Michael'Mike' Stephenson known as Stevo, is an English rugby league commentator and former player. Mike Stephenson was born in West Riding of Yorkshire, England. Stevo, the nickname that he is known by in rugby league and on TV, played at club level for Dewsbury, Australian side Penrith, played for Yorkshire and Great Britain, with whom he won the 1972 Rugby League World Cup. Stephenson played in the hooker position for most of his playing career. Stephenson was responsible for the setting-up of the Rugby League Heritage Centre at the George Hotel in Huddersfield, he was awarded an MBE, for his services to rugby league and sports broadcasting in the New Year Honours List 2017. Stephenson began his professional playing career at his hometown club Dewsbury in 1966, after being signed from local amateur club Shaw Cross RLFC, he went on to make his Great Britain début in Castleford in 1971 against the touring New Zealand side. His greatest moment in international rugby league was being a member of Great Britain's victorious 1972 World Cup-winning side.
Stephenson won caps for Great Britain while at Dewsbury in 1971 against New Zealand, in 1972 against France, in the 1972 World Cup against France, New Zealand and Australia. Stephenson's time in the Dewsbury first team coincided with an upturn in the club's fortunes on the pitch, he played in Dewsbury's 9–36 defeat by Leeds in the 1972–73 Yorkshire Cup Final and scored 2 tries in Dewsbury's 22-13 victory over Leeds in the 1972-73 Championship Final. He left Dewsbury after their championship winning season in 1973 to join Australian Rugby League outfit Penrith, he played 69 games for the Panthers between 1974 and 1978, scoring 21 tries. Stevo was player-coach of the side for a brief, unsuccessful spell, he settled in Sydney. Stevo began his broadcasting career in Australia with brief spells at radio and television stations in Sydney, he first appeared on British airwaves in 1988, when he was invited to co-commentate on the rugby league Ashes series in Australia for BBC Radio 2 with Eddie Hemmings.
In 1990, Stevo joined the new British satellite television broadcaster BSB as a match summariser for its Rugby League coverage. At BSB, he joined up again with Hemmings, signed up by the broadcaster; the pairing were kept together when BSB and Sky Television merged to form BSkyB in 1991. Stephenson announced at the start of the 2016 season that he would be retiring from commentating at the end of the season after 26 years, his last game on the microphone was the 2016 Super League Grand Final. RFL Championship: 1972–73 World Cup: 1972 Harry Sunderland Trophy: 1973! Great Britain Statistics at englandrl.co.uk Statistics at stats.rleague.com Playing at Smales pace sank champions – article at yorkshirepost.co.uk When Great Britain won the World Cup Tracking down the heroes of 1972Stevo: Looking Back, by Mike Stephenson ISBN 978-1-904091-23-3
Rugby Football Union
The Rugby Football Union is the governing body for rugby union in England. It was founded in 1871, was the sport's international governing body prior to the formation of what is now known as World Rugby in 1886, it promotes and runs the sport, organises international matches for the England national team, educates and trains players and officials. The RFU is an industrial and provident society owned by over 2,000 member clubs, representing over 2.5 million registered players, forms the largest rugby union society in the world, one of the largest sports organisations in England. It is based at London. In September 2010 the equivalent women's rugby body, the Rugby Football Union for Women, was able to nominate a member to the RFU Council to represent women and girls rugby; the RFUW was integrated into the RFU in July 2012. On 4 December 1870, Edwin Ash of Richmond and Benjamin Burns of Blackheath published a letter in The Times suggesting that "those who play the rugby-type game should meet to form a code of practice as various clubs play to rules which differ from others, which makes the game difficult to play."
On 26 January 1871 a meeting attended by representatives from 21 clubs was held in London at the Pall Mall Restaurant on Regent Street. The 21 clubs present at the meeting were: Blackheath, Ravenscourt Park, West Kent, Marlborough Nomads, Wimbledon Hornets, Civil Service, The Law Club, Wellington College, Guy's Hospital, Clapham Rovers, Harlequin F. C. King's College Hospital, St Paul's, Queen's House, Addison and Belsize Park; the one notable omission was the Wasps. According to one version, a Wasps' representative was sent to attend the meeting, but owing to a misunderstanding was sent to the wrong venue at the wrong time on the wrong day. Ealing Rugby Club received an invitation, but their representative stopped in a public house and missed the meeting; as a result of this meeting the Rugby Football Union was founded. Algernon Rutter was elected as the first president of the RFU, Edwin Ash was elected as treasurer. Three lawyers who were Rugby School alumni drew up the first laws of the game, which were approved in June 1871.
