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 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 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 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
Keighley Cougars is a professional rugby league club from Keighley in West Yorkshire, England who compete in Kingstone Press League 1, the third tier of English rugby league. Their home ground, Cougar Park, has a capacity of 7,800. Before the 1991–92 season, the club was simply as Keighley RLFC. The club was formed at a meeting held on 17 October 1876 under the presidency of the Reverend Marriner, a committee was elected and the club was allowed the use of Holmes field in Lawkholme Lane. The first kick-off took place on Saturday afternoon,21 October, on 18 November 1876, the first game took place at Lawkholme Lane. The visitors were Crosshills and although the game ended in a draw, there are records, which say, the first important match appears to have been played on 13 January 1877 against Bingley. Under the scoring system of the day, the visitors won by two tries and two touchdowns to two touchdowns, Keighley lost a further two games against Bingley. One of the earliest games of the season was a fixture with Kildwick on 13 October 1877 when Keighley won by one goal to five touchdowns.
Other teams met during that season were Bradford Zingari, Cleckheaton, Leeds Athletic, Skipton. Up to April 1878, Keighley and Bingley had met seven times with Keighley losing every match, at the annual meeting of the club in 1878, shortly after the headquarters had been moved to Dalton Lane, a second XV was formed. Keighley Athletic were formed on 27 October 1879, there was some rivalry with those who had set up the new club, but a couple of years these differences had been settled, and on 24 March 1881 a merger was agreed between the two clubs. Keighley officially joined the Rugby Football Union on Tuesday,8 April 1879, a report of the game states that Bradbury attempted a drop goal, but the ball passed under the crossbar, and Bairstow, following up, touched down. By the end of season 1880–81, the membership of the club was 80, in 1882–83 the team had a most successful experience. Gate receipts reached £58 and expenditure was £32, in March 1882, the team figured in the Yorkshire Cup for the first time.
They met Wakefield Trinity, who were one of the top sides, during that year, a match with Hunslet F. C. was played under Association rules which ended in a draw. It was probably the only Association game ever played by the towns club, in April 1885, the club merged with Keighley Cricket and Football Club, and from that time the club played on the Lawkholme Lane ground. Soon membership had risen to 300 and dressing rooms and headquarters were established at the Black Horse Hotel, the first game at Lawkholme took place on 10 October 1885, against Liversedge. The club reached one of its best seasons in 1892–93 when the team figured in several rounds of the cup, Leagues were being formed about this time and in 1893–94 Keighley had a try at the Intermediate Competition and finished sixth with a record of eleven wins and eleven defeats
Leigh Centurions is a professional rugby league club in Leigh, Greater Manchester, 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, 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
Leeds Rhinos R. L. F. C. is a professional rugby league club based in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. They play their matches at Headingley Rugby Stadium. The club was simply as Leeds until the end of the 1996 season. They are known as the Loiners, referring to the demonym for a native of Leeds. In 1895, Leeds was one of rugby clubs which broke away from the Rugby Football Union. Leeds joined the Super League in 1996 and became Leeds Rhinos in 1997, the club is owned by the same company that owns Yorkshire Carnegie rugby union team, who play their home matches at Headingley. Leeds have won thirteen Challenge Cups, ten League championships and three World Club Challenge titles, jenkinson placed an advert in the Leeds Mercury inviting players to meet up at Woodhouse Moor a few days a week from 7 am to 8 am. That advert attracted more than 500 members, from this interest several clubs were formed, including Leeds St Johns. Leeds St Johns was formed in 1870 and was known as the Old Blue. The club played at the Militia Barracks from 1870 to 1888 before moving to Cardigan Fields, near Headingley, membership was originally confined to the church classes but was soon expanded.
