Bradford City A.F.C.
Bradford City Association Football Club is a professional football club in Bradford, West Yorkshire, which plays in League One, the third tier of English football. Gary Bowyer is the club's manager, appointed on 4 March 2019; the club was founded in 1903 and elected into the Football League Second Division. Promotion to the top tier followed in 1908 and the club won the FA Cup in 1911, its only major honour. After relegation in 1922 from Division One, the club spent 77 years outside the top flight until promotion to the Premier League in 1999. Relegation followed in 2000–01 and since a series of financial crises have pushed the club to the brink of closure and resulted in two more relegations to League Two. In the 2012–13 season, they became the first team from the fourth tier of English football to reach the League Cup Final, losing 5–0 to Swansea City. In the same season, they returned to Wembley for the playoff final and won promotion to League One with a 3–0 win over Northampton Town; the club's colours are claret and amber and they play home games at Valley Parade.
The ground was the site of the Bradford City stadium fire on 11 May 1985 which took the lives of 56 supporters. Bradford City were formed in 1903 as a result of a series of meetings called by James Whyte, a sub-editor of the Bradford Observer, with Football Association representatives and officials at Manningham F. C. a rugby league side. The Football League saw the invitation as a chance to promote association football in the rugby league-dominated county of the West Riding of Yorkshire, it duly elected the new club in place of Doncaster Rovers. Four days at the 23rd annual meeting of Manningham FC, the committee decided to change code from rugby league to association football. Bradford City Association Football Club were formed without having played a game, taking over Manningham's colours of claret and amber, their Valley Parade ground. Robert Campbell was appointed the club's first manager and with the help of the new committee, he assembled a playing squad at the cost of £917 10s 0d. City's first game was a 2–0 defeat at Grimsby Town on 1 September 1903, six days before their first home game attracted 11,000 fans.
The club finished 10th in their first season. Peter O'Rourke took over as manager in November 1905, he led City to the Division Two title in 1907–08 and with it promotion to the Division One. Having narrowly avoided relegation in their first season in the top flight, City recorded their highest finish of 5th in 1910–11; the same season they won the FA Cup, when a goal from captain Jimmy Speirs won the final replay against Newcastle United. City's defence of the cup, which included the first Bradford derby against Bradford Park Avenue, was stopped by Barnsley after a run of 12 consecutive clean sheets. City remained in the top flight in the period up to the First World War and for three seasons afterwards, but were relegated in 1921–22 along with Manchester United. Back in Division Two, attendances dropped and City struggled for form, with five consecutive finishes in the bottom half of the table, they suffered a second relegation to Division Three in 1926–27. Two seasons O'Rourke, who had retired in 1921 following the death of his son and guided City to promotion with a record haul of 128 goals.
O'Rourke left for a second time after one more season, although City spent a total of eight seasons back in Division Two, they looked like earning promotion back to the top flight. Instead in 1936–37, the club were relegated back to Division Three. City won their third piece of silverware two seasons when they lifted the Third Division North Challenge Cup, but they were unable to defend the trophy because competitive football was suspended for the Second World War. After the war, City went through two managers in the first two seasons, were in the bottom half of the Division Three table until 1955–56. After three successive top half finishes, City were placed in the new Division Three in 1958–59. Bradford spent just three seasons in Division Three, but during their relegation season in 1960–61, they upset Division One side Manchester United in the inaugural season of the League Cup. With 34 goals from David Layne, City nearly earned an instant promotion the following season 1961–62, but it did include a record 9–1 defeat to Colchester United.
Layne left for Sheffield Wednesday, without him City finished second from bottom of the league and had to apply for re-election. Bradford City just failed to win promotion in 1963–64, winning more games than any other team in the division that season, twenty five, with Rodney Green top scoring with 29 league goals. There followed three difficult seasons during which time manager Grenville Hair died following a heart attack in training, City returned to Division Three getting promoted in 1968–69. City's stay in Division Three lasted just three years, when they finished bottom in 1971–72. Promotion via fourth spot was won again in 1976–77 but it was followed by a relegation season. City failed to win promotion for three successive seasons, until the board appointed former England centre back Roy McFarland as manager in May 1981. McFarland won promotion in his first season, but was poached by his former club Derby County just six months later. City won compensation from Derby and installed another England international Trevor Cherry as McFarland's replacement.
