Leigh Centurions is a professional rugby league club in Leigh, Greater Manchester, England, who compete in the Super League. The club was founded in 1878 and is one of the original clubs that formed the Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895. Leigh have been Rugby League Champions twice, in 1906 and 1982, the club was known simply as Leigh until the 1995-96 season, when it adopted the name Centurions. Leigh RFC was founded in 1878 by a surveyor named Fred Ulph, Leighs first practice match was on 5 October 1878 at Bucks Farm in Pennington and their first game was against Eccles two weeks later. In 1879, the moved to a field behind the Three Crowns in Bedford. Leigh came to the attention of the district in 1885 when they had a 23 match unbeaten run with 21 wins and 2 draws. As attendances grew, improvements were made to the ground and the slope was levelled. The club moved to Frog Hall Field, later known as Mather Lane in 1889, the pitch was drained and levelled, a 10 foot high hoarding was built around the ground and 500-seater stand was erected. The first game at Mather Lane was played on 7 September 1889 against Aspull, the 1894–95 season saw a new stand open on the south side in a momentous year for Rugby football. After years of arguments with the Rugby Football Union concerning player expenses,22 teams including Leigh decided to form a governing body – the Northern Union. The first season of the new game kicked off in September with Leigh recording a 6–3 loss against Leeds, Leigh had a great start in the new Union, they played well and the crowds increased, however they had mixed fortunes over the next few years. As the new century began, Leigh struggled and despite winning the West Lancashire and Border Towns Cup, in the 1904–05 season, there was a dispute with Wigan in the Challenge Cup game. The game was played on 4 March 1905 and Leigh won 3–0 in front of 13,000 spectators, Leigh were found guilty of fielding an ineligible player and ordered to replay without expenses and for Leigh the gate receipts to be given to the Northern Union. Wigan won the replay 5–0 and Leigh were so incensed that the club considered leaving the Northern Union, Leigh became a limited company as a result of this financial blow. In 1906, Leigh were Northern Union champions after a season with an 80% win rate, many clubs complained that Leigh had provided themselves with an easy fixture list, ducking the challenge of the stronger clubs and play-offs were brought in. In 1907–08, Leigh and Wigan were again in conflict in the Lancashire County Cup, an attendance record was set when 17,000 spectators watched Leigh and Wigan draw 3–3 at Mather Lane. Leigh lost the replay at Central Park but appealed for another replay because a Wigan player had left the field during the game without the referees permission, Leigh lost the second replay. In 1909, Mather Lane was upgraded when the embankment on the side was extended and raised giving the ground a capacity of 20,000 spectators
Rugby Football League
The Rugby Football League is the governing body for professional rugby league in England. The name Rugby Football League previously also referred to the league competition run by the organisation. This has since been supplanted by Super League, the Championship, based at Red Hall in Leeds, it administers the England national rugby league team, the Challenge Cup, Super League and the Rugby League Championships. The social and junior game is administered in association with the British Amateur Rugby League Association, the Rugby Football League is a member of the Rugby League European Federation and as a senior Full Member has a combined veto power over the Council with France. The RFL is part of the Community Board, which also has representatives from BARLA, Combined Services, English Schools Rugby League, eventually the Northern was dropped from its name at the beginning of the 1980s. The turnover of the RFL was reported as £27m in 2011, two days later, on Thursday 29 August 1895, representatives of 21 clubs met in the George Hotel, Huddersfield to form the Northern Rugby Football Union. Twenty clubs agreed to resign from the Rugby Football Union, the Cheshire club, Stockport, had telegraphed the meeting requesting admission to the new organisation and was duly accepted with a second Cheshire club, Runcorn, admitted at the next meeting. The 22 clubs and their years of foundation were, In 1908 the Northern Unions brand of rugby was taken up in Australia, the Union hosted touring sides from both countries before assembling a Great Britain representative team for a 1910 tour of Australia and New Zealand. These nations, particularly Australia, would go on