By 1887 St Johns had reached its first cup final, the Yorkshire Cup losing to Wakefield Trinity, 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 place at the Green Dragon Hotel. The foundation clubs were Bramley, Hunslet, Leeds Parish Church, Leeds St John’s, in 1888 the Cardigan Estate was sold at auction and Lot 17a was purchased by a group of Leeds citizens, who intended to form the citys leading sports club. Lot 17a became what is now Headingley Stadium, Leeds St Johns played its final season under that name in 1889–90, before becoming the football section of Leeds Cricket and Athletic Co Ltd the following season. With Headingley still being completed, Leeds first game was staged at Cardigan Fields, the first game at Headingley was played on 20 September 1890, when Manningham were beaten by one try and one dropped goal to nil.
In 189227,654 spectators, a record in British rugby. A special general meeting was held in 1895 which voted decisively to support the breakaway Northern Union as a founder member, Leeds début in the Northern Union was a 6–3 success at Leigh on 7 September 1895, the inaugural day of the new competition. In 1901, the Leeds Parish Church team disbanded and put all of its players at Leeds disposal and that same year saw the formation of the Northern Rugby League, with a number of leading clubs leaving the Yorkshire League and the Lancashire League and joining the new competition
Castleford Tigers R. L. F. C. are an English rugby league club in Castleford, West Yorkshire, that plays in Super League. Formed in 1926, the club were members of the Super League in 1996 and have won the Challenge Cup four times. Their most recent major trophy was the 1994 Regal Trophy, Castleford have a rivalry with neighbours Featherstone Rovers, Wakefield Trinity and Leeds. The club have played at Wheldon Road in Castleford, since 1927 and their home colours are black and orange. Castleford RFC joined the Northern Rugby Football Union for the 1896–97 season, its second, not much is known about the original Castleford club, except that they have no connection with the present Castleford Tigers RLFC. Castleford joined the league for the 1926–27 season, many official records state that they were founded at this time but they had played successfully in the lower Yorkshire County Cup for several years before this date. They actually joined the League code around 1920 and played in early years at the Sandy Desert ground.
The club went professional in 1926 and moved to their current home ground on Wheldon Road in 1926. The club soon started to make a mark on northern rugby, winning their first major trophy when they topped the Yorkshire League in 1932, in 1938, they made it to the Championship finals, but failed to take the cup. The Second World War meant the league was suspended soon after, Castleford finished fourth in the national league in the 1962/63 season. Castleford picked up where left off when they were again beaten in the Championship finals in 1969. However, this seemed to spur the team on, and 1969 and 1970 saw Castleford win the Challenge Cup for two consecutive years, with clubs legends Alan Hardisty and Keith Hepworth leading the team. John Sheridan was appointed coach in 1973 for a spell. Castlefords finished a respectable ninth in a table but Sheridan stepped down following criticism from fans. During the late 1970s Castleford edged up the league, and in 1986 they made it to the Premiership final and they finished consistently high over the next few years, and finished in the top four clubs in the Championship for four years during 1990–1995.
Darryl van der Velde took Castleford to the Challenge Cup final Wembley where they were defeated by Wigan in 1992, a year later, Darryl van der Velde left to become chief executive of the South Queensland Crushers, he was succeeded by his assistant John Joyner. Through the Darryl van der Velde and early Joyner years Castleford were lauded for there style and were labelled Classy Cas and this enjoyable playing style was to come to fruition most spectacularly in 1994, when Castleford were dominating the league. As well as defeating legendary Wigan team to take the Regal Trophy 33–2 and that season John Joyner, was named Coach-of-the-Year by the RFL
Hull Kingston Rovers
Hull Kingston Rovers R. F. C. are a professional rugby league club in Hull, formed in 1882. They were relegated from Super League to the Championship in the 2016 Million Pound Game, Hull Kingston Rovers are one of two professional rugby league teams in Hull. Hull F. C. play on the west side of the city, the River Hull is the divide between the two. Hull KRs nickname, the Robins, originates from their playing colours of red. Hull Kingston Rovers began in 1882 when a group of apprentice boilermakers in the Hessle Road area of Hull came together to start a team, Kingston Amateurs. Their first ground was a piece of wasteland in Albert Street, by 1885 Kingston Amateurs had played at three grounds, Albert Street, Anlaby Road and finally Chalk Lane. The club name was changed to Kingston Rovers as they entered the Times Cup in the 1885–86 season. A number of joined the league and the club entered the new Hull and District Rugby Union Cup. The club won its first trophy in the 1887–88 season by winning the Times Cup, the Rovers moved to their fourth ground, down Hessle Road.