Cherry, with former teammate Terry Yorath as his assistant manager, failed to win for two months, but the pair guided City to safety from relegation. During the summer, the club chairman Bob Martin had to call in the official receivers; the club was saved by former chairman Stafford Heginbotham and former board member Jack Tordoff
Rugby Football League
The Rugby Football League is the governing body for professional rugby league in England. The name Rugby Football League also referred to the main league competition run by the organisation; this has since been supplanted by Super League, the Championship and League 1. Based at Red Hall in Leeds, it administers the England national rugby league team, the Challenge Cup, Super League and the Rugby League Championships; the social and junior game is administered in association with the British Amateur Rugby League Association. The Rugby Football League is a member of the Rugby League European Federation and as a senior Full Member has a combined veto power over the Council with France; the RFL is part of the Community Board, which has representatives from BARLA, Combined Services, English Schools Rugby League and Student Rugby League. Tony Adams will take over as the president in 2019, taking over from Andy Burnham. Established as the Northern Rugby Football Union in August 1895 by representatives of twenty-one Rugby Football Union clubs at a meeting at the George Hotel, Huddersfield, it changed its name in 1922 to the Rugby Football League, mirroring its sister organisations overseas, the Australian Rugby Football League and New Zealand Rugby Football League.
The turnover of the RFL was reported as £27m in 2011. On Tuesday 27 August 1895, as a result of an emergency meeting in Manchester, prominent Lancashire rugby 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 Thursday 29 August 1895, representatives of 21 clubs met in the George Hotel, Huddersfield to form the "Northern Rugby Football Union". Twenty clubs agreed to resign from the Rugby Football 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 22 clubs and their years of foundation were: In 1908 the Northern Union's brand of rugby was taken up in Australia and New Zealand; the Union hosted touring sides from both countries before assembling a Great Britain representative team for a 1910 tour of Australia and New Zealand.
These nations Australia, would go on to excel in the sport and gain significant influence over it over the following century. The British Amateur Rugby League Association was created in 1973 in Huddersfield by a group of enthusiasts concerned about the dramatic disappearance of many amateur leagues and clubs. Fewer than 150 amateur teams remained with a mere 30 youth rugby league teams. The'breakaway' from the RFL was acrimonious and was contested, with a vote 29-1 against recognising BARLA. Thanks to Tom Mitchell, this changed to a unanimous vote of approval for BARLA within 12 months. Maurice Lindsay became the Chief Executive of the RFL in 1992, proposing the Super League, which replaced Championship as the sport's premier league competition from 1996 onwards. Lindsay returned to Wigan in 1999 for his second stint at the club after Sir Rodney Walker chairman of the RFL, sacked him after a campaign to unseat him failed; the RFL accumulated losses of £1.9 million at the end of 2001, shortly before a major restructuring of the governing body and the appointment of Richard Lewis as executive chairman in May 2002.
Within a year of joining the RFL, he oversaw reunification with BARLA after nearly 30 years of division. Lewis left in 2012 to become Chief Executive of the Croquet Club; the RFL net value has been positive every year since 2004, being £1.7M in 2011. In 2011 a major change to the game was agreed, changing from a winter to a summer game, starting in 2012 with a playing season from March to November, aligning with the Super League, which has played this way since 1996; the regional leagues may include winter competitions in addition. In 2012, the Rugby Football League were awarded the Stonewall Sport Award in recognition of their work in embracing inclusivity and tackling homophobia, they became the first UK sporting organisation to make the top 100 employers in the Stonewall Index that measures attitudes towards lesbian and bisexual staff. The RFL operates a five-tier system and is responsible for running the top three professional divisions as well as the National Conference League and various regional leagues below that.
The RFL runs two cup competitions for professional clubs and is involved with the organization of the World Club Challenge and World Club Series. The England national rugby league team represent England in international rugby league football tournaments; the team has now seen a revival, having formed from the Great Britain team, who represented Wales and Ireland. The team is run under the auspices of the Rugby Football League; as of 2008, the team now participates in all World Cups, Four Nations, Test matches. The team dates back to 1904 when they played against a mixture of Welsh and Scottish players in Wigan. Since and right up until the 1950s, they toured Australia and New Zealand and played both home and away matches against neighbours Wales and France, but when it was decided that Great Britain would tour the Southern Hemisphere instead of England and Wales became the only regular opponents. Though, there are some long periods where England played any matches, their first appearance in the Rugby League World Cup was in 1975, since they have become runners-up in 1975 and 1995, the latter tournament being held in England.
