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Brigg Rover

Has Rugby League Improved since the early 70's

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I'll add another great wide runner (even thought it pains me) Phil Lowe.

 

Yes, I thoroughly agree and I would add Mantle from St Helens, Ramsay from Hunslet and of course the best of them all Dick Huddart of Whitehaven and Saints. He would terrorise the league if he were arounf today. He was a white pacific islander, a freak of nature for his era.

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I miss the competitive scrums and all the great players mentioned above.I had two videoe's of the cup finals widnesv leeds and St Helens VLeeds and some of the stuff they got away with in those games would no way be tollerated today.Being fulltime pro's etc the player's are probably much fitter,but I think we have less of the type of players listed above from the 50s 60s and 70s.I do love SL though.

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A far better game to watch than in the 70s by a country mile. It a shame that the fans don't turn up in the numbers that they should.

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There was some cracking RL on display in the 80s.....from the some of the posts in this thread I guess it was mainly in the north-west

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Where does everyone get the idea the sport was dead from the 70's till 1996.

 

Maybe not for the next 20 years but:-

 

 

In 1970, Hunslet who had only 5 years earlier played  in a challenge cup final with a crowd of over 80, 000 managed to play to a then all time low for the 
 
club at Parkside of 267. The club earlier that season had suffured a players strike and had to turn out a team of amateurs from Bison Sports against 
 
Oldham losing 54 - 5.
 
In December 1970 Leigh admitted they were struggling to reduce their overdraft.
 
In January 1972 Wakefield where struggling and a place in the JPS final was looking to be their salvation 
A Wakefield club spokesman said: “ We are considerably in the red and winning this match would be a big help. It could bring the club over £6.000 in prize 
 
money, television fee, and gate receipts. As far as finance is concerned it is the most vital game we have played since Wembley in 1968.” 
 
In January 1973 the clubs voted to abandon the fixture system they had based on region which had only been in place for one season, although they voted 
 
to scrap the current system they didn't have a system to replace it. Clubs were variously proposing two divisions, three divisions and a system of three 
 
divisions and then half way through the season splitting into regions. They eventually settled on the two divisions.
 
October 1973 and the touring Australian's manager Charlie Gibson was expressing concerns about poor attendances at their tour matches, stating that 
 
rugby league is a business and should be run like a business, you have to go out and sell your product.
 
In December 1973 Harold Mather in the Guardian was reporting of concern over falling attendances.
 
Leigh and Oldham's crowds slumped to just a few hundred each in 1974, it was so bad that both clubs were given special permission by the RFL to play 
 
their games on Sundays to try and improve their situation.
 
September 1974 and a Leeds v Wigan game at Central Park only attracts 3,036 spectators.
 
November 74 Promoted York have lower attendances in first division than in second, they lose £5,732 Increasing their overdraft to £20,888
 
August 1975 and Oldham players are on strike after refusing a 20% increase as not enough and demanding an extra £5 per game for playing on Sundays.
 
January 1976, Yorkshire County League describes the county match attendances at Odsal and Central Park as deplorable.
 
In June 1976 Bramley were proposing a return to one division after they accured losses of over £10,000 for the previous season
 
That is just a small snapshot of a few of the depressing things from the early seventies, attendances did pick up a bit towards the end of the 70s, but only to an average at the top division to about 5.5k

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A far better game to watch than in the 70s by a country mile. It a shame that the fans don't turn up in the numbers that they should.

Yer a lot better, in fact it's that good now even Union have started to turn the ball back inside :lol:

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Maybe not for the next 20 years but:-

 

 

In 1970, Hunslet who had only 5 years earlier played  in a challenge cup final with a crowd of over 80, 000 managed to play to a then all time low for the 
 
club at Parkside of 267. The club earlier that season had suffured a players strike and had to turn out a team of amateurs from Bison Sports against 
 
Oldham losing 54 - 5.
 
In December 1970 Leigh admitted they were struggling to reduce their overdraft.
 
In January 1972 Wakefield where struggling and a place in the JPS final was looking to be their salvation 
A Wakefield club spokesman said: “ We are considerably in the red and winning this match would be a big help. It could bring the club over £6.000 in prize 
 
money, television fee, and gate receipts. As far as finance is concerned it is the most vital game we have played since Wembley in 1968.” 
 
In January 1973 the clubs voted to abandon the fixture system they had based on region which had only been in place for one season, although they voted 
 
to scrap the current system they didn't have a system to replace it. Clubs were variously proposing two divisions, three divisions and a system of three 
 
divisions and then half way through the season splitting into regions. They eventually settled on the two divisions.
 
