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Rugby League's Golden Age


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#1 Maximus Decimus

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 02:29 PM

Recently I was in Dublin and I was looking round a book shop when I saw a book called 'sporting heroes.' Now I don't know about anyone else, but I always check these kind of books to see if they include RL or just 'rugby' and I figured being an Irish bookstore it might not. I was pleasantly surprised to find it did and the first RL hero was Billy Boston. It was the first line that shocked me, it was something like this,

QUOTE
'After the war Rugby League was experiencing it's Golden Age and this peaked in the 1949-50 season when the total attendance for that year reached 69.8 million.'


It didn't seem right and I'm fairly sure it can't be and that they must mean 6.9 million. Even so that is a really impressive number. For instance total attendance this year will be around the 2.5 million mark. However I'm not sure I'd call it the sports Golden Age. Whilst we used to beat the Aussies with a degree of regularity and many clubs competed for trophies, we were very limited geographically and international attendances in this country were small.

Personally I'd say 87-95 will be seen as the Golden Age. I can't speak for attendances, but nationally we had a lot of stars and internationally crowds were the highest they ever were. We also had many classic events like Wigan beating Manly in 87 and Brisbane in 92. The running the Aussies close so many times as well.

When do you think the Golden Age was or are we in it now?

#2 Wendall

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 02:34 PM

QUOTE (Maximus Decimus @ Aug 25 2010, 03:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Recently I was in Dublin and I was looking round a book shop when I saw a book called 'sporting heroes.' Now I don't know about anyone else, but I always check these kind of books to see if they include RL or just 'rugby' and I figured being an Irish bookstore it might not. I was pleasantly surprised to find it did and the first RL hero was Billy Boston. It was the first line that shocked me, it was something like this,



It didn't seem right and I'm fairly sure it can't be and that they must mean 6.9 million. Even so that is a really impressive number. For instance total attendance this year will be around the 2.5 million mark. However I'm not sure I'd call it the sports Golden Age. Whilst we used to beat the Aussies with a degree of regularity and many clubs competed for trophies, we were very limited geographically and international attendances in this country were small.

Personally I'd say 87-95 will be seen as the Golden Age. I can't speak for attendances, but nationally we had a lot of stars and internationally crowds were the highest they ever were. We also had many classic events like Wigan beating Manly in 87 and Brisbane in 92. The running the Aussies close so many times as well.

When do you think the Golden Age was or are we in it now?


As you say 87-95 was a great few years for RL in terms of the international game (crowds wise), the only downside was Wigan were the only full time pro club and everyone else was playing 2nd fiddle.

Our golden age is yet to come and it probaly wont be in our lifetime.

Mark my words. One day RL will be up there as a major sport I have faith in that, we will have people running our game who know how to market the game, use PR like the RFU and showcase our game.




#3 thirteenthman

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 02:56 PM

QUOTE (Wendall @ Aug 25 2010, 03:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Our golden age is yet to come and it probaly wont be in our lifetime.

Mark my words. One day RL will be up there as a major sport I have faith in that, we will have people running our game who know how to market the game, use PR like the RFU and showcase our game.

Agreed.


#4 Futtocks

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 03:20 PM

The post-war era saw the last flowering of a truly world-class French international team, proper tours down under and a well-matched GB and Australia.

And you can bet your last piastre that, back then, various familiar types were muttering and moaning about how "it's all rubbish these days, who let them foreign types take up the game" and reminiscing about a 'Golden Age' some time previously.

Edited by Futtocks, 25 August 2010 - 03:26 PM.

A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open. Frank Zappa (1940 - 1993)


#5 l'angelo mysterioso

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 03:27 PM

it was a golden age for all sport.
people were still getting over six years of war and very little in the way of diversion from it. Thios mood probably last into the 1950s
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#6 Wendall

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 03:32 PM

QUOTE (Futtocks @ Aug 25 2010, 04:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The post-war era saw the last flowering of a truly world-class French international team, proper tours down under and a well-matched GB and Australia.

And you can bet wour last piastre that, back then, various familiar types were muttering and moaning about how "it's all rubbish these days, who let them foreign types take up the game" and reminiscing about a 'Golden Age' some time previously.


The French administrators of the time were visionaries but at the same time they were fools in Australia and GB who held the game of RL back and didnt kick on.

After having our first World Cup in 1954 we should have kicked on and brought countries like South Africa, America etc into the fold but we were too short sighted. And why did we not register the Rugby World Cup as ours I will never know until the Rugby Uion mob did in 1987!

Only after Union went pro did we really step up our international expansion but this will take years to impact where we have a proper competitive international setup.



#7 Wendall

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 03:33 PM

QUOTE (Futtocks @ Aug 25 2010, 04:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The post-war era saw the last flowering of a truly world-class French international team, proper tours down under and a well-matched GB and Australia.

And you can bet wour last piastre that, back then, various familiar types were muttering and moaning about how "it's all rubbish these days, who let them foreign types take up the game" and reminiscing about a 'Golden Age' some time previously.


The French administrators of the time were visionaries but at the same time they were fools in Australia and GB who held the game of RL back and didnt kick on.

After having our first World Cup in 1954 we should have kicked on and brought countries like South Africa, America etc into the fold but we were too short sighted. And why did we not register the Rugby World Cup as ours I will never know until the Rugby Union mob did in 1987!

Only after Union went pro did we really step up our international expansion but this will take years to impact where we have a proper competitive international setup.



#8 rlno1

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 10:01 AM

QUOTE (Wendall @ Aug 25 2010, 03:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
And why did we not register the Rugby World Cup as ours I will never know until the Rugby Union mob did in 1987!


I thought we had done this.




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