In 2008 they competed in the 2008 W
Hull Football Club referred to as Hull or Hull F. C. is a professional rugby league football club established in 1865 and based in West Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England. The club plays in the Super League competition and were known as Hull Sharks from 1996–99. Hull F. C. were one of the founding members of the Northern Rugby Football Union, formed in 1895 in Huddersfield, making them one of the world's first twenty-two rugby league clubs. That year they moved to the Hull Athletic Club's ground at the Boulevard, Airlie Street, which gave rise to their nickname the "Airlie Birds". Traditionally people from the west side of Hull support Hull F. C. while Hull Kingston Rovers are supported by the border being the River Hull. Old Faithful is a traditional Hull F. C. terrace song. The team shares the KCOM Stadium with association football side Hull City, their mascot is the "Airlie Bird". The club was formed in 1865 by a group of ex-schoolboys from York, most notably Anthony Bradley, at Rugby School.
The founders used to meet at the Young Men's Fellowship, at St Mary's Church, Lowgate. The vicar at that time was his five sons made up the nucleus of the team; the club took on members who were plumbers and glaziers. Soon another team, Hull White Star, was formed and the two clubs merged. Hull Football Club was one of the first clubs in the north of England to join the Rugby Football Union. Hull F. C. nicknamed the All Blacks, were one of the initial 22 clubs to form the Northern Union after the acrimonious split from the Rugby Football Union in 1895. The club moved from East Hull to the Hull Athletic Club at the Boulevard in 1895, subsequently played their first match there in September of that year. 8,000 people turned out to witness the first club's match in which Hull F. C. beat Liversedge. The early years of the Northern Union saw Hull F. C. prosper, their black and white irregular hooped jerseys, which they adopted in 1909 became one of the most famous and feared strips in the league. Between 1908–10, Hull F.
C. lost three consecutive Challenge Cup Finals. In the first. In the third final of 1910, they held Leeds to a 7–7 draw at Fartown, Huddersfield but were beaten in the replay held two days later. In 1913, they paid a world record £600, plus £14 per match, to Hunslet for Billy Batten, one of only seventeen players, the only representative from Hull F. C. so far inducted into the British Rugby League Hall of Fame. A year the Airlie Birds won their first Challenge Cup, beating Huddersfield in the semi-final and Wakefield Trinity in the final held in Halifax. Playing alongside Billy on that day was John "Jack" Harrison VC, MC who scored a try. Harrison scored 52 tries in the 1914 -- a club record that still stands. Twelve Hull F. C. players were killed during the First World War. Australian Jim Devereux became. In 1920, Batten was once again key in Hull F. C.'s first Championship Final, scoring the only try in the 3–2 victory over Huddersfield. The early-1920s were bittersweet years for the club. In 1921, Hull F.
C. lost the Yorkshire County Cup but won the county championship, both against rivals Hull Kingston Rovers. Hull F. C. could not match the successes of 1914, losing a further two consecutive cup finals in 1922 and 23 to Rochdale Hornets and Leeds but they managed to win the Yorkshire County Cup in 1923 and finish top of the league. In the early 1930s, Hull F. C. had a full goal kicker called Joe Oliver. Oliver was so dependable with the boot that the crowd at one match spontaneously started singing the Gene Autry song, Old Faithful, at him. Hull F. C. supporters adopted the song as their battle cry from on. Hull F. C.'s record attendance was set in 1936 when 28,798 turned up for the visit of Leeds for a third round Challenge cup match. The 1952 Kangaroos visited the Boulevard on Monday 8 September, they had opened their tour with a victory at Keighley two days earlier, they continued their winning run with a 28–0 victory over Hull F. C.. In 1949, the black Welshman Roy Francis became the first black professional coach in any British team sport, when he coached Hull F.
