Knowsley Road in Eccleston, St Helens, Merseyside, was the home ground of St. Helens from 1890 until its closure in 2010. St Helens Town FC played their fixtures at Knowsley Road from 2002 until 2010. For a period, the venue also hosted Liverpool F. C. Reserves, the stadium was demolished during spring 2011 and a new construction then known as Cunningham Grange, named after club legend Keiron Cunningham, was built on the site. Knowsley Road consisted of four stands of open terracing and one seated stand called the Family Stand, the Family Stand was the only section of the stadium which had a seated area, although there were still areas for standing supporters. The players entered the field from a gateway under the stand, the Family Stand contained an area for the media such as local radio stations. It was built after the Second World War, funded by local businesses, the actual design of the stand means that it only ran for two-thirds of that side of the pitch. Players would come out of the new tunnel before kick off to a view of the stadium. When the Main Stand was constructed, it created an overhang at the top of the stand and this was because the old Eccleston railway ran below the site of the new stand, linking the Triplex factory to the town centre. The railway has gone now, and was replaced by the clubs car park. The Popular Stand was an all standing section of the ground and was the most popular stand for home supporters, the stand was built in the 1960s at a cost of over £30,000. It spread across the length of the pitch. It held the Scaff – the gantry in which the press gathered, when St. Helens were on television, the Popular Stand regularly were heard singing and chanting due to the small distance between the cameras and the supporters. The Dunriding Lane End was the stand without a roof. It contained nine corporate boxes, as well as the stadium restaurant, prior to being moved to the Family Stand, the changing rooms were at the Dunriding Lane End and players would enter from a tunnel. The Dunriding Lane End of the ground was known as the Boys Pen – a spot where die-hard fans congregated during the post-war years, the Eddington End was a typical Kop. It was the second biggest stand overall at the ground, in the 1960s, a roof was placed on the Eddington End of the ground. The Eddington End is generally an away end, where most away fans congregated on match days and it became a haunt for local derby chanting with fans of arch rivals Wigan. St. Helens moved to Knowsley Road in 1890, defeating Manchester Rangers in their first match, the stadium pre-dated the birth of the Northern Rugby Football Union by five years
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
Super League is the top-level professional rugby league club competition in Europe. The league has twelve teams, eleven from England and one from France, canadian and Welsh clubs that also compete in the Rugby Football League can also qualify. Commonally known in the UK as the Super League it is referred to internationally as the European Super League, the current champions are Wigan Warriors. Super League began in 1996, replacing the RFL Championship and switching from a winter to a summer season, each team plays 23 games between February and July,11 home games,11 away games and a Magic Weekend game at a neutral venue. After 23 games, teams enter a Super 8 stage, the top eight play each other once more, the top four then enter the play-off series leading to the Grand Final which determines the champions. The bottom four teams go on to play the top four Championship teams in The Qualifiers to determine who will play in Super League the following season, Leeds Rhinos are the most successful club in the Super League era, having won 7 titles. However, Wigan Warriors are the most successful overall, having won 21 British Championships. The Super League champions play the National Rugby League champions from Australasia in the World Club Challenge at the start of the season, murdoch also approached the British clubs to form Super League. A large sum of money aided the decision, and the competition got under way in 1996, part of the deal saw rugby league switch from a winter to a summer season. The 12 founding teams of Super League were, Bradford Bulls Castleford Tigers Halifax Leeds Rhinos London Broncos Oldham Roughyeds Paris Saint-Germain Sheffield Eagles St. C, however this proved so unpopular that only existing clubs were selected for the competition. London Broncos, who had come fourth in the Second Division, were fast-tracked in on commercial grounds, a new team, Paris Saint-Germain, was created to give a French dimension. Between 1998 and 2000 there was no relegation from Super League, after two years Paris were dropped from the competition. In 2006, French side Catalans Dragons from Perpignan joined the league, Super League licences were announced in May 2005 by the RFL as the new determinant of the Super League competitions participants from 2009 in place of promotion and relegation. The licences were awarded after consideration of more factors than just the performance of a club. After 2007 automatic promotion and relegation was suspended for Super League with new teams to be admitted on a basis with the term of the licence to start in 2009. The RFL stated that applying to compete in Super League would be assessed by criteria in four areas with the final evaluations and decisions being taken by the RFL board of directors. Points attained by each application are translated into licence grades A, B or C. First licensing period In June 2008, the RFL confirmed that Super League would be expanded from 12 teams to 14 in 2009, the teams announced were the 12 existing Super League teams along with National League 1 teams, Celtic Crusaders and Salford
Bradford Bulls R. L. F. C. are a professional rugby league club in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England, which currently plays in the Championship. They have won the Challenge Cup five times, the championship six times. Bradford play their games at Odsal Stadium. The team jersey is white with red, amber and black chevrons, in 1907, founder member of the Rugby Football League Bradford F. C. switched codes to association football, and Bradford Northern was formed by members who wished to continue rugby. Bradford Northern were renamed Bradford Bulls in 1996, at the start of Super League, Bradfords main rivalry was with Leeds, they also had rivalries with Huddersfield and Halifax. The club entered administration in 2012, and again in 2014 and 2016, despite several bids to take over the club, none of the bids were accepted by the administrators and on 3 January 2017 the club went into liquidation. Due to the administration and liquidation, the club started the 2017 season with a 12-point deduction, the original Bradford Football Club was formed in 1863 and played rugby football, subsequently joining the Rugby Football Union. Initially the club played at Horton Cricket Ground, All Saints Road but were asked to leave because of damage to the pitch and they then moved to Laisteridge Lane and later North Park Road in Manningham. A nomadic existence continued as they went on to Peel Park, then Girlington. Bradford Football Club and Bradford Cricket Club bought Park Avenue in 1879, the clubs headquarters were at the Talbot Darley Street, and later The Alexandra, Great Horton Road. The club achieved its first major success by winning the Yorkshire Cup in 1884, in 1895, along with cross-town neighbours Manningham F. C. These 22 clubs formed the Northern Rugby Football Union and rugby football was born. Bradford enjoyed some success in the new competition, in the 1903–04 Northern Rugby Football Union season, the team finished level on points with Salford at the top of the league and then won the resulting play-off 5–0. In 1905–06, Bradford beat Salford 5–0 to win the Challenge Cup and were runners-up in the Championship, in 1906–07, Bradford won the Yorkshire County Cup 8–5 against Hull Kingston Rovers. The creation of Bradford City led to demands for association football at Park Avenue too, the ground had already hosted some football matches including one in the 1880s between Blackburn Rovers and Blackburn Olympic F. C. In 1895, a Bradford side had beaten a team from Moss Side, Manchester, following the change at Bradford City, a meeting was called of the Bradford FC members on 15 April 1907 to decide the rugby clubs future. This act, sometimes referred to as The Great Betrayal, led to Bradford FC becoming the Bradford Park Avenue Association Football Club, Bradford Northerns first home ground was the Greenfield Athletic Ground in Dudley Hill, to the south of the city. They based themselves at the Greenfield Hotel, Northern moved to Birch Lane in 1908
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