Maine Road was a football stadium in Moss Side, England, home to Manchester City F. C. from 1923 to 2003. It hosted FA Cup semi-finals, Charity Shield matches, a League Cup final and England matches and, because of its high capacity, gained the nickname Wembley of the North. Maine Road holds the record for the second highest attendance for a club in their normal home stadium in English club football, set in 1934 at an FA Cup sixth round match between Manchester City and Stoke City. By Manchester City's last season at Maine Road in 2002–03, it was an all-seater stadium with a capacity of 35,150 and of haphazard design with stands of varying heights due to the ground being renovated several times over its 80-year history; the following season Manchester City moved to the City of Manchester Stadium in East Manchester, a mile from the city centre and near Ardwick where the club formed in 1880. Plans to build Maine Road were first announced in May 1922, following a decision by Manchester City F. C. to leave their Hyde Road ground, which did not have room for expansion and its main stand had been damaged by fire in 1920.
Two sites in Belle Vue, East Manchester were suggested. To many City fans east Manchester was regarded as City's home and a move to Belle Vue seemed right, but the site was just 8 acres and an available lease of 50 years was deemed too short by the club, so it was decided that City would move to Moss Side. The move to a larger stadium at Maine Road was backed by manager Ernest Mangnall. Many were disappointed. A City director, John Ayrton, resigned from the board in the decade and helped to form a breakaway club, Manchester Central F. C. which played at Belle Vue. A 16.25 acre former brickworks on Maine Road was purchased for £5,500. Maine Road was known as Dog Kennel Lane but renamed Maine Road during the 1870s at the insistence of the Temperance movement which owned land on Dog Kennel Lane and the local authority accepted its request. During construction, the stadium was reputedly cursed by a Gypsy when officials evicted a Gypsy camp from the area; this curse was removed on 28 December 1998. However, the Gypsy curse is to be an urban myth, as such stories are endemic to a number of football league grounds.
Construction took 300 days, the total cost £100,000. The initial layout of the ground consisted of one covered stand with a seating capacity of 10,000, uncovered terracing on the other three sides, with gentle curves connecting the corners; the first match at Maine Road took place on 25 August 1923 when 58,159 fans watched the home side beat Sheffield United 2–1. The first changes to the ground took place in 1931, when the corner between the Main Stand and the Platt Lane end at the south of the ground was rebuilt to incorporate a roof; this renovation was the first of many, as Maine Road's layout and capacity was varied throughout its lifespan. In 1934, the second highest attendance at an English football game at a club ground was recorded at Maine Road; the first was the 1913 FA Cup Final, hosted by Crystal Palace with a crowd of 121,919. The Maine Road match was between Manchester City and Stoke City in front of 84,569 fans in the sixth round of the FA Cup on 3 March 1934. Queues formed four hours before the match, one journalist stated that Maine Road was packed two hours before kick-off.
A decision was taken to close the turnstiles with an attendance at 85,000, 3000 short of what was thought to be the maximum capacity. Supporters witnessed a visiting Stoke team which included Stanley Matthews and City's team boasted players, Frank Swift, Fred Tilson, Sam Cowan and Matt Busby; the match was won 1–0 by Manchester City. This is the record home attendance for a domestic match and the record home attendance at a club ground, as the 1913 FA Cup final is not considered a home match for either team. Changes at the Platt Lane end took place in 1935, extending the terracing and providing a roof for the full stand; this marked the peak capacity of the ground, estimated at around 88,000. Further changes were planned, but suspended when Manchester City were relegated from Division One in 1938, abandoned when World War II broke out; the stadium was shared by Manchester United after the Second World War as Manchester United's Old Trafford ground had been damaged during the Manchester Blitz.
