Warrington is a town and unitary authority area in Cheshire, England, on the banks of the River Mersey,20 miles east of Liverpool, and 20 miles west of Manchester. The population in 2015 was estimated at 207,700, more than double that of 1968 when it became a New Town, Warrington was founded by the Romans at an important crossing place on the River Mersey. A new settlement was established by the Saxons, by the Middle Ages, Warrington had emerged as a market town at the lowest bridging point of the river. A local tradition of textile and tool production dates from this time, historically in Lancashire, the expansion and urbanisation of Warrington coincided with the Industrial Revolution, particularly after the Mersey was made navigable in the 18th century. The West Coast Main Line runs north to south through the town, the Manchester Ship Canal cuts through the south of the borough. The M6, M56 and M62 motorways form a box around the town. Warrington has been a crossing point on the River Mersey since ancient times.
Local archaeological evidence indicates there were Bronze Age settlements also. In medieval times Warringtons importance was as a town and bridging point of the River Mersey. The first reference to a bridge at Warrington is found in 1285, Warrington was a fulcrum in the English Civil War. The armies of Oliver Cromwell and the Earl of Derby both stayed near the old town centre, popular legend has it that Cromwell lodged near the building which survives on Church Street as the Cottage Restaurant. The Marquis of Granby public house bears a plaque stating that the Earl of Derby had his quarters near this site, dents in the walls of the parish church are rumoured to have been caused by the cannons from the time of the civil war. The expansion and urbanisation of Warrington largely coincided with the Industrial Revolution, as Britain became industrialised, Warrington embraced the Industrial Revolution becoming a manufacturing town and a centre of steel, brewing and chemical industries. The navigational properties of the River Mersey were improved, canals were built, when the age of steam came, Warrington naturally welcomed it, both as a means of transport and as a source of power for its mills.
Many people, particularly Americans, remember Warrington best as the location of RAF Station Burtonwood Burtonwood RAF base, the RAF station continued in use by the USAAF and subsequently USAF as a staging post for men and material until its closure in 1993. Warrington was designated a new town in 1968 and consequently the town grew in size, heavy industry declined in the 1970s and 1980s but the growth of the new town led to a great increase in employment in light industry and technology. On 20 March 1993, the Provisional Irish Republican Army detonated two bombs in Warrington town centre, the blasts killed two children, three-year-old Jonathan Ball died instantly, and twelve-year-old Tim Parry, from the Great Sankey area died five days in hospital. Around 56 other people were injured, four seriously and their deaths provoked widespread condemnation of the organisation responsible
Army Rugby Union
The Army Rugby Union is the governing body for rugby union in the British Army and a constituent body of the Rugby Football Union. The ARU was formed on 31 December 1906 and marked the fulfilment of Lieutenant J. E. C. Birdie Partridges idea to have a body to administer the playing of rugby union in the British Army. Since the games earliest years, members of the army have been keen players, thereafter regiments of the British Army played wherever they were stationed in the British Empire spreading its popularity around the globe. Many English rugby union clubs such as Leicester were formed by soldiers, the Army were represented in the very first international by two England players, Lieutenant Charles Arthur Crompton RE and Lieutenant Charles William Sherrard RE. Shortly after the ARU was formed the RFU donated the Army Cup, over the years there have been some ferocious contests for cup and from those contests the reputation of the Army’s great rugby units have been made. Those units include, the Duke of Wellingtons Regiment, the Welch Regiment, the highlight of the ARU season is the annual Army Navy Match held at Twickenham.
The first of these took place in 1878 at the Kennington Oval. The Mother Country and New Zealand Army reached the final at Twickenham, in 1920 the Army–Navy competition was expanded to include the Royal Air Force, the same year that CSM C. W. Jones was to become the first other rank to be picked to represent the army. Between the wars the ARU arranged matches against the French Army, the period saw Army players being selected for British Lions teams. In 1931 the Army Rugby Union Referees Society was formed and continues to provide professional refereeing for all games, an international team was formed shortly after the end of World War II, known as the British Empire Forces, who played a series of games against France. After the war first class rugby union brought in through National Service dominated army rugby. During the period 1948–62 more men played for the Army XV than in any previous or subsequent era. Also on a front the ARU can boast of the fact that it has had appointed from its ranks Presidents for the English and Scottish RFUs.