In 1888–89,6,000 fans turned up to the cup game against Hull A at the Holderness Road ground, Rovers went through the next season losing just two games, defeating Britannia in the Times Cup final. Rovers beat Hull A for the first time in 1889–90, and moved to their fifth ground, the Red and Whites won the Times Cup for the third year running in 1891–92 beating York A in the final. 1892 saw Rovers play at the Boulevard for the first time, only one away win was recorded this season and six home wins, but Rovers entered the Yorkshire Cup for the first time although they were knocked out by Dewsbury in the second round. In 1893 Rovers played out of the Boulevard, and they lost to Bradford Northern that season in the first round of the Yorkshire Cup. Amos Law, a drop kicker joined the club from Cleckheaton and Huddersfield, while George William Lofthouse played at the age of 14, the youngest ever player to turn out for the senior side. In 1895 the Northern Football Union was founded, when the rugby union sides in the North of England broke away to form a league of their own.
Rovers, nicknamed the redbreasts did not join the new organisation and were promoted to the second division of the RFU finishing joint second. They moved to their first ground in East Hull in Craven Street off Holderness Road, in 1896–97, they were denied a place in the first division when several sides resigned but when the West Riding club dropped out, Rovers moved up. Hull KR amalgamated their resources with Albany Soccer Club, Rovers won the Yorkshire Cup for the first time beating Shipley 11–5 in the final
Batley Bulldogs R. L. F. C. are an English professional rugby league club in Batley, West Yorkshire who play in the Kingstone Press Championship. Batley were one of the original twenty-two rugby football clubs formed the Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895. They were League Champions in 1924 and have won three Challenge Cups, Batley Cricket Club decided to have a rugby football side merge with them at their ground under the name Batley Cricket Athletic and Football Club. Both sides claimed victory but the club chose Batley Athletic to join them. The new clubs first game was at home against Bradford Zingari which they won by 2 goals,3 touchdowns,2 dead balls, jacob Parker scored the first touchdown. The first season finished with Batley having won 15 games and drawn 5 out of 26 matches played, Batley were one of the original twenty-two clubs that met at the George Hotel, Huddersfield on 29 August 1895 and formed the Northern Rugby Football Union. Batley’s first match under the new union was on 7 September 1895 against Hull F. C.
at Mount Pleasant with Batley winning 7 –3, sixth in the Yorkshire Senior Competition of 1896/97, they battled their way to third spot come the end of the next season. Where knock-out competitions was concerned, they were peerless, in 1897, the Gallant Youths became the first winners of the Challenge Cup beating St. Helens 10-3, in front of a crowd of 13,492 at Headingley. Batley retained the trophy by beating Bradford Northern on the weekend the following year at Headingley in front of 27,941 spectators. The club were Yorkshire League winners in 1898/99 and in 1900/01 won the Challenge Cup for the third and last time to date, wharton Wattie Davies set club records for most appearance and points between 1896-1912. Batleys next cup triumph came on 23 November 1912 when Hull were defeated 17–3 at Headingley in Batley’s one, the Gallant Youths reached the semi-final of the Yorkshire Cup and led the league in November 1923. Batley were crowned champions on Saturday 3 May 1924, lifting the Rugby League Championship Trophy for the time in the club’s history.
The club were Yorkshire League winners that season, the record attendance was set at 23,989 for the visit of Leeds for a third round Challenge Cup match on 14 March 1925. 1952 saw a Yorkshire Cup final appearance against Huddersfield on 15 November, the clubs name was changed from Batley Cricket, Athletic & Football Club Ltd to its present official name of Batley Football Club Ltd in June 1979. The club celebrated its centenary in 1981 with a win over the leagues new London team, Fulham, in the 1960s the league was restructured into two divisions for two seasons before the single-division format was finally ditched in 1973. Batley are one of only a few teams never to make it into the top flight, the local council suggested that Dewsbury and Batley ground share at Crown Flatt after refusing a grant towards safety repairs to Mount Pleasant in February 1987. Batley looked set to join the elite in 1995 when they held off Huddersfield to finish in second place, the club succeeded in winning the Second Division Championship in the 1994–95 season.