United paid City £ a share of gate receipts. The highest attendance for a league game at Maine Road occurred during this period, when 83,260 people watched Manchester United play Arsenal on 17 January 1948; this figure is a national record for a league game. Maine Road was used by Manchester United to host three of their four home games in the 1956–57 European Cup. Floodlights were installed in 1953, in 1957, prompted by the hosting of two FA Cup semi-finals in successive years, the side facing the Main Stand was redeveloped and named the Kippax Stand after a nearby street. Over the course of the 1960s and 1970s, the Kippax became the part of the ground where the club's most vociferous fans congregated. In 1963, benches were installed at the Platt Lane end, meaning that Maine Road had more seats than any other English club ground of the time; the next major redevelopment came in the 1970s, with the construction of the North Stand, a cantilevered stand which remained in place until the closure of Maine Road.
The 1980s saw ambitious plans for improvements: however, these plans were shelved due to financial pressures after the Main Stand roof had been replaced at a cost of £1 million. By 1990, some areas of the ground were becoming outdated, there was the need for the stadium to become al
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
The Widnes Vikings are an English professional rugby league club based in Widnes, Cheshire that plays in the Betfred Championship. The club plays. Founded as Widnes Football Club, they are one of the original twenty-two rugby clubs that formed the Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895, making them one of the world's first rugby league teams, their historic nickname is "The Chemics" after the main industry in Widnes, but now they use their modern nickname, "The Vikings". The club enjoyed a period of success in the 1970s, 1980s, early 1990s, were described as "Cup Kings" reaching the Challenge Cup Final 7 times in 10 years between 1975 and 1984. In 1989, after winning their third Rugby League Championship, Widnes became the first official World Club Champions by beating the Australian champions Canberra Raiders 30-18 at Old Trafford, they have a strong local rivalry with Warrington Wolves. The Farnworth & Appleton Cricket Club was formed in 1871 and four years the members decided to embrace the burgeoning football code.
At their fourth annual evening party in the Drill Hall, Widnes, in November 1875, club Chairman Henry Lea "gave a short account of the club since it commenced about four years ago, indicated that they had now started a football club in connexion with it, hoped all would join". The first known game for the new Farnworth and Appleton FC was in Widnes in January 1876 played under rugby rules against Northwich Victoria. A few weeks a return match was played at Drill Field, Northwich under soccer rules. Vics won both games; these are the only two known fixtures in that truncated first season. By May 1876 the club had changed its name to Widnes FC and the cricket side of the organisation had disbanded to concentrate on football activities. By the late 1870s the club was being referred to as "The Chemicals"—subsequently shortened to'The Chemics'; the first ground was on Albert Road behind what is now the Premier Wetherspoon's pub and a short spell followed in the Simms Cross area. From around 1878–84 the club were based at the junction of Millfield/Peelhouse Lane, apart from season 1880–81 when they played on the Widnes Cricket Club ground at Lowerhouse Lane.
From 1884–95 they rented a field at Lowerhouse Lane before moving to their third separate site on that road in October 1895. The first game at what became Naughton Park was against Liversedge on Saturday 12 October 1895. In 1895, Widnes were founder members of the Northern Union which broke away from the Rugby Football Union, their first game was an away fixture against Runcorn which they lost 15–4. During the early years, the club had to sell players to balance the books; the strength of junior rugby league in the area meant the club had a steady stream of new players to offset any losses. In 1902, the Lancashire and Yorkshire leagues were combined to form a second division, Widnes was added to the first division. In 1914, Arthur'Chick' Johnson was capped for the Lions in the famous Rorke's Drift test, a match in which they overcame all the odds, injuries to beat Australia with a depleted side of 10 against 13, he scored an extraordinary try to win the game. Widnes 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.
Thirteen Widnes players were killed during the conflict. The club's first success came when they won the Lancashire League trophy in the 1919–20 season. However, the 1920s saw the club go to the wall. Local rivals Warrington donated their share of the traditional Easter and Christmas derby matches to keep Widnes afloat in 1927–28. In 1930, Widnes with 12 local-born players defied the odds to beat St. Helens 10–3 to bring home the Challenge Cup; the Kingsway housing scheme threatened the loss of Widnes' ground. After several years of fundraising during the Great Depression of the 1930s, £3,250 was raised to save the ground; this came with a stipulation that the ground could be sold only to the local council at the original price. The newly named Naughton Park was opened in 1932. A major boost for the club was Widnes' first trip to the Challenge Cup final, staged at Wembley, their opponents were St. Helens, Saints scored after 6 minutes to take a 3–0 lead, but Widnes hit back with a penalty try, a further try and a penalty to take a 10–3 half-time lead.