October 1973 and the touring Australian's manager Charlie Gibson was expressing concerns about poor attendances at their tour matches, stating that 
 
rugby league is a business and should be run like a business, you have to go out and sell your product.
 
In December 1973 Harold Mather in the Guardian was reporting of concern over falling attendances.
 
Leigh and Oldham's crowds slumped to just a few hundred each in 1974, it was so bad that both clubs were given special permission by the RFL to play 
 
their games on Sundays to try and improve their situation.
 
September 1974 and a Leeds v Wigan game at Central Park only attracts 3,036 spectators.
 
November 74 Promoted York have lower attendances in first division than in second, they lose £5,732 Increasing their overdraft to £20,888
 
August 1975 and Oldham players are on strike after refusing a 20% increase as not enough and demanding an extra £5 per game for playing on Sundays.
 
January 1976, Yorkshire County League describes the county match attendances at Odsal and Central Park as deplorable.
 
In June 1976 Bramley were proposing a return to one division after they accured losses of over £10,000 for the previous season
 
That is just a small snapshot of a few of the depressing things from the early seventies, attendances did pick up a bit towards the end of the 70s, but only to an average at the top division to about 5.5k

Just a quickie because I'm off to bed, didn't Leigh become champions just four or five years after their crowds slumped in 74 and I'd relate most of those negatives to poor management. Hull FC had a crowd of around 7,500 last Friday, in 1978/79 they averaged over 10,000 per game - I'm sure if we had access to all stats we could easily find as many good points, the game I'm sure did start to grow in the mid 70's and 80's (Could that have because of the BARLA boom)

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Impossible

Everything was brilliant under P&R

Even the skills were better!

Utter tosh. I watched the game for 30 years and the skills of players across the board have improved out of sight. Individuals have got stronger, faster and fitter

Teams have become more drilled, defences more organised & play more varied - to say players of another era were more skilled is just idiotic. Why not return to the even more skilled days of Albert Goldthorp, Harold Wagstaff and Albert Rosenfeld - after all Rosenfeld must have been the best payer of all time since no one has matched his try scoring have they?

People have listed player and I watched a lot of them, and yes they were great to watch

But to say they are better to watch that the likes of Sam Tomkins, Hardacre, Ratchford etc is just foolish. I'd argue those players were better than their predecessors because they have to play their trade against much better defences

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Maybe not for the next 20 years but:-

 

 

In 1970, Hunslet who had only 5 years earlier played  in a challenge cup final with a crowd of over 80, 000 managed to play to a then all time low for the 
 
club at Parkside of 267. The club earlier that season had suffured a players strike and had to turn out a team of amateurs from Bison Sports against 
 
Oldham losing 54 - 5.
 
In December 1970 Leigh admitted they were struggling to reduce their overdraft.
 
In January 1972 Wakefield where struggling and a place in the JPS final was looking to be their salvation 
A Wakefield club spokesman said: “ We are considerably in the red and winning this match would be a big help. It could bring the club over £6.000 in prize 
 
money, television fee, and gate receipts. As far as finance is concerned it is the most vital game we have played since Wembley in 1968.” 
 
In January 1973 the clubs voted to abandon the fixture system they had based on region which had only been in place for one season, although they voted 
 
to scrap the current system they didn't have a system to replace it. Clubs were variously proposing two divisions, three divisions and a system of three 
 
divisions and then half way through the season splitting into regions. They eventually settled on the two divisions.
 
October 1973 and the touring Australian's manager Charlie Gibson was expressing concerns about poor attendances at their tour matches, stating that 
 
rugby league is a business and should be run like a business, you have to go out and sell your product.
 
In December 1973 Harold Mather in the Guardian was reporting of concern over falling attendances.
 
Leigh and Oldham's crowds slumped to just a few hundred each in 1974, it was so bad that both clubs were given special permission by the RFL to play 
 
their games on Sundays to try and improve their situation.
 
September 1974 and a Leeds v Wigan game at Central Park only attracts 3,036 spectators.
 
November 74 Promoted York have lower attendances in first division than in second, they lose £5,732 Increasing their overdraft to £20,888
 
August 1975 and Oldham players are on strike after refusing a 20% increase as not enough and demanding an extra £5 per game for playing on Sundays.
 
January 1976, Yorkshire County League describes the county match attendances at Odsal and Central Park as deplorable.
 