Although similar unions were organised during the next few years in Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand, France, South Africa, the United States, the RFU was the first and therefore had no need to distinguish itself from others by calling itself the English RFU. Twenty-two rugby clubs from across the north of England met on 29 August 1895 in the George Hotel in Huddersfield, where they voted to secede from the Rugby Football Union and set up the Northern Rugby Football Union; the RFU took strong action against the clubs involved in the formation of the NRFU, all of whom were deemed to have forfeited their amateur status and therefore to have left the RFU. A similar interpretation was applied to all players who played either for or against such clubs, whether or not they received any compensation; these players were barred indefinitely from any involvement in organised rugby union. These comprehensive and enduring sanctions, combined with the localised nature of most rugby competition, meant that most northern clubs had little practical option but to affiliate with the NRFU in the first few years of its existence.
The RFU long resisted competitions and leagues fearing that they would encourage foul play and professionalism. The first club competition known as the R. F. U. Club Competition, took place in 1972. Following a sponsorship agreement it became known as the John Player Cup in 1976; the RFU agreed to the formation of a league pyramid in 1987. In 2005 the RFU began talks about a merger with the governing body for women's rugby union the RFUW. In September 2010 the RFUW was able to nominate a member to the RFU Council to represent women and girls rugby; the RFUW was integrated into the RFU in July 2012. In response to the faltering results of the England national team, Rob Andrew was appointed on 18 August 2006 by the RFU to the post of Director of Elite Rugby, to oversee all aspects of representative rugby in England from the regional academies to the full senior side, including senior team selection powers and the power to hire and fire coaches at all levels of English rugby. Andrew had the task of building bridges with the premiership clubs and the RFU in terms of players withdrawal from their club duties for international duties.
On 6 January 2011 his role of Director of Elite Rugby was scrapped in an overhaul of the organisation's structure. Chief executive John Steele opted to create a single rugby department divided into the areas of performance and development with the emphasis on "delivering rugby at all levels", with each area having its own director; the England national rugby union team competes in the annual Six Nations Championship with France, Scotland and Wales. They have won this championship outright on a total of 28 occasions, 13 times winning the Grand Slam and 25 times winning the Triple Crown, making them the most successful team in the tournament's history. England are to date the only team from the northern hemisphere to win the Rugby World Cup, when they won the tournament back in 2003, they were runners-up in 1991 and 2007. They are ranked fourth in the world by the International Rugby Board as of 19 Novembe
Michael "Mick" Sullivan known by the nickname of "Sully", was an English World Cup winning professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1950s and 1960s, coached in the 1970s. He set the record for the most appearances for the Great Britain Lions with 46; this record has been never overtaken. He holds the record for the most rugby league test match tries by a player of any nationality with 44. Mick Sullivan was born in Pudsey, West Riding of Yorkshire, England, he worked a pipefitter, he died aged 82 in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England. Sullivan signed with Huddersfield in 1952 as an 18-year-old right wing, he made his début for Great Britain during the 1954 World Cup in France against the Australian team. Sullivan went on to appear in the final and help Great Britain to claim the first World Cup, he was selected to play for England while at Huddersfield in 1955 against Other Nationalities, in 1956 against France. Mick Sullivan represented Great Britain while at Huddersfield between 1952 and 1956 against France.
Sullivan won caps for Great Britain while at Huddersfield in 1954 against France, New Zealand, Australia, in 1955 against New Zealand, in 1956 against Australia, in 1957 against France, Australia, New Zealand, while at Wigan against France, in 1958 against France and New Zealand, in 1959 against France and Australia, in 1960 against France, New Zealand and Australia, while at St. Helens in 1961 against France, New Zealand, in 1962 against France and New Zealand, while at York in 1963 against Australia. Sullivan was signed by Wigan for a record fee of £9,500 in 1957. Mick Sullivan represented Great Britain & France in the 37–31 victory over New Zealand at Carlaw Park, Auckland on 3 July 1957, he scored a try against Australia in 1960, when he became the only British player to win the World Cup twice. He was signed by St. Helens in 1961 for a new world record fee of £11,000.. Sullivan played his first game for St. Helens in January 1961. While at St. Helens, Sullivan played for England in 1962 against France.
