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
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
The Challenge Cup is a knockout rugby league cup competition organised by the Rugby Football League, held annually since 1896, with the exception of 1915–1919 and 1939–1940. It involves amateur, semi-professional and professional clubs, the final of the Challenge Cup at Wembley Stadium, London, is one of the most prestigious matches in world rugby league and is broadcast around the world. Abide with Me, sung before the game, has become a rugby league anthem, the current holders of the Challenge Cup are Hull F. C. who defeated Warrington 12–10 on 27 August 2016 at Wembley Stadium, the very first time they have won at Wembley. Wigan are the most successful club in the history of the competition, the clubs that formed the Northern Union had long been playing in local knock-out cup competitions under the auspices of the Rugby Football Union. However, the rugby union authorities refused to sanction a nationwide tournament, after the schism of 1895, the northern clubs were free to go-ahead, and they instigated the Northern Rugby Football Union Challenge Cup. In 1896 Fattorinis of Bradford were commissioned to manufacture the Challenge Cup at a cost of just £60, Fattorinis also supplied three-guineas winners medals then valued at thirty shillings. The first competition was held during the 1896–97 season, and 56 clubs entered to compete for the trophy, the first final was held at Headingley in Leeds, on 24 April 1897. Batley defeated St. Helens 10–3 in front of a crowd of 13,492 and it is interesting to note that the St Helens side did not play in a standardised team jersey. The competition was interrupted by the Great War, although it was held in 1915. It was then suspended until the end of hostilities, the first final held at Wembley was in 1929 when Wigan beat Dewsbury 13–2 in front of a crowd of 41,500. The Challenge Cup finals, which place in the game’s Northern heartland, got big crowds as the game raised money for prisoners of war. In 1946, the Lance Todd Trophy was introduced and awarded to the man of the match, the first winner was Billy Stott of Wakefield Trinity the first winner of the trophy on the losing team was Frank Whitcombe of Bradford Northern in 1948. In itself, it is a trophy presented only at the Challenge Cup Final. The winner is selected by the members of the Rugby League Writers Association present at the game and the trophy was presented at a dinner at the Willows. 1954 saw the Challenge Cup final drawn and the set the record for a rugby league match attendance. The match was on 5 May and 102,569 was the attendance at Odsal Stadium. Wigan are well known for their successes in the Challenge Cup competition, until the 1993–94 season there were very few amateur clubs included in the cup, typically two. For part of the 1980s, and the 1992–93 season the cup was solely for professional clubs, in 1997, a Challenge Cup Plate took place for teams knocked out in the early rounds of the competition
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
Wembley Stadium (1923)
The Original Wembley Stadium was a football stadium located in Wembley Park, London. It stood on the now occupied by its successor, the new Wembley Stadium. The great Brazilian footballer Pelé once said of the stadium, Wembley is the cathedral of football and it is the capital of football and it is the heart of football in recognition of its status as the worlds best-known football stadium. It also hosted music events, including the 1985 Live Aid charity concert. The twin towers were an icon for England and Wembley, debris from the Original Wembley Stadium was used to make the award-winning Northala Fields in Northolt, Ealing. The stadiums first turf was cut by King George V, much of Humphrey Reptons original Wembley Park landscape was transformed in 1922–23 during preparations for the British Empire Exhibition of 1924–25. First known as the British Empire Exhibition Stadium or simply Empire Stadium, the stadium cost £750,000, and was constructed on the site of an earlier folly called Watkins Tower. The architects were Sir John Simpson and Maxwell Ayrton and the Head Engineer Sir Owen Williams, the stadium had gone into liquidation, after it was pronounced financially unviable. Elvin offered to buy the stadium for £127,000, using a £12,000 downpayment and they then immediately bought it back from Elvin, leaving him with a healthy profit. Instead of cash he received shares, which gave him the largest stake in Wembley Stadium, the electric scoreboard and the all-encircling roof, made from aluminium and translucent glass, were added in 1963. The stadiums distinctive Twin Towers became its trademark and nickname, also well known were the 39 steps needed to be climbed to reach the Royal box and collect a trophy. Wembley was the first pitch to be referred to as Hallowed Turf, in 1934, the Empire Pool was built nearby. The Wembley Stadium Collection is held by the National Football Museum, the stadium closed in October 2000, and demolition commenced in December 2002, completing in 2003 for redevelopment. The top of one of the towers was erected as a memorial in the park on the north side of Overton Close in the Saint Raphaels Estate. Wembley is best known for hosting football matches, having hosted the FA Cup Final annually as well as numerous England International fixtures, the Empire Stadium was built in exactly 300 days at the cost of £750,000. Described as the worlds greatest sporting arena, it was ready only 4 days before the White Horse Final in 1923, the FA had not considered admission by ticket, grossly underestimating the number of fans who arrived at the 104 gates on match day. However, after the game, every event, apart from the 1982 replay, was ticketed, the first event held at the stadium was the FA Cup Final on 28 April 1923 between Bolton Wanderers and West Ham United. This is known as the White Horse Final, the crowds overflowed onto the pitch as there was no room on the terraces
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