In the last few years the operational tempo of Army units on British Army Germany have seen these fixtures reduced, in September 2011 the Army Senior XV travelled to Australia to participate in the first ever International Defence Rugby World Cup. Teams from the UK, the French Defence Force, the Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces, Samoa, the final was played at Auckland Uni RFC against the Australian Defence Force. The Army ran away winners 62–17 to become the first International Defence Rugby Union World Champions, the United Kingdom hosted the second International Defence Rugby Competition in October 2015 coinciding with England holding the Rugby World Cup. In 1996, the ARU officially recognised womens rugby union, which had played in the army since the late 1980s. A womens inter-service competition was introduced in 2003 and since its inauguration the army teams have been its undisputed champions, in Nov 2010 LCpl Jane Leonard won international honours with England Women playing and winning her first cap against New Zealand at Twickenham
The Cliff (training ground)
The Cliff is a sports ground in Broughton, Salford on the banks of the River Irwell, that was used as rugby league club Broughton Rangers home ground until 1933. It was purchased by association football club Manchester United for use as their training ground and it continued to be used by United until 1999, when it was replaced by the Trafford Training Centre in Carrington. However, it continues to host some Manchester United academy matches, the Cliff, on Lower Broughton Road in Broughton, started out as a cricket and tennis ground. The now-defunct Broughton Rangers rugby league moved to The Cliff in 1913 and played there until 1933. By the end of June 1938, a tenancy had been agreed, Manchester United purchased the ground in 1951. Floodlights were soon erected at The Cliff – an improvement that Old Trafford did not receive until March 1957 – and that same year, Manchester United entered their youth team in the FA Youth Cup for the first time. Matches were played at night, meaning that the team had to play under the floodlights at The Cliff, the club, decided to construct a new training facility in Carrington, away from prying eyes.
First team and academy training is now carried out at the Trafford Training Centre, the Cliff has even been used by the England national team as a training camp prior to international matches held at Old Trafford. In 2003, plans were put forward by Manchester United for a set of 16-metre-tall floodlights at The Cliff, the club had originally planned to install 19-metre-tall lights, but this was reduced
Gorton is an area of the city of Manchester in North West England, southeast of the city centre. The population at the 2011 census was 36,055, neighbouring areas include Longsight and Levenshulme. A major landmark is Gorton Monastery, a 19th-century High Victorian Gothic former Franciscan friary, according to local folklore, Gorton derives its name from Gore Town, due to a battle between the Saxons and Danes nearby. This has been dismissed by historians as popular fancy, the name Gorton means dirty farmstead, perhaps taking its name from the Gore Brook, or dirty brook, which still runs through the township to-day. The brook may have acquired that name because of the dirty appearance of its water, in medieval times, the district was a township of the ancient parish of Manchester in the Salford Hundred of Lancashire. Manchester City F. C. was founded as St, the club was formed with the aim of binding the local community and to combat a form of gang warfare called scuttling that existed in the 1870s.
Marks Cricket Club are known to have played and this evolved into the club in the decade. The first recorded game was played in November 1880. A Blackfoot Sioux chief named Charging Thunder came to Salford aged 26 as part of Buffalo Bills Wild West Show in 1903, but when the show rolled out of town, he remained in London. He married Josephine, an American horse trainer who had just given birth to their first child and together they settled in Darwen and his name was changed to George Edward Williams, after registering with the British immigration authorities to enable him to find work. Williams ended up as an elephant keeper at the Belle Vue Zoo and he died on 28 July 1929 from pneumonia aged fifty-two. His interment was in Gortons cemetery, most of the 19th century Victorian houses in Gorton were demolished in the 1960s, and many people moved to new overspill housing estates in other parts of the city. However, some remained in Gorton and were placed in new council houses. Myra Hindley, convicted of taking part in the Moors Murders in 1966 and she and Ian Brady lived there at the time of the first three Moors murders, before moving to Hattersley in 1964, committing two further murders there before they were arrested in October 1965.
Their first victim, Pauline Reade, was a Gorton resident and he was last seen alive on 16 June 1964. His body has yet to be found, and Pauline Reades body was found in 1987. In 2006, the Motor Insurers Bureau named West Gorton as the worst place in the UK for uninsured cars, however the MIB press release of 24 September 2009 stated that Barkerend in Bradford was the worst place for uninsured drivers with Manchester the second worst city. The MIB do not reveal details of the methods used to calculate the figures
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
Broughton is a suburb of Salford, England. It lies on the east bank of the River Irwell and A56 road, Broughton consists of Broughton Park, Higher Broughton, Lower Broughton and a part of Kersal. Its immediate proximity to Manchester effectively makes it a suburb of that city, historically in Lancashire, Broughton anciently constituted a township and chapelry in the parish of Manchester and hundred of Salford. The former manor house, Broughton Hall, belonged to the Chethams, a part of Broughton was amalgamated into the Municipal Borough of Salford in 1844, and the remaining area of the township in 1853. Since the turn of the 21st century, parts of Lower Broughton and Higher Broughton have been redeveloped with a mixture of town houses, together with neighbouring Prestwich and part of Crumpsall, Broughton is home to a large Jewish community. Some neolithic implements and other remains have been found in Broughton. The Roman road from Manchester to Ribchester passed through the area, the township of Broughton dates back to 1177 when it was known as Burton, bounded mainly by the meandering River Irwell.