to excel in the sport, the British Amateur Rugby League Association was created in 1973 in Huddersfield by a group of enthusiasts concerned about the dramatic disappearance of many amateur leagues and clubs. Fewer than 150 amateur teams remained with a mere 30 youth rugby league teams, the breakaway from the RFL was acrimonious and was strongly contested, with a vote 29-1 against recognising BARLA. Thanks to Tom Mitchell, this changed to a vote of approval for BARLA within 12 months. Maurice Lindsay became the Chief Executive of the RFL in 1992, proposing the Super League, Lindsay returned to Wigan in 1999 for his second stint at the club after Sir Rodney Walker, then chairman of the RFL, sacked him after a campaign to unseat him failed. The RFL accumulated losses of £1.9 million at the end of 2001, shortly before a restructuring of the governing body. Within a year of joining the RFL, he oversaw reunification with BARLA after nearly 30 years of division, Lewis left in 2012 to become Chief Executive of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. The RFL net value has been every year since 2004. The regional leagues may include winter competitions in addition, in 2012, the Rugby Football League were awarded the Stonewall Sport Award in recognition of their work in embracing inclusivity and tackling homophobia. They also became the first UK sporting organisation to make the top 100 employers in the Stonewall Index that measures attitudes towards lesbian, gay and bisexual staff. The RFL operates a system and is responsible for running the top three professional divisions as well as the National Conference League and various regional leagues below that
Rugby league football, usually called rugby league, is a full contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field. One of the two codes of football, it originated in England in 1895 as a split from the Rugby Football Union over the issue of payments to players. Its rules gradually changed with the aim of producing a faster, in rugby league, points are scored by carrying the ball and touching it to the ground beyond the opposing teams goal line, this is called a try, and is the primary method of scoring. The opposing team attempts to stop the side scoring points by tackling the player carrying the ball. In addition to tries, points can be scored by kicking goals, after each try, the scoring team gains a free kick to try at goal with a conversion for further points. Kicks at goal may also be awarded for penalties, and field goals can be attempted at any time. Rugby league is a sport in Northern England, the states of Queensland and New South Wales in Australia, New Zealand. The European Super League and Australasian National Rugby League are the club competitions. Rugby league is played internationally, predominantly by European, Australasian and Pacific Island countries, the first Rugby League World Cup was held in France in 1954, the current holders are Australia. The first of these, the Northern Rugby Football Union, was established in 1895 as a faction of Englands Rugby Football Union. Similar breakaway factions split from RFU-affiliated unions in Australia and New Zealand in 1907 and 1908, renaming themselves rugby football leagues, in 1922, the Northern Union also changed its name to the Rugby Football League and thus over time the sport itself became known as rugby league football. In 1895, a schism in Rugby football resulted in the formation of the Northern Rugby Football Union, within fifteen years of that first meeting in Huddersfield, more than 200 RFU clubs had left to join the rugby revolution. In 1897, the line-out was abolished and in 1898 professionalism introduced, in 1906, the Northern Union changed its rules, reducing teams from 15 to 13 a side and replacing the ruck formed after every tackle with the play the ball. A similar schism to that which occurred in England took place in Sydney, There, on 8 August 1907 the New South Wales Rugby Football League was founded at Batemans Hotel in George Street. Rugby league then went on to rugby union as the primary football code in New South Wales. On 5 May 1954 over 100,000 spectators watched the 1953–54 Challenge Cup Final at Odsal Stadium, Bradford, England, also in 1954 the Rugby League World Cup, the first for either code of rugby, was formed at the instigation of the French. In 1966, the International Board introduced a rule that a team in possession was allowed three play-the-balls and on the tackle a scrum was to be formed. This was increased to six tackles in 1972 and in 1983 the scrum was replaced by a handover,1967 saw the first professional Sunday matches of rugby league played
Bradford Park Avenue A.F.C.