Sullivan moved to Australia and captain-coached the Junee team in the Group 9 competition in southern New South Wales for 3 years from 1966 until 1968. Mick Sullivan played left wing, i.e. number 5, scored a try in Wigan's 9–13 victory over Workington Town in the 1957–58 Challenge Cup Final during the 1957–58 season at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 10 May 1958, in front of a crowd of 66,109, played left wing, scored a try in the 30-13 victory over Hull F. C. in the 1958–59 Challenge Cup Final during the 1958–59 season at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 9 May 1959, in front of a crowd of 79,811. and played left wing in St. Helens 12-6 victory over Wigan in the 1960–61 Challenge Cup Final during the 1960–61 season at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 13 May 1961, in front of a crowd of 94,672 Mick Sullivan played left wing, i.e. number 5, in Huddersfield's 15–8 victory over York in the 1957–58 Yorkshire County Cup Final during the 1957–58 season at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds on Saturday 19 October 1957, played left wing, scored a try, in St. Helens' 25–9 victory over Swinton in the 1961–62 Lancashire County Cup Final during the 1961–62 season at Central Park, Wigan on Saturday 11 November 1961, played left wing in the 7–4 victory over Swinton in the 1962–63 Lancashire County Cup Final during the 1962–63 season at Central Park, Wigan on Saturday 27 October 1962.
Mick Sullivan was the coach of Batley from June 1970 to October 1970, during this period he worked a pipefitter during the building of Fiddlers Ferry power station. It was announced on 5 April 2016 that he had died in the previous week, aged 82. Mick Sullivan – Wigan Career Page @ Cherryandwhite.co.uk Mick Sullivan – St. Helens Career Page at saints.org.uk Mick Sullivan at rlhalloffame.org.uk Mick Sullivan at britannica.com Mick Sullivan at rugbyleagueoralhistory.co.uk
West Yorkshire is a metropolitan county in England. It is an inland and in relative terms upland county having eastward-draining valleys while taking in moors of the Pennines and has a population of 2.2 million. West Yorkshire came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972. West Yorkshire consists of five metropolitan boroughs and is bordered by the counties of Derbyshire to the south, Greater Manchester to the south-west, Lancashire to the north-west, North Yorkshire to the north and east, South Yorkshire to the south and south-east. Remnants of strong coal and iron ore industries remain in the county, having attracted people over the centuries, this can be seen in the buildings and architecture. Leeds may become a terminus for a north-east limb of High Speed 2. Major railways and two major motorways traverse the county, which contains Leeds Bradford International Airport. West Yorkshire County Council was abolished in 1986 so its five districts became unitary authorities.
However, the metropolitan county, which covers an area of 2,029 square kilometres, continues to exist in law, as a geographic frame of reference. Since 1 April 2014 West Yorkshire has been a combined authority area, with the local authorities pooling together some functions over transport and regeneration as the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. West Yorkshire includes the West Yorkshire Urban Area, the biggest and most built-up urban area within the historic county boundaries of Yorkshire. West Yorkshire was formed as a metropolitan county in 1974, by the Local Government Act 1972, corresponds to the core of the historic West Riding of Yorkshire and the county boroughs of Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield and Wakefield. West Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council inherited the use of West Riding County Hall at Wakefield, opened in 1898, from the West Riding County Council in 1974. Since 1987 it has been the headquarters of Wakefield City Council; the county had a two-tier structure of local government with a strategic-level county council and five districts providing most services.
In 1986, throughout England the metropolitan county councils were abolished. The functions of the county council were devolved to the boroughs. Organisations such as the West Yorkshire Metro continue to operate on this basis. Although the county council was abolished, West Yorkshire continues to form a metropolitan and ceremonial county with a Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire and a High Sheriff. Wakefield's Parish Church was raised to cathedral status in 1888 and after the elevation of Wakefield to diocese, Wakefield Council sought city status and this was granted in July 1888; however the industrial revolution, which changed West and South Yorkshire led to the growth of Leeds and Bradford, which became the area's two largest cities. Leeds was granted city status in 1893 and Bradford in 1897; the name of Leeds Town Hall reflects the fact that at its opening in 1858 Leeds was not yet a city, while Bradford renamed its Town Hall as City Hall in 1965. The county borders, going anticlockwise from the west: Lancashire, Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire and North Yorkshire.
It lies entirely on rocks of carboniferous age which form the southern Pennine fringes in the west and the Yorkshire coalfield further eastwards. In the extreme east of the metropolitan county there are younger deposits of magnesian limestone; the Bradford and Calderdale areas are dominated by the scenery of the eastern slopes of the Pennines, dropping from upland in the west down to the east, dissected by many steep-sided valleys. Large-scale industry, housing and commercial buildings of differing heights, transport routes and open countryside conjoin; the dense network of roads and railways and urban development, confined by valleys creates dramatic interplay of views between settlements and the surrounding hillsides, as shaped the first urban-rural juxtapositions of David Hockney. Where most rural the land crops up in the such rhymes and folklore as On Ilkley Moor Bah'Tat, date unknown, the early 19th century novels and poems of the Brontë family in and around Haworth and long-running light comedy-drama Last of the Summer Wine in the 20th century.