A scoreless second half meant. Widnes became the first club to make two trips to Wembley, with a loss to Hunslet in the 1934 cup final. In 1935–36, the team came close to being rugby league champions. Having finished third in the table, Widnes beat Liverpool 10–9 but lost to Hull FC, in the championship final. A third trip to Wembley came in 1937, with an 18–5 win over Keighley; the final was dubbed "McCue's Match" as the halfback played an important part in the win. Widnes dropped out of the wartime Lancashire league in 1940–41 and did not return to league competition until 1945–46. Tommy McCue led the club to its first Lancashire County Cup win, with a 7–3 victory against Wigan in 1945. Back at Wembley in 1950, the team was beaten 19–0 by Warrington. During this period, the club reverted to selling its players to richer teams. Local man Vince Karalius was appointed club captain. In his first season, Widnes finished third in the Championship, which equalled the club's best league placing. In 1962, the league was split into West of the Pennines.
With two minutes remaining, Lowdon dropped a goal to
The Dewsbury Rams are a professional English rugby league club based in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire which competes in the Kingstone Press Championship. They play their home games on Owl Lane; the Rams main fanbase comes from their hometown of Dewsbury but hold a strong following in Shaw Cross as well as neighbouring Gawthorpe and Ossett, amongst other places. Prior to the 1997 season, the club was known as Dewsbury R. L. F. C; the club won a league title in 1972–73 after finishing the regular season in 8th place. The club has won the Challenge Cup twice; the idea of establishing a rugby football club in Dewsbury originated among a few friends at a meeting at the Little Saddle Inn in 1875. Established with immediate effect, Dewsbury Athletic and Football Club enrolled between 30 and 40 members. On 20 November 1875, the first recorded match of Dewsbury Athletic and Football Club took place when they played Heckmondwike Church Society XV and lost by one goal, six tries and eight touch downs to nil; the first home game, it is held, took place on 4 December 1875 in a field off Sugar Lane, opposite the future Crown Flatt.
In a 13-a-side "scratch" game, the two outfits – one selected by the Captain and the other by the Vice-Captain – fought out a draw. The club soon realised they needed a ground and the following year secured a sub tenancy at Crown Flatt for £200. During the course of the 1879–80 season the club colours changed from blue and cardinal to black and yellow. On 27 March 1880, the Yorkshire Cup semi-final against Wakefield Trinity drew an estimated 16,000 supporters to Crown Flatt which the local newspaper claimed to be the largest assemblage seen on a football ground in Yorkshire. 1881 saw the club's first success in the Yorkshire Challenge Cup beating Huddersfield and Halifax before an Alfred Newsome drop goal gave them victory over Wakefield Trinity in the final. When York paid a visit to Crown Flatt on 25 September 1886, the home team took to the field wearing white jerseys that incorporated the borough's coat of arms. Crown Flatt was gaining the reputation as one of the best-equipped ground in Yorkshire.
This was further enhanced when the club purchased the famous "Noah's Ark" stand at a cost of £250. In 1888, the club amalgamated with Savile Cricket Club and United Clerks' Cricket Club to form Dewsbury and Savile Cricket and Football Club; the Yorkshire Senior Competition was formed in 1892 and Dewsbury became members. They made their Senior Competition début at Liversedge on 10 September 1892, Dewsbury were beaten 2–10; the club finished in the bottom three due to financial problems. The arrival of competitive leagues meant that attendances were increasing connected to on-field success. Dewsbury failed to adapt to the new era: attendances from onwards topped 2,000 only on rare occasions. By 1895, Dewsbury were sporting white. At the famous meeting at the George Hotel in Huddersfield, Dewsbury were the only members of the Yorkshire Senior Competition not to resign from the Rugby Football Union instead requesting permission to consult further. At a special meeting convened at the King's Arms Hotel, Market Place, on 2 September, they elected to remain in the Senior Competition.