C.. Hull F. C. team won the league championship in 1956 when Colin Hutton kicked a last-minute penalty in the final against Halifax at Maine Road, Manchester. Hull F. C. won the play-offs against Workington Town. They won the European Club championship in 1957 and lost in the cup finals at Wembley in 1959 and 1960; these triumphs healed the wound of two successive Yorkshire County Cup Final defeats in 1955 and 1957. They lost in two further Challenge Cup finals to Wigan and Wakefield Trinity in 1959 and 1960. All these reverses, when one hand had been grasping so many trophies, gave Hull F. C. a steely resolve and a thirst for success. Johnny Whiteley became player coach in October 1963; when Roy Francis retired as Hull F. C. coach in 1965, Whiteley took over as coach. Hull F. C. lost to Wakefield Trinity 17–10 victory in the 1968 Rugby Football League Championship final at Headingley on 4 May 1968. Whiteley resigned in 1970 to coach Hull Kingston Rovers. Ivor Watts was appointed coach from 1970–1971 of which Hull F.
C. won 28 matches and lost 17. With the coaching appointment of Arthur Bunting in 1978, Hull F. C. began a period of dominance. Hull F. C. won all of their 26 Division Two matches in 1978–79, the only time a club has won all of its league matches in a season and returning to the top flight. The Airlie Birds lost the 1980 Challenge Cup final against Hull Kingston Rovers 10–5 and never won at Wembley until 2016, it was reputed that a ma
Warrington Wolves are a professional rugby league club in Warrington, that competes in the Super League. They play at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, having moved there from Wilderspool in 2004. Founded as Warrington Zingari Football Club in 1876, they are one of the original twenty-two clubs that formed the Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895 and the only one that has played every season in the top flight, they are nicknamed "The Wire" in reference to the wire-drawing industry in the town. Warrington have local rivalries with St. Helens and Wigan, 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, their most successful season came in 1953–54 when they completed a Championship and Challenge Cup'Double', beating Halifax twice in the space of four days to first win the Challenge Cup 8–4 in a replay at Odsal clinch the Championship 8–7 at Maine Road. 1955 was the last time. Warrington are the 11th most successful rugby league club in England behind Wigan Warriors, St Helens, Bradford Bulls, Hull FC, Leeds Rhinos, Salford Red Devils, Widnes Vikings, Hull Kingston Rovers and Swinton Lions.
The official foundation date for the club is given as 1876, but rugby football was played in the town before that date and there was an earlier club bearing the name of Warrington Football Club. 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 match involving Warrington and Zingari and in subsequent weeks there were matches with Sale and Free Wanderers; this club folded. 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, Warrington Wanderers joined in 1884 to form a representative town side. In 1886, the club won the West Lancashire and Border Towns Trophy. 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 semi-final replay to earn a place in the final of the Challenge Cup. Warrington put up a fine 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. 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 Warrington team that day was Jimmy Tilley, Jack Fish, George Dickenson, Ike Taylor, Lewis Treharne, Ernest Brooks, John Jenkins, William Dowell, Alfred Boardman, Billy O'Neill, George Thomas, Peter Boardman, John Willie Chester. The Australians came back to Wilderspool for "revenge" in the tour but tries from Jack Fish, John Jenkins earned the'Wirepullers' an 8-8 draw. Two members of the Kangaroo squad, Dan Frawley and Larry O'Malley signed for Warrington and played the next season at Wilderspool. Warrington have the best record of any club side against the touring Kangaroos with eight wins, one draw, 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 and Dewsbury.
The Final was lost 9–5 to the mighty Huddersfield team of "All-Stars". Warrington scored first through a try by Bradshaw converted by Jolley and gave a wonderful display in what was considered to be the best Cup Final of the pre-war era. A disappointing league season had seen Warrington finish their lowest pre Great War. So the Challenge Cup performances were a tremendous achievement. Warrington closed for the 1915-16 season but recommenced playing in 1916 following the introduction of conscription which meant that would not be accused of keeping men from volunteering for the First World War. After a bad start to the 1921 -- 22 season, Warrington won; this included an 8–5 victory over the visiting Australasian team of the 1921–22 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain. Warrington beat Leigh to reach the final of the Lancashire County Cup. Wire beat Oldham 7–5, despite playing with only 12 men for most of the match after centre Collins sustained a broken collar bone. After a bad start to the 1927–28 current and a poor previous season Warrington notched up victories over Hull Kingston Rovers and Leeds in the semi-final of the Challenge Cup.
