Barrow Raiders R. L. F. C. is an English professional rugby league team from Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, which is coached by Paul Crarey. The club was formed in 1875 as Barrow Football Club, for the 1995-96 and 1996 seasons the club was known as Barrow Braves, adopting its current name for the 1997 season following a merger with Carlisle Border Raiders. Barrow Raiders compete in Kingstone Press League 1, the tier of European rugby league. It is thought that Tom H. Baynes, a clerk, was the driving force behind the clubs foundation. As well as being a player, he was also the first Barrow team coach. Early practice matches games were played in a field loaned by a farmer as well as the Parade Ground. At the 1883 annual general meeting, Cavendish Park got the vote over the Parade Ground as a permanent home on account of its playing surface. The first grandstand there was erected in 1893, and another one in 1893, in April 1897, the team switched from rugby union to rugby league following a unanimous vote at the club. Barrow joined the Second Division of the Lancashire Senior Competition and became champions in their first season and they lost a test match against Morecambe, the bottom club in the First Division, however, and failed to gain promotion. They were eventually promoted at the end of the 1899–1900 season, in 1908, the club nearly doubled their attendance record to 12,000 in a third round Challenge Cup match against Hunslet. In 1914, Cavendish Park was requisitioned by the authorities for the war effort, Barrow moved to Little Park, Roose, three miles from the centre of town. The first match there was a 31–2 victory over Bramley, the league at this time was suspended and clubs were forced to arrange their own fixtures in an unofficial war league. After World War I, Barrow had mixed fortunes and when the league resumed in 1919–20, however, over the next decade, despite having several county and national players, Barrows form suffered and its league position was poor. In 1929, it had been realised that rugby league in Barrow was approaching a precarious period and this was in part due to industrial depression but also Little Parks location. The directors made an appeal to the town, and approached the mayor, commander G. W. Craven, a local war hero, started an appeal fund with a donation of £500. In a short time the club bought a site, where the Jute Works stood for £2,500. Craven Park was built in 1931, largely as a result of the efforts of supporters,500 of whom volunteered to construct the ground, the total cost of the building project came to £7,500 which was an unbelievable figure in those days. 1937–38 saw Barrow reach the finals of the Lancashire County Cup for the first time and that season was a time of great opportunity for the Barrow team but was to end in disappointment
Dewsbury Rams R. L. F. C. are a professional English rugby league club based in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire which currently competes in the Kingstone Press Championship. They play their games at the Tetleys Stadium, on Owl Lane. The Rams main fanbase comes from their hometown of Dewsbury but also hold a strong following in Shaw Cross as well as neighbouring Gawthorpe and Ossett, prior to the 1997 season, the club was known simply as Dewsbury R. L. F. C. The club won a title in 1972–73 after finishing the regular season in 8th place. The club has won the Challenge Cup twice. The idea of establishing a football club in Dewsbury originated among a few friends at a meeting at the Little Saddle Inn in 1875. Established with immediate effect, Dewsbury Athletic and Football Club enrolled between 30 and 40 members, the first home game, it is generally held, took place on 4 December 1875 in a field off Sugar Lane, opposite the future Crown Flatt. In a 13-a-side scratch game, the two outfits – one selected by the Captain and the other by the Vice-Captain – fought out a draw, the club soon realised they needed a ground and the following year secured a sub tenancy at Crown Flatt for £200. During the course of the 1879–80 season the colours changed from blue and cardinal to black, crimson. 1881 saw the clubs first success in the Yorkshire Challenge Cup beating Huddersfield, Bradford, when York paid a visit to Crown Flatt on 25 September 1886, the home team took to the field wearing white jerseys that incorporated the boroughs coat of arms. Crown Flatt was rapidly gaining the reputation as one of the ground in Yorkshire. This was further enhanced when the club purchased the famous Noahs Ark stand at a cost of £250, in 1888, the club amalgamated with Savile Cricket Club and United Clerks Cricket Club to form Dewsbury and Savile Cricket and Football Club. The Yorkshire Senior Competition was formed in 1892 and Dewsbury immediately became members and they made their Senior Competition début at Liversedge on 10 September 1892, Dewsbury were beaten 2–10. The club struggled and finished in the three due to financial problems. The arrival of competitive leagues meant that attendances were increasing connected to on-field success, Dewsbury failed to adapt to the new era, attendances from then onwards topped 2,000 only on rare occasions. By 1895, Dewsbury were sporting blue and white, at a special meeting convened at the Kings Arms Hotel, Market Place, on 2 September, they elected to remain in the Senior Competition. It was not a popular decision, a local journalist reported that there wasnt a single supporter who wouldnt say Let us have the Northern Union and the sooner the better. Dewsbury marginally improved their position in the league to 10th, next season however they were back at the bottom
