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The Parksider

Is RL fading away in Lancashire?

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M62 fans were ticked off in League Express this week. "The truth is many people don't really want the game to expand beyond the M62 Corridor" Is that fair I wonder?

We were also told "It's too much trouble to travel to Canada, France, or even to London for some people" I'm ok there as we did the Rockies for our Holidays (again) and will go see ATP Tennis in London in November (again). I'm not sure we will go see Leeds in Toronto though. A long way and a lot of money for 80 minutes I'm afraid. I hope I am excused.

Toronto are set to replace Widnes, and with Salford up for sale with it likely there will be no takers, then Toulouse can take their place. Leigh's recent attempt to revive the game there has now gone but as the Editorial says "London are competing superbly in the qualifiers" and with New York now back on the scene pushing Rimmer hard, it appears we have nothing to worry about.

But I do worry that in a couple of years when this transcontinental game of the future has come about that the footprint of Rugby League in Lancashire will be looking very thin indeed. It's very likely the game will be confined to that small triangle between Warrington, Wigan and St,Helens. It's also likely that player development will be centred on only three academies there with probably no surplus players once the big three have taken the cream they deserve to get as they run the academies.

However the fact seems to be many of us are too busy hankering for the past to appreciate the benefits of a Transcontinental League that could even extend to Perth. We look back on the days when Broughton Rangers, Swinton and Salford were monster clubs and Broughton Schools RL produced the biggest number of players. Don't forget Oldham were a hot bed of RL and Leigh punched firmly above their weight right up to last season when they punched Wigan's lights out runnning up 50 points.

But when the Superleague get's out of the straitjacket of the past, and into the modern age all will be fine? Or will it?

I've read a lot recently about TWP Toulouse, London New York and and Newcastle being the future. I just fear that if they don't produce many if any quality RL players which they don't  (Imagine a team drawn from players only born and bred in those places) then they may just struggle badly when they hit Superleague. But I suppose we can just up the overseas quota to 25 or something more maybe?

Whether any season tickets will sell in Lancashire for a programme containing too many Johnny Foreigners I don't know but three derbies will probably continue to sell when the much maligned "away fans" can swell the crowds.  Best attend in Sunglasses and keep your heads down RL must not try to survive on "away fans".

I think we have to be fair to London however. They produce players, roughly about 9 Superleague quality players have been produced in the last 37 years, so they will be fine. Well as long as they can find a ground? As for the others Newcastle have produced a couple of SL players since they started as Gateshead nearly 20 years ago. Sheffield have produced nobody in 34 years, but it is a city and that is what we need more than players, big cities from anywhere in the World they care to come. That's apparently the future.

Sadly Lancashire looks like the past.......

Edited by The Parksider
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16 minutes ago, DoubleD said:

Lancashire has always looked like the past, when you live on the right side of the Pennines

Not many distractions from high rollers in other sports to grab the natives attention East of Pennines, as an alternative one can forget their hat when going for a brisk walk over the heathlands of the West Riding, or make a visit to Betty's Tea Room's or grab a bag of chips in Harry Ramsdens, riveting stuff, but never the less it pleases the natives.

Edited by Harry Stottle
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Most places in Lancashire (and Yorkshire) have never been into RL. Which is why it's pretty suicidal to keep relying on those areas for fans and players. No use pretending it was different in the past either.

You could go for nights out in Manchester, Liverpool (no Humberside arguments please) Bolton, Preston, and Burnley and not meet a single RL fan.

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Present day Lancashire is an arificial construct. Warrington, St Helens and Wigan are not in Lancashire. They are, though, the game's top clubs.

Disclosure: there is no top level association football in Yorkshire.

 

Edited by JohnM

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10 minutes ago, JohnM said:

Disclosure: there is no top level association football in Yorkshire.

 

Huddersfield?

 

Although top level could be argued 🙂

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10 minutes ago, JohnM said:

Present day Lancashire is an arificial construct. Warrington, St Helens and Wigan are not in Lancashire. They are, though, the game's top clubs.

Disclosure: there is no top level association football in Yorkshire.

 

Half of Warrington district was never in Lancashire anyway.   The club was established in Cheshire south of the river, although the larger part of the fan base was from north of the river.   I’m not advocating having those Lancashire cup wins revoked though 😉

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15 minutes ago, JohnM said:

Present day Lancashire is an arificial construct. Warrington, St Helens and Wigan are not in Lancashire. They are, though, the game's top clubs.

Disclosure: there is no top level association football in Yorkshire.