It was not a popular decision. A local journalist reported that'there wasn't a single supporter who wouldn't say "Let us have the Northern Union and the sooner the better".' Dewsbury marginally improved their position in the league to 10th. Next season however they were back at the bottom. On 22 November 1897, the General Committee of Dewsbury and Savile Cricket and Football Club elected to abandon rugby union with immediate effect. Of the 12 league matches contested by the club that season, all but one – and that a draw – were lost. In reply to the 156 points conceded, the team registered; the 0–5 loss to Otley on 13 November 1897 was the final rugby union game played at Crown Flatt. By the time of its demise, the football section had contested more than 500 matches, they withdrew from the league concentrating on soccer instead. On 21 April 1898, a historic meeting was held at the Black Bull public house to consider the possibility of forming a new Northern Union club; the question was discussed at some length and over £100 in donations was promised.
It was local rivals Batley who helped Dewsbury gain election to the Northern Union. They were supportive of Dewsbury's bid and looked forward to rekindling the rivalry, as well as their pockets, with the derby matches and to thank the old Dewsbury supporters who had switched their support to Batley's Mount Pleasant ground during the two or three preceding seasons. At a subsequent discussion at the parish church school on 5 May, it was announced that members of the committee had met with Mr Lipscomb, agent to Lord Savile, had signed an agreement to lease the Crown Flatt estate as from 1 July 1898. Red and black were adopted as club's colours during June 1898. On 3 September 1898, the players travelled to Normanton for their Northern Union match, they were beaten 3–16; the first home game took place the next Saturday with visitors Kinsley emerging victorious by a margin of 13–5. During the rest of the season the team played in Yorkshire No. 2 Competition. In 1901–02 the Lancashire and Yorkshire leagues were combined to form a second division.
Dewsbury was one of the new teams to join the second division. The club's first major success came in 1912, when they beat Oldham 8–5 in the Challenge Cup Final at Headingley. Dewsbury were more successful, finishing champions in the 1915–16 and 1916–17 seasons, they beat the visiting Australasian team of the 1921–22 Kangaroo tour o
Odsal Stadium, is a sports stadium in Odsal, West Yorkshire. The stadium is home of the Bradford Bulls Rugby League team as well as home to the speedway team Bradford Dukes, as well the football team Bradford City following the Valley Parade fire. Odsal has been a venue for baseball, kabbadi, show jumping, live music and international Rugby League, it is the largest rugby league stadium in England. The stadium holds the British attendance records for a Rugby match, 102,569 in 1954 at the rugby league Warrington-Halifax Challenge Cup Final replay, for a domestic, non-final Rugby League match, 69,429 at the third round Challenge Cup tie between Bradford Northern and Huddersfield in 1953; the highest recorded attendance of the Super League era being 24,020 against neighbouring rivals Leeds Rhinos on 3 September 1999. While its capacity has reduced it remains the largest stadium in the Super League The stadium is owned by the Bradford City Council, but due to financial problems the Rugby Football League purchased the lease on it in 2012.
Formed in 1907, the Bradford Northern club had played at a number of venues including the Greenfield Athletic Ground in Dudley Hill and Bowling Old Lane Cricket Club's ground in Birch Lane. By the early 1920s, Birch Lane's limitations were clear and Northern began to seek another home. Precarious finances prevented the club being able to take up an offer to develop land off Rooley Lane or to upgrade and move back to Greenfield, but in 1933, Bradford City Council gave them the opportunity to transform land at Odsal Top into their home ground. On 20 June 1933 the club therefore signed a ten-year deal on the site, to become the biggest stadium in England outside Wembley; the site was a former quarry, being used as a landfill tip. Ernest Call M. B. E; the Director of Cleansing for Bradford City Council devised a system of controlled tipping that saw 140,000 cart loads of household waste deposited to form the characteristic banking at Odsal. The club were to be responsible for boundary dressing rooms and seated accommodation.