The Rochdale Hornets are one of the original twenty-two rugby clubs that formed the Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895, making them one of the worlds first rugby league clubs. Their main local rivals are Oldham Roughyeds, Salford City Reds, a Rochdale Athletic Club was formed in 1866 and held its first festival on the cricket ground at Merefield. Rugby football first took place as a game about 1866 or 1867. Within a year they were all playing alongside new members when working class men were allowed to join as well, other clubs quickly followed, among them Rochdale Wasps and Rochdale Juniors. In 1871, Rochdale Juniors and Rakebank merged to form Rochdale United, on 20 April 1871, the directors of Rochdale Wasps, Rochdale United and Rochdale Football Club met at the Roebuck Hotel in the town centre to form a senior team that would represent the town. Rochdale Butterflies and Rochdale Grasshoppers were suggested as names for the new club before Rochdale Hornets was agreed on, the original team colours were amber and black. In 1875, Hornets played at Mr R. Kershaws Athletic Grounds in Vavasour Street, the club very quickly took a leading position in the game in Lancashire. Hornets had an open approach to membership and were able to insist on gate money as they played on an enclosed field. In June 1879, Rochdale Rovers threw in their lot with the Hornets, a ground was taken at Oakenrod for the 1879–80 season but owing to poor gates, Rochdale Hornets returned to Rochdale Cricket Club ground. In 1881 no fewer than 57 rugby clubs played in Rochdale and district, by the 1890s, the players were almost all working class. Rochdale moved to the Athletic Grounds in Milnrow Road, which opened on 9 June 1894 and their first game at their new home took place in September 1894 against Crompton. They were founder members of the Northern Union in 1895, Hornets made a poor start under the new regime and finished bottom of the league table, for a good number of years they lost many more matches than they won. They became tenants of the Athletics Grounds in 1900, between the 7–9 March 1901, a three-day bazaar was held at the town hall where around £1,000 was raised to help pay for the clubs debts. Incidents from the played on 22 March 1901 resulted in the ground being suspended by the Northern Union. The players went on strike on 29 March 1902 as empty coffers meant that they went unpaid, Rochdale Hornets then refused to travel to Dewsbury on 1 October 1904 on account of a smallpox outbreak, and were subsequently fined £20. Rochdale purchased the Athletics Grounds in 1913, Hornets won the Lancashire County Cup in 1911 and 1914. Between 10 October 1914 and 6 March 1915, Hornets played 25 games without defeat, shortly after this streak was broken by a defeat to Wigan, Hornets beat Broughton Moor 75–13 in a cup-tie on 13 March 1915, it was their biggest margin of victory since 1871. Twenty-five Rochdale players enlisted for the First World War, one of whom, Rugby League came back to Rochdale following the Great War on Christmas Day 1918 when Rochdale played a friendly game
St Helens R.F.C.
St Helens Rugby Football Club is a professional rugby league club in St Helens, Merseyside currently competing in the Super League, the top tier of competition for rugby league in Europe. Formed in 1873, St Helens are one of the 22 original members of the Northern Rugby Football Union and have been champions on 13 occasions. St Helens are also the third most successful side in the Challenge Cup with 12 wins in 21 Final appearances, St Helens are founding members of the Super League and are one of only four teams to have appeared in every season since its creation in 1996. Since 1961 the clubs colours have been white, with a red V on the jersey. St Helens play their games at the Totally Wicked Stadium in St Helens, having moved from their previous home, Knowsley Road. St Helens are one of the oldest members of the Rugby Football League, founded as St Helens Football Club on 19 November 1873 at the Fleece Hotel by William Douglas Herman, they played their first ever match on 31 January 1874 against Liverpool Royal Infirmary. They became known as St Helens Rangers up until the 1880s, the club moved from the City Ground in 1890 where they had shared with St Helens Recs when neither were members of the Northern Rugby Football Union. They defeated Manchester Rangers in the first match played at Knowsley Road, in 1895 the club were one of 22 clubs that resigned from the Rugby Football Union and established the Northern Union. The first match of the new code was an 8—3 win at home to Rochdale Hornets before 3,000 spectators and they played in a vertically striped blue and white jersey—a stark contrast to the well known broad red band which would become the kit for the club later. The club reverted to this kit for one season during the rugby league season in 1995. The Challenge Cup was launched in 1897 and it was St Helens who contested its first final with Batley, at Headingley, the Gallant Youths of Batley emerged victorious 10—3, with Dave Red Traynor scoring the lone St Helens try. Between 1897 and 1901, St Helens were not successful, even considered a mid—table side. They finished second to bottom in the 1900—01 Lancashire League season, in the 1901—02 season, however, they did finish third in the Lancashire league. In 1902–03, the combined Lancashire and Yorkshire leagues saw St Helens enter for the first time, St Helens were placed in Division 1 but finished next to bottom and suffered relegation. Promotion was gained at the 1st attempt, only for another year to see them finish once again in a relegation position. However the two Divisions became one League to save the club from a 2nd relegation, on 14 June 1913, St Helens Recs joined the Northern Union after defecting from rugby union and association football. The Recs were based individually at the City Road ground, after previously sharing with St Helens, before their move to Knowsley Road, the Recs played their first game on 6 September 1913. St Helens now had two rugby league teams