The final against Swinton was played at Central Park, with an estimated 1
Wembley Stadium (1923)
The original Wembley Stadium was a football stadium in Wembley Park, which stood on the same site now occupied by its successor, the new Wembley Stadium. The demolition in 2003 of its famous Twin Towers upset many people worldwide. Debris from the stadium was used to make the Northala Fields in London. Wembley hosted the FA Cup final annually, the first in 1923, the League Cup final annually, five European Cup finals, the 1966 World Cup Final, the final of Euro 96. Brazilian footballer Pelé once said of the stadium: "Wembley is the cathedral of football, it is the capital of football and it is the heart of football," in recognition of its status as the world's best-known football stadium. The stadium hosted the 1948 Summer Olympics, rugby league’s Challenge Cup final, the 1992 and 1995 Rugby League World Cup Finals, it hosted numerous music events, including the 1985 Live Aid charity concert, in professional wrestling hosted the WWF’s SummerSlam in 1992. The stadium's first turf was cut by King George V, it was first opened to the public on 28 April 1923.
Much of Humphry Repton's 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 Empire Stadium, it was built by Sir Robert McAlpine for the British Empire Exhibition of 1924; the stadium cost was constructed on the site of an earlier folly called Watkin's Tower. The architects were the head engineer Sir Owen Williams, it was intended to demolish the stadium at the end of the Exhibition, but it was saved at the suggestion of Sir James Stevenson, a Scot, chairman of the organising committee for the Empire Exhibition. The ground had been used for football as early as the 1880sAt the end of the exhibition, an entrepreneur Arthur Elvin started buying the derelict buildings one by one, demolishing them and selling the scrap; 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 the balance plus interest payable over ten years.
After complications following the death of James White, the original Stadium owner, Elvin bought Wembley Stadium from the new owners, Wembley Company, at the original price, since they honoured Elvin's original deal. They 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, he subsequently became chairman; the electric scoreboard and the all-encircling roof, made from aluminium and translucent glass, were added in 1963. The stadium's distinctive Twin Towers became its nickname. 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", with many stadia around the world borrowing this phrase. 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 twin towers was erected as a memorial in the park on the north side of Overton Close in the Saint Raphael's 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 300 days at the cost of £750,000. Described as the world's greatest sporting arena, it was ready only four 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 match, 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; such was the eagerness of fans and casual observers to attend the final at the new national stadium that vast numbers of people crammed through the 104 turnstiles into the stadium, far exceeding its official 127,000 capacity.
The crowds overflowed onto the pitch. Estimates of the number of fans in attendance range from 240,000 to well over 300,000, it is estimated. The FA were forced to refund 10% of the total gate money to fans unable to reach the terraces; the White Horse Final has the highest unofficial "non-racing" sports attendance in the world. It was thought that the match would not be played because of the volume of spectators inside the stadium that had spilled onto the pitch; that was until mounted police, including Police Constable George Scorey and his white horse, Billy pushed the masses back to the sides of the field of play for the FA Cup Final to start, just 45 minutes late. In honour of Billy, the footbridge outside the new Wembley Stadium has been named the White Horse Bridge; the official attendance is quoted as 126,047. The match was a 2–0 victory for Bolton Wanderers, with David Jack scoring the first goal at Wembley; the 1953 FA Cup Final between Blackpool and Bolton Wanderers was dubbed the "Matthews Final" after Blackpool's winger Stanley Matthews.
At age 38, he was making his third and his final attempt at winning an FA Cup medal. In the previous six years, he failed to earn a winner's medal against Manchester United in 1948 and Newcastle United in 1951, it featured a hat-trick by Blackpool's Stan Mortensen in his side's 4–3 w
Bradford City stadium fire
The Bradford City stadium fire occurred during an English League Third Division match between Bradford City and Lincoln City on Saturday, 11 May 1985, killing 56 and injuring at least 265. The Valley Parade stadium, long-established home to Bradford City Football Club, was known for its antiquated design and facilities, including the wooden roof of the main stand. Warnings had been given about a major build-up of litter just below the seats; the stand had been condemned and was due for demolition. The match against Lincoln City had started in a celebratory atmosphere, with the home-team receiving the Football League Third Division trophy. At 3.40 p.m. a small fire was reported by TV commentator John Helm, but in less than four minutes, in windy conditions, it had engulfed the whole stand, trapping some people in their seats. In the panic that ensued, fleeing crowds had to break down locked exits to escape, many were burnt to death at the turnstiles, which were locked. There were many cases of heroism, with more than 50 people receiving police commendations.