To be able to turf the pitch, other areas, a turf fund was put into place which raised a total of £900 to cover the work. A stand was erected at the cost of £2,000, paid for by the Rugby Football League, it held 1,500 on a mixture of tip-up seats. The ground was opened by Sir Joseph Taylor, President of Huddersfield on 1 September 1934, his club went on to beat the hosts 31–16, Australian winger Ray Markham scoring four tries in front of an estimated 20,000. The clubhouse and dressing rooms were opened before a match against Hull F. C. on 2 February 1935. Contemporary pictures show that as late as August 1935 the banking on the Rooley Avenue side was still being created. In 1945, speedway began in Bradford with the Odsal Boomerangs. In the post-Second World War years, speedway proved popular with crowds of over 20,000 attending meetings at Odsal, with the 1946 average for the first year of the National League after the war; the highest speedway attendance during this period came on 5 July 1947 when 47,050 fans saw England defeat Australia 65-43 in a Test match.
This remains the largest-ever speedway crowd for Odsal Stadium. During the Second World War, the lower floor of the clubhouse was used as an Air Raid Precautions centre, one of the dressing rooms was the map room. On 20 December 1947, the largest attendance for an international test at Odsal was set when 42,685 saw England defeat New Zealand 25–9; the first floodlit rugby match in the North of England was held at Odsal in 1951. In September 1951, Council Engineer Ernest Wardley drew up a plan for a 92,000 capacity'European' style stadium, at a cost of £250,000. £50,000 was spent on terracing the Rooley Avenue end in 1964, before the Wardley plan was dropped the following year. After a disastrous 1960 season, the Panthers left Odsal and in 1961 moved across town to the Greenfield Stadium, better known for greyhound racing. After the Panthers folded in 1962, Motorcycle Speedway would not return to Bradford for another 10 years. Speedway returned to Odsal when promoters Les Whaley, Mike Parker and Bill Bridgett moved the British League Division Two side Nelson Admirals across the Pennines for the final eleven league meetings of the 1970 season and went on to adopt Bradford Northern as their name and red and amber as their colours.
Northern would finish second in Division 2 in 1971, but from there results and attendances declined and the team folded after 1973. The second test of the 1978 Ashes series was played at Odsal, with Great Britain defeating Australia before a crowd of 26,761; the Lions team that day featured what was called a "Dad's Army" front row with Jim Mills, Tony Fisher and Brian Lockwood all being over the age of 30. The ground's clubhouse had to be refurbished; the social facilities were upgraded at the same time. Speedway returned to Odsal in 1985 after a ten-year absence when it was selected by the FIM to host the 1985 World Final. Following the Valley Parade fire disaster of 1985, Bradford City played a handful of games at Leeds Road and Elland Road whilst the future of Valley Parade was decided. On 23 September 1985, a Football League delegation visited Odsal to view the stadium to pass it fit to host City's home games. Segregation fences were erected on the old Main Stand side and 1,000 uncovered seats were bolted onto the terracing – it was planned to install 7,000 in the future.
Meanwhile, a further £1 million was spent to conform with new safety standards – bringing the total spent on Odsal to £3.5 million. New boundary walls, exit gates
Workington Association Football Club is an English football club based in Workington, Cumbria. The club competes in the seventh tier of English football; the club plays its home matches at Borough Park, which has a capacity of 3,101. The club is referred to as Workington Reds to distinguish it from Rugby League club Workington Town, its traditional rivals are Carlisle Barrow. Football in Workington has a long history. Close by and adjacent to the home of Workington A. F. C the folk game of "Uppies and Downies" is still an annual event. There are records about the game from 20 April 1775 in the Cumbrian Pacquet, one of the earliest reports of a football match ever; this report says the match on which it is reporting is "long contended" thereby noting an longer unwritten history of the game in this Cumbrian town. Association football was introduced to Workington in the 1860s and further popularised when a group of steel workers migrated to the town from Dronfield, Derbyshire, they were workers of the Charles Cammel and Co steel works that arrived in the town in 1884.
