-coach of Halifax for the 1989–90 season. Halifax players threatened strike action over unpaid wages in April 1990; the club sold Neil James for £20,000 to pay wages but were still in financial trouble including an unpaid tax bill of £70,000. Halifax went into the hands of receivers, £760,000 in debt, a take-over bid having failed after the players refused to take a pay cut; the club was re-formed and the assets were purchased by the Marsland/Gartland consortium of local businessmen.
Peter Roe was appointed as head coach at Halifax for season 1990–91 when they achieved promotion along with Salford who were their opponents in the Divisional Final at Old Trafford. The club's record victory was set in October 1990 with an 82–8 win over Runcorn Highfield at Thrum Hall. Roe was removed from office 24-hours when he refused to re-apply for his own job; the Halifax board stated that he did not hav