The disaster led to new safety standards in UK football grounds, including the banning of new wooden grandstands. Bradford City continues to support the Burns Unit at the University of Bradford as its official charity. Bradford City Association Football Club had played their home games at Valley Parade, in Bradford, since the club was formed in 1903, it had been the former home of Manningham Rugby Football Club, which had moved into the ground in 1886. The playing area and stands were basic but the ground had enough room for 18,000 spectators; when the association football club was formed, the ground was changed little and had no covered accommodation. However, when Bradford City won promotion to the highest level of English football, Division One, in 1908, club officials sanctioned an upgrade programme. Football architect Archibald Leitch was commissioned to carry out the work. By 1911, his work was completed, it included a main stand which seated 5,300 fans, had room for a further 7,000 standing spectators in the paddock in front.
The main stand was described as a "mammoth structure", but was unusual for its time because of its place on the side of a hill. The entrances were higher than the rest of the ground. Although there had been some changes to other parts of the ground, the main stand remained unaltered by 1985. Football ground writer Simon Inglis had described the view from the stand as "like watching football from the cockpit of a Sopwith Camel" because of its antiquated supports and struts. However, he warned the club of a build-up of litter beneath the stand because of a gap between the seats; some repair work was carried out, but in July 1984, the club was warned again, this time by a county council engineer, because of the club's plans to claim for ground improvements from the Football Trust. One letter from the council said the problems "should be rectified as soon as possible". In March 1985, the club's plans became more apparent; the 1984–85 season had been one of Bradford City's most successful seasons. Following a 1–0 defeat to Leyton Orient at the end of September, the side went 13 games undefeated, during which they went top of the Division Three table by defeating Millwall 3–1.
City maintained their superiority and opened up an 11-point gap over the rest of the league by February, were assured of the championship title courtesy of a 2–0 victory against Bolton Wanderers in the penultimate game of the season, guaranteeing Division Two football for the first time since 1937. As a result, Bradford-born captain Peter Jackson was presented with the league trophy before the final game of the season with mid-table Lincoln City at Valley Parade on 11 May 1985; as it was the first piece of league silverware that the club had captured since they won the Division Three title 56 years earlier, 11,076 supporters were in the ground. It was nearly double the season's average of 6,610 and included 3,000 fans in the ground's main stand. In the crowd were local dignitaries and guests from three of Bradford's twin towns—Verviers, in Belgium, Mönchengladbach and Hamm, in Germany; the city's newspaper, the Telegraph & Argus, published a souvenir issue for the day, entitled "Spit and Polish for the Parade Ground".
It detailed the safety work which would be carried out as a result of the club's promotion, admitting the ground was "inadequate in so many ways for modern requirements". Steel was to be installed in the roof, the wooden terracing was to be replaced with concrete; the work was expected to cost £400,000. The Bradford City matchday squad of players and staff consisted of Terry Yorath, Trevor Cherry, Chris Withe, Don Goodman, Eric McManus, Tony Clegg, John Hawley, Dave Evans, Bryan Edwards, John Hendrie, Mark Ellis, Stuart McCall, Peter Jackson, Bobby Campbell, Martin Singleton and Greg Abbott. After 40 minutes of the first half, the score remained 0–0, in what was described as a drab affair with neither team threatening to score. At 3:40 pm, five minutes before half-time, the first sign of a fire—a glowing light—was noticed three rows from the back of block G, as reported by TV commentator John Helm. Helm described the start of the fire in an interview to the Express newspaper: "a man over from Australia visiting his son got two tickets to the game.
He lit a cigarette and when it was coming to an end he put it down on to the floorboard and tried to put his foot on it to put it out. It slipped through a hole in the floorboard. A minute he saw a small plume of smoke so he poured his coffee on it and so did his son, it seemed to put it out. But a minute or so there was
England national rugby league team
The England national rugby league team represents England in international rugby league. The team formed from the Great Britain team which represented Wales and Ireland, is run under the auspices of the Rugby Football League, it participates in the Rugby League World Cup, Four Nations and Test matches. The team dates to 1904, when they played against a mixture of Scottish players in Wigan; until the 1950s, they toured Australia and New Zealand and played both home and away matches against neighbours Wales and France, but when it was decided that Great Britain would tour the Southern Hemisphere instead of England and Wales became the only regular opponents. Their first appearance in the Rugby League World Cup was in 1975, they finished runners-up in 1975, 1995 and 2017. England competed in the European Nations Cup and in 2006, an England'A' team competed for the Federation Shield. England's main rivals were Wales and France, with the rivalries stretching back to 1908 and 1934 respectively. England's main rivals now are New Zealand.