It is estimated that 1,500 townspeople moved to Workington.'Dronnies', as the people of Workington called the newcomers, formed Workington AFC in 1888. This is confirmed in a short history of the club, produced as part of 16 page brochure in the club's application to the Football League in 1951; the original Workington A. F. C. were one of the founder members of the Cumberland Association League in 1888 and played at Lonsdale Park. In 1894 they moved to the Cumberland Senior League, in 1901 joined the Lancashire League. However, the league closed two seasons and they returned to the Cumberland Senior League. In 1904 the club were admitted to the Lancashire Combination, but in 1910 seasons they decided to economise and join the North Eastern League. However, after only one season, the club folded; the new Workington A. F. C. was born in 1921 and joined the North Eastern League. During the 1933–34 season, the club managed its best-ever FA Cup performance, reaching the 4th round, before losing to Preston North End.
In the decade, the club moved to its present home, Borough Park. In 1951 the club was voted into the Third Division North of the Football League, replacing New Brighton; the early Football League years of Workington Reds are chronicled in a series of books entitled So Sad So Very Sad – The League History of Workington AFC part 1, part 2 and part 3. Their first season in the League was a sign of things to come: the club finished rock bottom, only improved by one place the following year. From 6 January 1954 to 15 November 1955 the club was managed by Bill Shankly, who would achieve fame between 1959 and 1974 with his success at home and abroad as manager of Liverpool. During the 1957–58 season they played the great Manchester United team known as the Busby Babes at home in the 3rd round of the FA Cup, attracting a record crowd of 21,000; this was just a month before eight of the United players lost their lives in the Munich air disaster. However, at the end of that season, the club dropped into the newly formed Fourth Division after a reorganisation of the Football League which saw the abolition of the regionalised Third Divisions.
In 1964, player-manager Ken Furphy led them to 3rd position, earning promotion to the Third Division. During both the 1963–64 and 1964–65 season, they made it to the quarter-finals of the League Cup, where they lost to West Ham United and Chelsea respectively. During the latter cup run, the club beat Lancashire neighbours Barrow 9–1, a record which remained until the mid-1980s; the club's proudest night was at Blackburn Rovers on 22 October 1964 in a Football League Cup 3rd round replay. A Workington team of seasoned professionals such as Keith Burkinshaw, Dave Carr, Ken Furphy and Kit Napier and a few young upstarts, like John Ogilvie who went on to have a long career at the club that reached 430 appearances, beat the Blackburn team 5–1 at Ewood Park; the Blackburn team that night were full of internationals, such as Ronnie Clayton, Mike England, Byrom etc. This was reported in one newspaper as "Incredible Fantastic Workington rubbed Rovers elegant noses in the mud of Ewood park to produce the finest result in their 80 year history"On 3 April 1965, Workington gave a debut to one of the youngest players to play in the Football League: Tony Geidmintis, ony 15 years 247 days old.
Geidmintis went on to play 328 games for Workington, scoring 37 goals, made 452 league appearances in all before retiring at the age of 31. He died prematurely from a heart condition at the age of 43; the mid-1960s saw Workington give a debut to one of the earliest black professional footballers in the Football League. This was Peter Foley, who played over 80 games for Workington as a forward and scored some 16 goals for the club, before moving on to Scunthorpe where he kept a young Kevin Keegan out of the team for a couple of years. Foley became an ambassador for racial equality in football, receiving an Order of the British Empire for his work. In 1966, Workington finished 5th, narrowly missing out on promotion to the Second Division, but the next year they finished bottom and were relegated back to the Fourth Division. Manager Ken Furphy had moved on to Watford, taking some of Workington's key players such as Dave Carr and Dixie Hale with him; this marked the start of Workington's downward spiral back to non-league status.
In the 1968–69 season Workington gave a Football League debut to one of the game's legendary goalkeepers, John Burridge. Burridge, born locally, made his debut against Newport County on the last day of the 1968/69 season.