Wigan Warriors R. L. F. C. is a professional rugby league club based in Wigan, Greater Manchester, England. The club competes in the Super League and are the current Super League Champions. formed in 1872 as Wigan Football Club, they are a founding member of the Northern Rugby Football Union following the schism from the Rugby Football Union in 1895. Wigan have won 21 League Championships,19 Challenge Cups and 4 World Club Challenge trophies, the club is the all-time most successful club in English rugby league. Wigan had a period of sustained success from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, winning the Challenge Cup eight seasons in succession, the club plays its home matches at the DW Stadium, having played at Central Park between 1902 and 1999. The current head coach is Shaun Wane, the captain is Sean OLoughlin. On 21 November 1872, Wigan Football Club was founded by members of Wigan Cricket Club following a meeting at the Royal Hotel, Wigan F. C. played on Folly Field, near Upper Dicconson Street. The first match took place on 30 November when members played against each other in a match at Folly Field. After a series of trial and practice matches, they travelled to Warrington to play their first competitive match on 18 January 1873, the game ended in a draw. Financial problems and an inability to recruit quality players led to the club amalgamating with Upholland F. C. in 1876, the club became Wigan & District F. C. The club moved and played its games at the then Wigan Cricket Club at Prescott Street just off Frog Lane. It is unlikely that the club fulfilled its fixtures in 1877 before finally disbanding at the end of the 1879 cricket season. On 22 September 1879, the club was reformed as Wigan Wasps by many ex-members of the original Wigan Football Club, the club moved away from Prescott Street back to Folly Field. In 1884, Wigan won its first trophy, the West Lancashire Cup, the club initially played in blue and white hooped jerseys before changing in 1886 to cherry and white hoops. In 1888 they hosted and beat a touring New Zealand side, Wigan were suspended by the RFU for breaking the strict amateur code despite their argument that broken-time payments were necessary to avoid undue hardship for their working class players. In 1895 Wigan joined with other clubs from Yorkshire and Lancashire to found the Northern Union which led eventually to the sport of rugby league and this was a result of the breakaway from the Rugby Football Union. This was when the Wasps tag was dropped and the club became known as Wigan. The County Championship was introduced in October 1895 with Cheshire entertaining Lancashire, the Red Rose side contained three players from Wigan, Winstanley and Unsworth and Brown. In 1896–97 due to the number of Northern Union teams the Northern League was abandoned in favour of two County Senior leagues
Huddersfield Giants R. L. F. C. are an English professional rugby league club from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, the birthplace of rugby league, who play in the Super League competition. They have won 7 Championships and 6 Challenge Cups, but have not won a trophy since 1962. The club was known as Huddersfield Barracudas from 1984–88 and Huddersfield-Sheffield Giants for the 2000 season and they play 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 Wolves, Leeds Rhinos, Bradford Bulls, Halifax and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats. The earliest record of a match being played in the Huddersfield area is in 1848. Hepworth won a close game which exhibited the usual amount of confusions, bloody noses, etc. There appears to have no formal structure to sport in the Huddersfield area until the opening of the Apollo Gymnasium on 3 August 1850. 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 meeting at 8 oclock on the evening of 16 November 1864 at the Queen Hotel. The meeting went ahead, a hundred names were registered and a committee was formed, within a month a new gymnasium was in service in a basement on Back John William Street. On 27 January 1866 twenty members of the Huddersfield Athletic Club agreed to play a match against twenty of the Huddersfield Rifle Corps at Rifle Field in Trinity Street. Although the result was a draw, a large crowd was attracted. In light of this, the Huddersfield Athletic Club agreed to start a football section which was to start at the beginning of December 1866. Initially the Huddersfield Athletic Club made no contribution to the support of the football club, 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 players had been selected to represent Yorkshire. By 1872 there were so many players that a team was formed. The growth in popularity of the club and the need for better facilities led to the Huddersfield Athletic Club approaching St Johns Cricket Club with a proposal to merge the two clubs, St Johns Cricket Club had been formed in 1866 at Hillhouse and had moved to Fartown ground. By 1875, when talks began, over £800 had been spent on developing the new ground