To the west of this township, close to a ford across the Irwell, the Manor of Broughton was formerly an ancient demesne of the honour of Lancaster, being a member of the Royal Manor of Salford. It descended through families and in 1578 was bought by Henry Stanley. This was home to the astronomer and mathematician William Crabtree. The recording of the event is now seen as the birth of modern astronomy in Britain, in June 2004 a commemorative street nameplate in memory of William Crabtree was unveiled at the junction of Lower Broughton Road and Priory Grove. This site marks the location that is thought most likely to have been the home of Crabtree, a commemorative plaque was erected in 2005 a few yards away near Ivy Cottage, which is thought to be the house from which Crabtree made his observations. In 1772 the Manor of Broughton became the property of Mary, sister of Edward Cheetham of Nuthurst, the manor descended through the Clowes family to the Captain Henry Arthur Clowes. By 1801 the population of the township of Broughton with Kersal was 866, much of the land was owned by the Clowes family of Broughton Old Hall and the Byroms of Kersal Cell, and was either farmed, or supported cottage industries such as spinning and weaving.
Broughton Park, which stretched from Singleton Road to Broom Lane with Broughton Old Hall at the centre, was the estate of the Clowes family, the highlight of the year was the Kersal Moor Races held during Whit Week when the Kersal area became a giant fairground. Archery was a sport for which the Broughton Archers were renowned countrywide. By the mid-19th century the majority of residents who lived in the known as the Cliff were members of the professional classes. The Cliff was one of the earliest residential suburbs for commuters into Manchester, a number of the houses built for them still stand today and are protected as listed buildings
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 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, 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
Warrington Wolves R. L. F. C. is a professional rugby league football club based in Warrington, England that competes in Super League. They play at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, having moved there from Wilderspool in 2003 and they are nicknamed The Wire in reference to the wire-drawing industry in the town. Warrington have local rivalries with Widnes, St. Helens and Wigan and they have won three League Championships and are the fourth most successful team in the Challenge Cup with eight victories, behind Wigan, St. Helens and Leeds. The current head coach at the club is Tony Smith, who joined in March 2009, under the heading Outdoor Sports – Football the Widnes Guardian of 25 January 1873 reports on a recent game between Warrington and Wigan at the unnamed ground of the former. On 6 December 1873 that same newspaper carried details of a derby between Warrington and Zingari and in subsequent weeks there were matches with Sale and Free Wanderers. This club folded after its ground was lost to development work, Warrington Zingari Football Club was formed in 1876 by seven young local men.
When the earlier club folded, they decided to take the vacant Warrington Football Club name for the start of the 1877/8 season, another local club, Padgate Excelsior amalgamated with Warrington in 1881–82, and Warrington Wanderers joined in 1884 to form a representative town side. In 1886, the club won its first silverware, the West Lancashire, on 28 August 1895, the Committee decided to join with 21 other clubs throughout Lancashire and Yorkshire to form a new Northern Union and resigned from the RFU. In 1900–01, Warrington reached the final of the Challenge Cup, a crowd of 29,000 turned out at Leeds to see Warrington battle hard but be beaten by two tries to nil. Warrington appeared in the renamed South West Lancashire Cup against Leigh two days later, the strenuous game against Batley took its toll on the Warrington players and the match ended in a 0–0 draw, the replay never took place. In 1903–04, Warrington defeated Bradford Northern in a replay to earn a place in the final of the Challenge Cup.
Warrington put up a performance against Halifax but lost 8–3. In 1904–05, Warrington beat Hull Kingston Rovers 6–0 to win the Challenge Cup final in front of a crowd of 19,638, in 1908,14 November the first touring Australian rugby league team visit Warrington. The Kangaroos embarked upon a massive six months tour of Britain taking in 45 matches and their timing was not good as the north of England was hit by strikes in the cotton mills, which badly affected attendances as fans could not afford to watch the pioneering Aussies. On Saturday 14 November 1908 Warrington played the Kangaroos, Warrington won the match 10-3, with Jackie Fish the hero scoring one try and Ike Taylor the other and George Dickenson kicked a goal each. A crowd of 5,000 watched the match at Wilderspool, the Australians came back to Wilderspool for revenge in the tour but tries from Jack Fish, and John Jenkins earned the Wirepullers an 8-8 draw. Two members of the Kangaroo squad, Dan Frawley and Larry OMalley signed for Warrington, Warrington have the best record of any club side against the touring Kangaroos with eight wins, one draw, and seven defeats from sixteen matches.