Augustus "Gus" John Ferdinand Risman was a Welsh professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1920s through to the 1950s, coached in the 1940s through to the 1970s. A devastating three-quarter who played at fullback, stand-off, Risman was born in Cardiff, brought up in Barry where he went to Barry County School, played rugby union in South Wales as a schoolboy before being offered a trial by Salford, he went on to enjoy great success with the club. He won 17 caps for Great Britain and finished his career at Workington Town, remarkably leading them to Rugby League Challenge Cup glory as player-coach at the age of 41 in 1952, he retired as a player in 1954 after a career spanning 25 years. Risman captained the 1946 "Indomitable" tourists of Australia. Risman coached Whitehaven and Bradford Northern, was inducted into the Rugby League Hall of Fame in 1988. Gus Risman's son, Bev Risman became an accomplished rugby league footballer; as a tribute, one of the newly created streets in Workington's regenerated town centre is named Risman Place.
During the period before signing for Salford, Gus Risman was courted by association football clubs. Tottenham Hotspur offered Risman terms. However, in those days football did not have the huge initial gravitas. During the 1920s, signing for a rugby league club was more financially rewarding. Signing-on fees were restricted or capped in football, whereas in rugby league such fees could be a year's worth of work and playing wages combined. Gus Risman was one of the players who toured in France with Salford in 1934, during which the Salford team earned the name "Les Diables Rouges", the seventeen players were. Gus Risman won caps for Wales while at Salford 1931…1945 18-caps, won a cap for England while at Salford in 1934 against France, won caps for Great Britain while at Salford in 1932 against Australia, New Zealand, in 1933 against Australia, in 1936 against Australia, New Zealand, in 1937 against Australia, in 1946 against Australia. Only four rugby league footballers have played for Wales, subsequently for England, they are.
Gus Risman played left centre, i.e. number 4, in Salford's 3–15 defeat by Wigan in the Championship Final during the 1933–34 season at Wilderspool Stadium, Warrington on 28 April 1934. Gus Risman played right wing, i.e. number 2, scored 2-goals in Salford's 7-4 victory over Barrow in the 1938 Challenge Cup Final during the 1937–38 season at Wembley Stadium, London, in front of a crowd of 51,243, played fullback, was the captain, scored 3-goals in Workington Town's 18-10 victory over Featherstone Rovers in the 1951–52 Challenge Cup Final during the 1951–52 season at Wembley Stadium, London on 19 April 1952, in front of a crowd of 72,093. About Gus Risman's time, there was Salford's 2–15 defeat by Warrington in the 1929 Lancashire County Cup Final during the 1929–30 season at Central Park, Wigan on 23 November 1929, the 10–8 victory over Swinton in the 1931 Lancashire County Cup Final during the 1931–32 season at The Cliff, Salford on 21 November 1931, the 21–12 victory over Wigan in the 1934 Lancashire County Cup Final during the 1934–35 season at Station Road, Swinton on 20 October 1934, the 15–7 victory over Wigan in the 1935 Lancashire County Cup Final during the 1935–36 season at Wilderspool Stadium, Warrington on 19 October 1935, the 5–2 victory over Wigan in the 1936 Lancashire County Cup Final during the 1936–37 season at Wilderspool Stadium, Warrington on 17 October 1936, he played stand-off in the 7–10 defeat by Wigan in the 1938 Lancashire County Cup Final during the 1938–39 season at Station Road, Swinton on 22 October 1938.
Gus Risman played centre for a Rugby League XIII against Northern Command XIII at Thrum Hall, Halifax on 21 March 1942. Despite turning professional, Risman was part of the 1945 British Empire Forces rugby union team that played France, during a period when the strict guideline between amateur and professional were relaxed. Risman, playing at centre, scored two tries and three conversions in that game helping the British to a 27–6 victory. Gus Risman holds Workington Town's "Appearances in a Season" record, as of 2015, with 4,050-points is fourth on British rugby league's "most points in a career" record list behind Neil Fox, Jim Sullivan and Kevin Sinfield. Gus Risman is one of less than ten Welshmen to have scored more than 2,000-points in their rugby league career, is one of less than twenty Welshmen to have scored more than 200-tries in their rugby league career. Gus Risman was the father of the rugby league footballers John Risman. Risman Place in Workington is named after Gus Risman. Risman House at Workington Academy is named after Gus Risman.
Gus Risman at wales.rleague.com » Legends Evening 50's Gus in Hall of Fame Big Geoff was star of No 13 shirt Photos from 1936–37 season Photograph of Gus Risman