In June 1976 Bramley were proposing a return to one division after they accured losses of over £10,000 for the previous season
 
That is just a small snapshot of a few of the depressing things from the early seventies, attendances did pick up a bit towards the end of the 70s, but only to an average at the top division to about 5.5k

 

 

Maybe not for the next 20 years but:-

 

 

In 1970, Hunslet who had only 5 years earlier played  in a challenge cup final with a crowd of over 80, 000 managed to play to a then all time low for the 
 
club at Parkside of 267. The club earlier that season had suffured a players strike and had to turn out a team of amateurs from Bison Sports against 
 
Oldham losing 54 - 5.
 
In December 1970 Leigh admitted they were struggling to reduce their overdraft.
 
In January 1972 Wakefield where struggling and a place in the JPS final was looking to be their salvation 
A Wakefield club spokesman said: “ We are considerably in the red and winning this match would be a big help. It could bring the club over £6.000 in prize 
 
money, television fee, and gate receipts. As far as finance is concerned it is the most vital game we have played since Wembley in 1968.” 
 
In January 1973 the clubs voted to abandon the fixture system they had based on region which had only been in place for one season, although they voted 
 
to scrap the current system they didn't have a system to replace it. Clubs were variously proposing two divisions, three divisions and a system of three 
 
divisions and then half way through the season splitting into regions. They eventually settled on the two divisions.
 
October 1973 and the touring Australian's manager Charlie Gibson was expressing concerns about poor attendances at their tour matches, stating that 
 
rugby league is a business and should be run like a business, you have to go out and sell your product.
 
In December 1973 Harold Mather in the Guardian was reporting of concern over falling attendances.
 
Leigh and Oldham's crowds slumped to just a few hundred each in 1974, it was so bad that both clubs were given special permission by the RFL to play 
 
their games on Sundays to try and improve their situation.
 
September 1974 and a Leeds v Wigan game at Central Park only attracts 3,036 spectators.
 
November 74 Promoted York have lower attendances in first division than in second, they lose £5,732 Increasing their overdraft to £20,888
 
August 1975 and Oldham players are on strike after refusing a 20% increase as not enough and demanding an extra £5 per game for playing on Sundays.
 
January 1976, Yorkshire County League describes the county match attendances at Odsal and Central Park as deplorable.
 
In June 1976 Bramley were proposing a return to one division after they accured losses of over £10,000 for the previous season
 
That is just a small snapshot of a few of the depressing things from the early seventies, attendances did pick up a bit towards the end of the 70s, but only to an average at the top division to about 5.5k

 

 

Impossible

Everything was brilliant under P&R

Even the skills were better!

Utter tosh. I watched the game for 30 years and the skills of players across the board have improved out of sight. Individuals have got stronger, faster and fitter

Teams have become more drilled, defences more organised & play more varied - to say players of another era were more skilled is just idiotic. Why not return to the even more skilled days of Albert Goldthorp, Harold Wagstaff and Albert Rosenfeld - after all Rosenfeld must have been the best payer of all time since no one has matched his try scoring have they?

People have listed player and I watched a lot of them, and yes they were great to watch

But to say they are better to watch that the likes of Sam Tomkins, Hardacre, Ratchford etc is just foolish. I'd argue those players were better than their predecessors because they have to play their trade against much better defences

tip of the iceberg

 

for instance

1978 champions have a player strike over wages having attracted an average of 3,000 spectators in their championship winning year: found guilty of bringing game into disrepute.

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Just a quickie because I'm off to bed, didn't Leigh become champions just four or five years after their crowds slumped in 74 and I'd relate most of those negatives to poor management. Hull FC had a crowd of around 7,500 last Friday, in 1978/79 they averaged over 10,000 per game - I'm sure if we had access to all stats we could easily find as many good points, the game I'm sure did start to grow in the mid 70's and 80's (Could that have because of the BARLA boom)

 

 

Just a quickie because I'm off to bed, didn't Leigh become champions just four or five years after their crowds slumped in 74 and I'd relate most of those negatives to poor management. Hull FC had a crowd of around 7,500 last Friday, in 1978/79 they averaged over 10,000 per game - I'm sure if we had access to all stats we could easily find as many good points, the game I'm sure did start to grow in the mid 70's and 80's (Could that have because of the BARLA boom)

bloody hell there was a lot of poor management then: not that I'm disagreeing with you. There was a destructive league structure in place as well.

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Just a quickie because I'm off to bed, didn't Leigh become champions just four or five years after their crowds slumped in 74 and I'd relate most of those negatives to poor management. Hull FC had a crowd of around 7,500 last Friday, in 1978/79 they averaged over 10,000 per game - I'm sure if we had access to all stats we could easily find as many good points, the game I'm sure did start to grow in the mid 70's and 80's (Could that have because of the BARLA boom)

The mid seventies was the low point, you will find headlines later reporting growth in attendances, the problem is they were growing from a very low level.