Traditionally a predominantly white kit is worn including white socks. However the jersey features some form of red, like red stripes, crosses or chevrons; these colours are similar to other English sporting teams and are the colours used on the national flag. In 2008, a new kit was introduced featuring a red cross on the front and red strips down the sides of the jersey and socks were white too with red strips. In 2008, the Rugby Football League chose to abandon the traditional English lion on the badge in favour of a much simpler shield and cross design; the team is ranked third in the world, behind Australia and New Zealand. Wayne Bennett is the head coach, Sean O'Loughlin the captain. In 1895, twenty-one clubs split with the Rugby Football Union, citing that they wanted to play professionally, formed the Northern Rugby Football Union; the twenty-one clubs were all from Northern England and the players were working class. However it was not just English players who made the switch and Welsh players switched allegiance to the new code, wanting payments for playing.
Switching heightened in the early 20th century with more Scottish and Welsh players leaving the RFU than before. The England national rugby union team had been playing international matches since 1871, but it was not until 1904, nine years after the formation of the new code, that an international rugby league match was played. At the start of 1903 season the Northern Union thought about international matches and scheduled a match for England on New Year's Day 1904 in Oldham. On that day though, the ground was frosty and the match was cancelled and it was rescheduled for April. On 5 April 1904 England competed against a team called "Other Nationalities", who were made up of ten Welshman and two Scotsman, including George Frater, who captained the side, it was a period of experimentation for the Northern Union and each team had twelve players, not thirteen. At Central Park, Wigan the ground was muddy and in poor condition, however the match went ahead. England steamed into a 3–0 lead, from a try by Warrington's Jackie Fish.
This is despite Salford's James Lomas arriving late and causing England to start the match with eleven players. Fish missed the conversion and so the Other Nationalities were able to level the scores a little Welshman Thomas crashing over for a try; the conversion was missed and going into half-time the score was tied 3–3. In the second half Thomas went over for another try before Wigan's Harris sealed a 9–3 win for the Other Nationalities in the final minutes of the match. A total of 6,000 spectators turned up for the match, considered a poor showing despite a Broughton Rangers v Bradford cup clash being scheduled on the same day. In 1905 a match between the two sides was played at Bradford; this time England won 26–11 though they were losing 11–0 at half-time. Wigan's Jim Leytham scored four tries in a record that still stand today; the match was played with fifteen players on each side and so was the 1906 match. Played in Wigan again, the match finished a 3–3 draw; the concept was abandoned after the 1906 match.
By 1908 the game had expanded much more into Australia, New Zealand and Wales and England began playing those teams. Harold Wagstaff made his debut for England in 1908 against the touring Kangaroos team at 17 years and 228 days; the Other Nationalities side did return in 1921. An England side beat the Australasian team of the 1921–22 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain 4–5 at Highbury. England played only one international between 10 May 1956 and 7 November 1968 an 18–6 victory at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds. England played at the World Cup in 1975 coached by Alex Murphy, played over several months in both hemispheres on a league basis. Great Britain would represent England in the World Cup, but the RLIF wanted to capitalise on the large amount of Welsh players in the game at the time, so England and Wales fielded separate teams. England won a 20 -- 2 victory over France in Leeds in March. In June the Lions suffered their first defeat in just their second match of the tournament, losing 12–7 against a strong Wales side in Brisbane.
A little England managed to hold on for a draw against Australia in Sydney, the final score being 10–10. And they picked up a point in Auckland, drawing 17–17 against New Zealand. At the end of October, after the domestic season had finished, England beat the Welsh 22–16 in Warrington and crossed the English Channel to thrash a French side 48–2 in Bordeaux. Bradford played host the England versus New Zealand match, in which England won comfortably 27–12. At the start of November, England sque