In 1913, 5th challenge cup final, Warrington reached their fifth Challenge Cup Final, with wins over Keighley, Hull Kingston Rovers, the Final was lost 9–5 to the mighty Huddersfield team of All-Stars
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 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 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
Hyde Road (speedway)
Hyde Road Stadium often referred to as Belle Vue was the home of the Belle Vue Aces speedway team. The stadiums capacity was 40,000 and it was built in 1928 and it was claimed, incorrectly, to have been the first purpose built speedway track in Britain. Part of the complex of buildings and attractions that formed Belle Vue Zoological Gardens the Hyde Road stadium was constructed in 1886 as an athletics ground. It was named after Hyde Road, a road which begins at the east end of Ardwick Green South in Ardwick, at the boundary between Gorton and Denton it continues as Manchester Road. In 1928 the owners of the decided to convert the stadium for use as a speedway venue. The opening speedway meeting here was staged on 23 March 1929, following the announcement that Stuart Bamforth had sold the stadium for redevelopment, the last speedway meeting was staged on 1 November 1987, when a double header took place. Firstly, Belle Vue defeated the Coventry Bees in a replay of the League Cup before losing to the Cradley Heath Heathens in the league match ever raced at Hyde Road.
Speedway returned to Belle Vue Greyhound stadium and remained there, the speedway at Hyde Road was 382 metres in length. The site of the old Hyde Road stadium is now the site of the British Car Auctions Ltd. Hyde Road hosted the Final of the World Pairs Championship in 1974 and 1977
New Zealand national rugby league team
The New Zealand national rugby league team has represented New Zealand in rugby league since 1907. Administered by the New Zealand Rugby League, they are known as the Kiwis. The teams colours are majority black with white and the players perform a haka before every match they play as a challenge to their opponents. The New Zealand Kiwis won the most recent Four Nations competition in 2014 and, since the 2015 Anzac Test, since the 1980s, most New Zealand representatives have been based overseas, in the professional National Rugby League and Super League competitions. Before that players were selected entirely from clubs in domestic New Zealand leagues, since the Kiwis have regularly competed in international competition, touring Europe and Australia throughout the 20th century. New Zealand have competed in every Rugby League World Cup since the first in 1954, in 2008 New Zealand won the World Cup for the first time. They contest the Baskerville Shield against England, and play an annual Anzac Test against Australia, Rugby football was introduced into New Zealand by Charles John Monro, son of the speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives, Sir David Monro.
He had been sent to Christs College, East Finchley in north London and he brought the game back to his native Nelson, and arranged the first rugby match between Nelson College and Nelson Football Club, played on 14 May 1870. When New Zealands national rugby team toured Britain in 1905 they witnessed the growing popularity of the breakaway non-amateur Northern Unions games, on his return in 1906, All Black George William Smith met the Australian entrepreneur J J Giltinan to discuss the potential of professional rugby in Australasia. The first New Zealand team to play rugby was known as the All Blacks. To avoid confusion, the terms professional All Blacks or All Golds are used, in the meantime, a lesser known New Zealand rugby player, Albert Henry Baskerville was ready to recruit a group of players for a Great Britain pro tour. It is believed that Baskerville became aware of the profits to be made such a venture while he was working at the Wellington Post Office in 1906. A colleague had a fit and dropped a British newspaper.
Baskerville picked it up and noticed a report about a Northern Union match that over 40,000 people had attended, Baskerville wrote to the NRFU asking if they would host a New Zealand touring party. The 1905 All Blacks tour was still fresh in English minds, thus the NU saw the upcoming competitive New Zealand tour as exceptional opportunity to raise the profile, the NU agreed to the tour provided that some of those original All Blacks were included in the New Zealand team. George Smith arrived back in New Zealand and after learning of Baskervilles plans, the New Zealand Rugby Union became aware of the tour and promptly applied pressure to any All Black or New Zealand representative player it suspected of involvement. They had the New Zealand Governments Agent General in London deliver a statement to the British press in an effort to undermine the tours credibility. This had little effect and by time the professional All Blacks were already sailing across the Tasman to give Australia its first taste of professional rugby
Bradford Bulls R. L. F. C. are a professional rugby league club in Bradford, West Yorkshire, 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 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 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 moved to Laisteridge Lane and North Park Road in Manningham. A nomadic existence continued as they went on to Peel Park, Girlington. Bradford Football Club and Bradford Cricket Club bought Park Avenue in 1879, the clubs headquarters were at the Talbot Darley Street, and 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 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, 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