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Once England stopped building the foundations of bringing Juniors through and found it an easier soft option to import mediocre Austratians rather than develop their own players the game went backwards at Test level and probably SL level.

Quick fixes usually have long term problems.

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Once England stopped building the foundations of bringing Juniors through and found it an easier soft option to import mediocre Austratians rather than develop their own players the game went backwards at Test level and probably SL level.

Quick fixes usually have long term problems.

 

 

Once England stopped building the foundations of bringing Juniors through and found it an easier soft option to import mediocre Austratians rather than develop their own players the game went backwards at Test level and probably SL level.

Quick fixes usually have long term problems.

there have been transfer bans haven't there? Did they make any difference?

 

edit: anyway that'll be the early seventies then if you check out GB's record against Australia.

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The mid seventies was the low point, you will find headlines later reporting growth in attendances, the problem is they were growing from a very low level.

mid 70s working class Britain was a low point anyway wasnt it - not just RL

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mid 70s working class Britain was a low point anyway wasnt it - not just RL

RL had been nose diving since the swinging sixties though.

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there have been transfer bans haven't there? Did they make any difference?

 

edit: anyway that'll be the early seventies then if you check out GB's record against Australia.

 

There was a transfer ban which I think was only lifted in the early eighties. Though it tended not to apply to Kiwis.

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mid 70s working class Britain was a low point anyway wasnt it - not just RL

Illustrating a massive flaw in rugby league demography and culture: it's narrow class and income base: terrible. But if you think that was a did the only issue you are deluding yourself

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Illustrating a massive flaw in rugby league demography and culture: it's narrow class and income base: terrible. But if you think that was a did the only issue you are deluding yourself

 

That demography has also held us back in the sponsorship stakes. Fags and brewers in the past (back to brewers now) and loan sharks and gambling today.

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Illustrating a massive flaw in rugby league demography and culture: it's narrow class and income base: terrible. But if you think that was a did the only issue you are deluding yourself

What else do you think it was then?

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What else do you think it was then?

Lack of ambition and a willingness to 'know its place' rather than break out if its northern working class shackles.

A destructive league structure frequently tinkered with to attempt to address the in built flaws that were causing that destruction

A willingness to embrace, even celebrate the stereotype that it represented giving the media an open goal

Bad leadership from the top. The appalling fallowield was replaced by the much better Oxley, and things improved but a lot of damage had been done and Oxley along with Howes still persisted with beer and fags

The way the sport was structured with clubs acting in their own narrow self interest

Lack of investment in even basically civilised facilities

Them wot tdays

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Impossible

Utter tosh. I watched the game for 30 years and the skills of players across the board have improved out of sight. Individuals have got stronger, faster and fitter

How are the latter an indication of the former?

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Lack of ambition and a willingness to 'know its place' rather than break out if its northern working class shackles.

A destructive league structure frequently tinkered with to attempt to address the in built flaws that were causing that destruction

A willingness to embrace, even celebrate the stereotype that it represented giving the media an open goal

Bad leadership from the top. The appalling fallowield was replaced by the much better Oxley, and things improved but a lot of damage had been done and Oxley along with Howes still persisted with beer and fags

The way the sport was structured with clubs acting in their own narrow self interest

Lack of investment in even basically civilised facilities

Them wot tdays

Agree about some of those (not the league structure though surprise surprise!)

Mind -didnt RU have a John Player Trophy in the 70s?

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What else do you think it was then?

 

In two words, Bill Fallowfield - a mole from the RFU sent to destroy the game. Not only did he turn out at lock for Moortown RFC, he also tried to re-introduce the Union style ruck after the tackle.

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Agree about some of those (not the league structure though surprise surprise!)

Mind -didnt RU have a John Player Trophy in the 70s?

 

 

What sport didn't have tobacco sponsorship once the government had banned TV advertising?  Union, Cricket, Snooker, Formula One, RL, I'm sure there are loads more.  It's said that when a Tory health minister tried to ban tobacco sponsorship of sport Denis Thatcher himself (a former Union ref) intervened to put a stop to the ban because Union were benefitting from John Player.

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In two words, Bill Fallowfield - a mole from the RFU sent to destroy the game. Not only did he turn out at lock for Moortown RFC, he also tried to re-introduce the Union style ruck after the tackle.

I was too young but Fallowfields time in charge sounds horrendous and indeed it does seem like he was an insider working to kill off RL.

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