However, when the Super League was created for the following year, the club estimated that the decision cost them around £500,000
World War II
World War II, known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, although related conflicts began earlier. It involved the vast majority of the worlds countries—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing alliances, the Allies and the Axis. It was the most widespread war in history, and directly involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. Marked by mass deaths of civilians, including the Holocaust and the bombing of industrial and population centres. These made World War II the deadliest conflict in human history, from late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, and formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. In December 1941, Japan attacked the United States and European colonies in the Pacific Ocean, and quickly conquered much of the Western Pacific.
The Axis advance halted in 1942 when Japan lost the critical Battle of Midway, near Hawaii, in 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained all of its territorial losses and invaded Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in South Central China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy, thus ended the war in Asia, cementing the total victory of the Allies. World War II altered the political alignment and social structure of the world, the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The victorious great powers—the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and the United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the Cold War, which lasted for the next 46 years. Meanwhile, the influence of European great powers waned, while the decolonisation of Asia, most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic recovery.
Political integration, especially in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities, the start of the war in Europe is generally held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland and France declared war on Germany two days later. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or even the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred simultaneously and this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935. The British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the forces of Mongolia and the Soviet Union from May to September 1939, the exact date of the wars end is not universally agreed upon.
It was generally accepted at the time that the war ended with the armistice of 14 August 1945, rather than the formal surrender of Japan
Halifax R. L. F. C. is a semi-professional rugby league club in Halifax, West Yorkshire, which formed in 1873. Halifax were one of the original twenty-two rugby clubs formed the Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895. They have been Rugby League Champions four times and have won the Challenge Cup five times and they have rivalries with neighbours Bradford and Huddersfield and with fellow Championship side Featherstone Rovers. Known as Fax, the colours are blue and white hoops, white shorts and blue. They share the Shay stadium with the football club, 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, in 1886, the club moved to Thrum Hall, which would be their home ground for the next 112 years. The first game there was played on 18 September 1886 against Hull F. C. Halifax were founding members of the breakaway Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895.
In 1896, Halifax lost out on winning the first ever Rugby Football League Championship by a single point, in 1902–03, they achieved the double by winning the Challenge Cup and finishing top of Division One. They won the cup again the season, and were the first ever 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 season in the league. The club had made a number of signings from the New Zealand All Blacks, including George Nepia and Charles Smith. In 1938, Halifax reached the semi-final of the Challenge Cup, 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 Halifaxs Hudson Irving died from a heart attack while playing at Dewsbury. In 1949, Halifaxs 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, Halifax were unbeaten at their home ground of Thrum Hall between December 1952 and November 1956. 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 a 11–10 Challenge Cup semi-final victory over Wigan at Odsal and Halifax beat St. Helens 23–8 in the Championship semi-final
Salford Red Devils
Salford Red Devils R. L. F. C. is a professional rugby league club in Salford, Greater Manchester, who play in the Super League. Formed in 1873, they have won six Championships and one Challenge Cup and 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 simply as Salford, from 1995-98 Salford Reds. On a 1934 tour to France, the described the team as playing like devils. The club was founded in 1873 by the boys of the Cavendish Street Chapel in Hulme, 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 they moved to a new base on the Salford side of the River Irwell at Throstle Nest Weir in Ordsall. Two seasons later, they moved again to the west side of Trafford Road to a known as the Mile Field where they spent the 1877–78 season. Their next home was a north of the former Manchester Racecourse.
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 as there were few local players in the team. In 1881, they almost disbanded but instead merged with the Crescent Football Club, 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, 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, only three members opposed the motion. Salford were admitted to the Northern Union on 2 June 1896 and 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 and 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, 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
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 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
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 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, 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 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