 

You defected judging by your avatar, to those of us who live here and of a certain age it will always be Lancashire, I have never ever wrote my address as Leigh, Gt Manhester always Leigh, Lancashire, to my knowledge I have never missed a post.

Edited by Harry Stottle
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1 hour ago, Exiled Wiganer said:

Widnes is in Cheshire. 

So is Warrington.....and Wigan is in Greater Manchester.....Sin Tellins is in Knowsley/Merseyside

Alas, pro RL died in Lancashire decades ago

Edit..sorry JohnM - didn;t mean to echo you

Edited by chuffer

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In terms of Super League, a 4th strong/ big Lancashire club would be great. Salford & Widnes have been disappointing. 

Elstone identified the “Manchester” area as a place where growth should be a priority on Backchat but never really went into detail.

I have always thought that Oldham were a bit of a sleeping giant but as each year passes a return to the big time (or even to Oldham itself) seems so far away. 

Again, this comes back to the sport actually having a vision. Where does it want to be in 5, 10, 20 years time? How does it get there and how do you measure it’s progres? 

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Friends of real Lancashire would suggest most of you on here are wrong with your ideas of which towns are now classed as being in Merseyside, Gt Manchester etc.

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59 minutes ago, Chrispmartha said:

Huddersfield?

 

Although top level could be argued 🙂

Exactly! 

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1 hour ago, Harry Stottle said:

You defected judging by your avatar, to those of us who live here and of a certain age it will always be Lancashire, I have never ever wrote my address as Leigh, Gt Manhester always Leigh, Lancashire, to my knowledge I have never missed a post.

Mrs JohnM is from Wigan ( Hindley, to be precise). I am English,  from Swintion, which was in Lancashire, but as soon as my back was turned, they moved it to Salford. 😀

Edited by JohnM
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27 minutes ago, Lewis said:

In terms of Super League, a 4th strong/ big Lancashire club would be great. Salford & Widnes have been disappointing. 

Elstone identified the “Manchester” area as a place where growth should be a priority on Backchat but never really went into detail.

I have always thought that Oldham were a bit of a sleeping giant but as each year passes a return to the big time (or even to Oldham itself) seems so far away. 

Again, this comes back to the sport actually having a vision. Where does it want to be in 5, 10, 20 years time? How does it get there and how do you measure it’s progres? 

Not all that long ago their were ethnic riots in Oldham. There were similar scenes in Bradford, Leeds and Burnley. RL is small potatoes compared to that.

The social fabric of our region in many many ways had changed, and not just the reasons for the riots. All the more reason to cling on to rugby league...  but the drivers that created the great rugby league clubs are fast disappearing.  All the weaker ones will effectively disappear unless they evolve.

Difficult subject which I suggest few if any can really grasp coherently.  I have no answer except to say that our world is different and looking at the past is not going to be much help.

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I did some research to find which county has the stronger history regarding top performing teams. It goes back to the 1960-61 season forward. I'm just waiting for the season to finish and I'll put up a post on it.

In some ways tragic, I know.

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36 minutes ago, JohnM said:

Mrs JohnM is from Wigan ( Hindley, to be precise). I am English,  from Swintion, which was in Lancashire, but as soon as my back was turned, they moved it to Salford. 😀

So you're a glory hunter then John?

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A man of the world, thats me.  Its the wife who became a glory hunter 51 years ago.😀😀

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3 hours ago, DoubleD said:

Lancashire has always looked like the past, when you live on the right side of the Pennines

Last few times I have been "the right side" of the Pennines, people were bemoaning there were hardly any fish and chip shops in the biggest city there, at the same time criticising all the foreign food eateries there whilst dining out on McDonald's grub. It was a a very different story on "the wrong side" of the Pennines.

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As a proud Lancastrian, I will concede envy at the way a big chunk of the wrong side of t'Hill has maintained a lot of tradition - I am not talking cas/wakey grounds. Ale and Chippys are but 2

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Just now, sweaty craiq said:

As a proud Lancastrian, I will concede envy at the way a big chunk of the wrong side of t'Hill has maintained a lot of tradition - I am not talking cas/wakey grounds. Ale and Chippys are but 2

It's awful how your county has been butchered and turned into Greater Manchester and Merseyside etc.  There's less for us fortunate enough to be born on the sunny side of the hill to take the mickey bliss out of.

My late father was a proud Boltonian and Lancastrian, he never recognised the new "counties", although he was smart enough to move to Yorkshire and become an adopted Fev lad.

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Think it's more a case of Lancashire has faded away (yippee)

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