The carboniferous rocks of the Yorkshire coalfield further east have produced a rolling landscape with hills and broad valleys. In this landscape there is widespread evidence of former industrial activity. There are numerous derelict or converted mine buildings and landscaped former spoil heaps; the scenery is a mixture of built up areas, industrial land with some dereliction, farmed open country. Ribbon developments along transport routes including canal and rail are prominent features of the area although some remnants of the pre industrial landscape and semi-natural vegetation still survive. However, many areas are affected by urban fringe pressures creating fragmented and downgraded landscapes and present are urban influences from major cities, smaller industrial towns and former mining villages. In the magnesian limestone belt to the east of the Leeds and Wakefield areas is an elevated ridge with smoothly rolling scenery, dissected by dry valleys. Here, there is a large number of country houses and estates with parkland, estate woodlands and game coverts.
The rivers Aire and Calder drain the area, flowing from west to east. The table below outlines many of the co
History of rugby league
The history of rugby league as a separate form of rugby football goes back to 1895 in Huddersfield, West Riding of Yorkshire when the Northern Rugby Football Union broke away from England's established Rugby Football Union to administer its own separate competition. Similar schisms occurred in Australia and New Zealand in 1907; the rugby played in these breakaway competitions evolved into a distinctly separate sport that took its name from the professional leagues that administered it. Rugby league in England went on to set attendance and player payment records and rugby league in Australia became the most watched sport on television; the game developed a significant place in the culture of France, New Zealand and several other Pacific Island nations, such as Papua New Guinea, where it has become the national sport. Although many forms of football had been played across the world, it was only during the second half of the 19th century that these games began to be codified. In 1871, English clubs playing the version of football played at Rugby School which involved much more handling of the ball than in association football, met to form the Rugby Football Union.
Many new rugby clubs were formed, it was in the Northern English counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire that the game took hold. Here rugby was a working class game, whilst the south eastern clubs were middle class. Rugby spread to Australasia the cities of Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland. Here too there was a clear divide between more affluent upper class players; the strength of support for rugby grew over the following years, large paying crowds were attracted to major matches, particular in Yorkshire, where matches in the Yorkshire Cup soon became major events. England teams of the era were dominated by Yorkshire players; however these players were forbidden to earn any of the spoils of this newly-rich game. Predominantly working class teams found it difficult to play to their full potential because in many cases their time to play and to train was limited by the need to earn a wage. A further limit on the playing ability of working class teams was that working class players had to be careful how hard they played.
If injured, they had to pay their own medical bills and take time off work, which for a man earning a weekly wage could lead to financial hardship. In 1892, charges of professionalism were laid against rugby football clubs in Bradford and Leeds, both in Yorkshire, after they compensated players for missing work; this was despite the fact that the English Rugby Football Union was allowing other players to be paid, such as the 1888 British Isles team that toured Australia, the account of Harry Hamill of his payments to represent New South Wales against England in 1904. In 1893 Yorkshire clubs complained that southern clubs were over-represented on the RFU committee and that committee meetings were held in London at times that made it difficult for northern members to attend. By implication they were arguing that this affected the RFU's decisions on the issue of "broken time" payments to the detriment of northern clubs, who made up the majority of English rugby clubs. Payment for broken time was a proposal put forward by Yorkshire clubs that would allow players to receive up to six shillings when they missed work because of match commitments.
The idea was voted down by the RFU, widespread suspensions of northern clubs and players began. The professional Football League had been formed in 1888, comprising 12 association football clubs from Northern England, this may have inspired the northern rugby officials to form their own professional league. On 27 August 1895, as a result of an emergency meeting in Manchester, prominent Lancashire clubs Broughton Rangers, Oldham, Rochdale Hornets, St. Helens, Warrington and Wigan declared that they would support their Yorkshire colleagues in their proposal to form a Northern Union. Two days on 29 August 1895, representatives of twenty-two clubs met in the George Hotel, Huddersfield to form the Northern Rugby Football Union called the Northern Union. Twenty clubs agreed to resign from the Rugby Union, but Dewsbury felt unable to comply with the decision; the Cheshire club, had telegraphed the meeting requesting admission to the new organisation and was duly accepted with a second Cheshire club, admitted at the next meeting.