Bradford Association Football Club is an English football club based in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. Its name derived from the old stadium on Horton Park Avenue in Bradford. However the club is known simply as Bradford, with the letters BFC adorning Leitchs grandstand. The present club is a reincarnation of the club played in the Football League from 1908 to 1970 before dropping to the Northern Premier League. The new entity, established in 1987, is part of the National League North for the 2015–16 season and plays its matches at the 3. Bradford Park Avenue is one of 35 clubs to compete in all four top tiers of English football, the new club started life at what was then the thirteenth tier, Division Three of the West Riding County Amateur League. The original club was formed in 1863 as the Bradford Football Club, playing rugby football, 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, the faction left the original club and formed a new Northern Union club, Bradford Northern. Bradford Northern applied for membership of the Northern Union, replacing Bradford FC, on 23 August 2012, Bradford Park Avenue was one of the parties interested in purchasing the Bradford Bulls. The club shared the West Yorkshire League championship with Hunslet in 1895–96, Bradford played in the FA Amateur Cup in 1896–97, progressing to the FA Cup in 1897–98 and 1898–99. The club entered the Yorkshire League in 1897–98, finishing next to last, bradfords first football club was closed down at the end of the 1898–99 season due to mounting losses. Despite the failure of this experiment, association-football success elsewhere prompted the club to abandon rugby in 1907. They were not accepted, instead joining the Southern League and filling a gap left by Fulham and their nearest opponents were Northampton Town, whose ground was 130 miles distant. 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, and achieved its highest-ever league position at the end of the 1914–15 season. In 1914 Donald Bell played four games, but 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 later that year. After the First World War the club began a decline, relegated to the Second Division in 1921. In 1928, the club were the Division 3N champions and were promoted back to the Second Division and they were relegated again in 1950, and placed in the Fourth Division after a 1958 reorganisation. Although the club won promotion to the Third Division in 1961, after several difficult seasons, in 1970 they were replaced in the Football League by Cambridge United
Featherstone Rovers R. L. F. C. are a professional rugby league club in Featherstone, West Yorkshire, England, who play in the Kingstone Press Championship. Featherstone is a former coal mining town with a population of around 16,000. Known as Fev or Flat Cappers, the club has produced junior players who have gone on to play for Super League clubs. Their local rivals are Castleford and Wakefield Trinity, and in the Championship Halifax, the club have won the Challenge Cup three times, in 1967,1973 and 1983, and been League Champions once, in 1977. Featherstone Trinity RUFC were formed in 1889, Featherstone Trinity played their first game on the New Inn fields against Castleford Mill Lane Rovers. The following season in 1890, Featherstone went 19 games without defeat and they dropped the Trinity to become simply Featherstone RUFC in 1894. Featherstone voted to join the Northern Union in 1898 and became the towns first rugby league team, a new club, Featherstone Rovers, was formed in the Railway Hotel in 1902, reformed in 1906 and joined the Northern Union in 1907. The club was made up of local miners and between 1912 and 1913 played at the Featherstone Main Colliery Welfare Ground. In 1913 Featherstone Rovers merged with Purston White Horse, Featherstone became a semi-professional club on 14 June 1921, beating Bradford Northern in their first game as a senior club. Their first game at Post Office Road attracted 4,000 fans, the finished 24th in their first season. They then finished 12th, 23rd, 17th, 15th, 11th and 3rd in 1927–28 Rovers reached the Championship final after just seven seasons, Rovers ended the 1928–29 season finishing 25th, although they reached a cup final, beaten by Leeds in the Yorkshire Cup decider. The 1930s were a decade for Featherstone, finishing in the bottom half of the league in every season. Rovers first major silverware was won in 1939–40, when they lifted the Yorkshire County Cup and they finished 7th in the Yorkshire Emergency War League both in 1939–40 and 1940–41. The counties united in 1941–42 and Rovers finished 12th and they were a mid table side during these few years finishing 8th, 13th and 14th. After two seasons in charge, former player Bill Sherwood gave way to a new coach, and the decided to go for a big name. Bill Sherwood re-assumed the coaching role for three seasons until 1951. Eric Batten came in as player-coach in the summer of 1951, from rock bottom strugglers, Featherstone were gradually transformed into a fit and competitive side, capable of matching the best in the league on their day. Rovers first visit to Wembley Stadium was in the 1952 Challenge Cup Final and they were defeated 18–10 by Workington Town in front of a crowd of 72,093
Widnes Vikings R. L. F. C. is an English professional rugby league club based in Widnes, Cheshire which currently plays in the Super League, the top tier of European rugby league. The club plays its matches at the Select Security Stadium. Founded as Widnes Football Club, they are one of the original twenty-two rugby clubs formed the Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895. The club enjoyed a period of success in the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s, 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. Their traditional nickname is The Chemics after the industry in Widnes. They have a local rivalry with Warrington Wolves. The Farnworth & Appleton Cricket Club was formed in 1871 and four years later the members decided to embrace the burgeoning football code, 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 later a match was played at Drill Field. These are the two known fixtures in that truncated first season. By May 1876 the club had changed its name to Widnes FC, 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 Wetherspoons pub, 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 ever game at what later 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 and their first game was an away fixture against Runcorn which they lost 15–4. During the early years, the club often 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 and he scored an extraordinary try to win the game, dribbling the ball from inside his own half. Thirteen Widnes players were killed during the conflict, the clubs first ever success came when they won the Lancashire League trophy in the 1919–20 season. However, the 1920s saw the club almost 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