The twenty-two clubs and their years of foundation were: Batley FC 1880, Bradford FC 1863, Brighouse Rangers FC 1878, Broughton Rangers FC 1877, Halifax FC 1873, Huddersfield FC 1864, Hull F. C. 1865, Hunslet FC 1883, Leeds FC 1870, Leigh FC 1878, Liversedge FC 1877, Manningham F. C. 1876, Oldham FC 1876, Rochdale Hornets FC 1871, Runcorn RFC 1895, Stockport RFC 1895, St Helens FC 1873, Tyldesley FC 1879, Wakefield Trinity FC 1873, Warrington FC 1876, Widnes FC 1875, Wigan FC 1872. The rugby union authorities took drastic action, issuing sanctions against clubs and officials involved in the new organisation; this extended to amateurs who played with or against Northern Union sides. Northern clubs that existed purely for social and recreational rugby began to affiliate to the Northern Union, whilst retaining amateur status. By 1904 the new body had more clubs affiliated to it than the RFU; the separate Lancashire and Yorkshire competitions of the NRFU merged in 1901, forming the Northern Rugby Football League.
In 1901, James Lomas became the first £100 transfer, from Bramley to Salford. The NRFU became the Northern Rugby Football League in the summer of 1922. Similar schisms in football were threatened by the formations of
Rugby league football is a full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field. One of the two codes of rugby, it originated in Northern England in 1895 as a split from the Rugby Football Union over the issue of payments to players, its rules progressively changed with the aim of producing a faster, more entertaining game for spectators. In rugby league, points are scored by carrying the ball and touching it to the ground beyond the opposing team's goal line; the opposing team attempts to stop the attacking 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 be awarded for penalties, field goals can be attempted at any time. Rugby league is the national sport of Papua New Guinea, is a popular sport in Northern England, the states of Queensland and New South Wales in Australia, South Auckland in New Zealand, southwest France and Lebanon.
The Super League and the National Rugby League are the premier club competitions. Rugby league is played internationally, predominantly by European and Pacific Island countries, is governed by the Rugby League International Federation; the first Rugby League World Cup was held in France in 1954. Rugby league football takes its name from the bodies that split to create a new form of rugby, distinct from that run by the Rugby Football Unions, in Britain and New Zealand between 1895 and 1908; the first of these, the Northern Rugby Football Union, was established in 1895 as a breakaway faction of England's Rugby Football Union. Both organisations played the game under the same rules at first, although the Northern Union began to modify rules immediately, thus creating a new faster, stronger paced form of rugby football. Similar breakaway factions split from RFU-affiliated unions in Australia and New Zealand in 1907 and 1908, renaming themselves "rugby football leagues" and introducing Northern Union rules.
In 1922, the Northern Union 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. Although many factors played a part in the split, including the success of working class northern teams, the main division was caused by the RFU decision to enforce the amateur principle of the sport, preventing "broken time payments" to players who had taken time off work to play rugby. Northern teams had more working class players who could not afford to play without this compensation, in contrast to affluent southern teams who had other sources of income to sustain the amateur principle. In 1895, a decree by the RFU banning the playing of rugby at grounds where entrance fees were charged led to twenty-two clubs meeting at the George Hotel, Huddersfield on 29 August 1895 and forming 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 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 Australia. There, on 8 August 1907 the New South Wales Rugby Football League was founded at Bateman's Hotel in George Street. Rugby league went on to displace rugby union as the primary football code in New South Wales and Queensland. On 5 May 1954 over 100,000 spectators watched the 1953–54 Challenge Cup Final at Odsal Stadium, England, setting a new record for attendance at a rugby football match of either code. 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 fourth 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 sponsors, Joshua Tetley and John Player, entered the game for the 1971–72 Northern Rugby Football League season. Television would have an enormous impact on the sport of rugby league in the 1990s when Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation sought worldwide broadcasting rights and refused to take no for an answer; the media giant's "Super League" movement saw big changes for the traditional administrators of the game. In Europe, it resulted in a move from a winter sport to a summer one as the new Super League competition tried to expand its market. In Australasia, the Super League war resulted in long and costly legal battles and changing loyalties, causing significant damage to the code in an competitive sporting market. In 1997 two competitions were run alongside each other in Australia, after which a peace deal in the form of the National Rugby League was formed; the NRL has since become recognised as the sport's flagship competition and since that time has set record TV ratings and crowd figures.
The objective in rugby league is to score more points through tries and field goals than the opposition within the 80 minutes of play. If after two halves of play, each consisting of forty minutes, the two teams are drawing, a draw may be declar