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Rugby History Thread


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Just now, Lobbygobbler said:

Immediately after your quote it says

HRUFC was re-born in 1909. The club was originally named Huddersfield Old Boys, matches were played at the United Cricket Club in Luck Lane, Marsh and players changed in the nearby Croppers Arms pub.

Yes I saw that, and think the use of the term is clumsy, but nothing more.  They acknowledge that it's a new club, and they are not claiming to be anything to do with the club formed in 1866.

On the point they also make about other (RFU) club's laying claim to the pre-breakaway heritage of NU clubs, does anyone actually know of any club still currently doing this?

For more information on the Rugby League Record Keepers' Club please visit our official website at www.rugbyleaguerecords.com

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On 03/03/2017 at 2:17 PM, ntw said:

 

You mentioned above Padge that you discussed your views with TC, but didn't say what his response was.  Are you able to share?

 

I should publish, I am still investigating and wouldn't want to go to early. As  a full time worker and part time amateur researcher its a slow process.

If you keep digging into the evidence though there is a North South divide, Southern papers are interested in professionalism and little else, while in the North there is a lot of arguments over control reported.

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Dave Whelan "In Wigan rugby will always be king"

 

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4 minutes ago, Padge said:

 

I should publish, I am still investigating and wouldn't want to go to early. As  a full time worker and part time amateur researcher its a slow process.

If you keep digging into the evidence though there is a North South divide, Southern papers are interested in professionalism and little else, while in the North there is a lot of arguments over control reported.

I know the feeling Padge!  Keeping hoping to win the lottery to make it a full time 'job' (probably need to start buying a ticket first...)

Back to the point, I agree there's a range of issues that contributed.  TC obviously covers the matter pretty comprehensively.  I was interested in his views as you said you'd discused it.  Having spoken to him about Mather and Latham's view, which is essentially the same as the point you're making, I don't think he puts much stock in it.

For more information on the Rugby League Record Keepers' Club please visit our official website at www.rugbyleaguerecords.com

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2 minutes ago, ntw said:

I know the feeling Padge!  Keeping hoping to win the lottery to make it a full time 'job' (probably need to start buying a ticket first...)

Back to the point, I agree there's a range of issues that contributed.  TC obviously covers the matter pretty comprehensively.  I was interested in his views as you said you'd discused it.  Having spoken to him about Mather and Latham's view, which is essentially the same as the point you're making, I don't think he puts much stock in it.

 

mmmmmmm

 

Visit my photography site www.padge.smugmug.com

Radio 5 Live: Saturday 14 April 2007

Dave Whelan "In Wigan rugby will always be king"

 

This country's wealth was created by men in overalls, it was destroyed by men in suits.

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33 minutes ago, Lobbygobbler said:

I understand what you are saying but couldnt the same be argued about the oldest soccer club? On your basis they are only as old as their first game and their first opponents

Are you talking theoretically, or with specific reference to a particular club (say Sheffield FC?).

Theoretically, if a club is formed and plays intra-club games (as many did), or even training for them, I think that would constitute being formed and playing your chosen sport.  Most teams were formed for games though, and I think most club's initial opponents are now defunct, which is of course irrelevant.  The difference in age taken from 'formation' to 'first game' is likely to be negligible (weeks) in almost all cases.

Indeed, the dating of Sheffield FC to 1857 follows the above logic: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheffield_F.C.

Interestingly Sheffield lay claim to the oldest club playing association football: they of course originally played Sheffield Rules though.  Maybe we could compromise, and say that Huddersfield could claim to be the oldest 'club' playing rugby league, but Hull FC are the oldest 'football club' playing rugby league!?

None of which solved the debate over BN/BPA!!

For more information on the Rugby League Record Keepers' Club please visit our official website at www.rugbyleaguerecords.com

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On 03/03/2017 at 9:45 PM, ntw said:

Where do you get Huddersfield being established in 1864 from?  I can't find any reference to this, and 1866 seems to be the most commonly quoted formation year.

It's clearly a matter of opinion, but I've put forward a number of factors above that suggest BPA were the continuation of BFC (namely the fact they voted to leave the NU, ground & other asset retention, etc).  Tony Collins refers to the affair a fair bit in Rugby's Great Split (p187-8) and does state that at the end of it, the NU had "a new club", but it's not really conclusive.  What is clear though is that the club committee, the members & the Finance & Property Committee (it's ultimate governing body) all voted to leave the NU.  The fact that some former members then started BN seems pretty weak to say this was a continuation of 'the club' to me (and even on this point, I'm struggling to find evidence that the committee forming BN were actually former members on BFC). 

What evidence do you have Lobbygobbler that "the fans, some players and some backroom staff continue the NU (sic)"?  As I said above, what the fans did is likely to be difficult to prove one way or the other, but the new club was based 2.5 miles over the other side of the city; regardless, I wouldn't agree that retention of a fan base alone would constitute the continuation of a club.  I've yet to see any info on players, but I think it would need to be a good majority of these moving across to make any claim that BN in 1907/8 were the same club as BFC in 1906/7 carry any real weight.

Padge, where does TC say that he believes BN are a continuation of BFC, and do you know on what basis he concludes this?

I don't judge that being an RL fan or otherwise should matter in the assessment here; surely it's about the evidence available, and objectively reviewing it before arriving at a conclusion?

I would argue in favour of Bradford Northern having a strong legitimate claim for being the continuation of Bradford RFC because:

1/ One third of the club voted to stay in NU, so it wasnt as if the club voted en masse to leave

2/ The part of the club that stayed continued playing the same sport (BPA played a totally different sport) which suggests that they would have retained the lions share of the fanbase and players. The fact that BPA switched sports and BN stayed suggests that BPAs claim is also weaker (would have breen analogous to RU breaking away in 1895 switching to playing soccer but claiming the prior heritage - RU had approx 2/3 support in the 1893 vote on broken time)

3/ There was no pause between Bradford RFC and Bradford N RFC

 

 

 

 

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According to Nigel Williams book, Bradford Northern, The History, 1863-1989, the majority of players from 1906/07 played for the new club in 1907/08 in no small part because the NRFU placed an embargo on other clubs signing players from the old Bradford club. Clearly that wouldn't be legally enforceable now and I wonder if it was even then, but it seems to have had the desired effect as, according to the book, star player James Dechan retired rather than be forced to play for the new club and another top tryscorer, Joe Dunbavin, stayed at Park Avenue and played soccer for Bradford FC, presumably because he was unable to play rugby anywhere else. Dunbavin did return to rugby with Northern two years later.

Edited by Steve Fox
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Some interesting stuff from the Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer (31.05.1881) that states the Leeds Football Club would be changing their name to the Yorkshire Wanderers. The LFC/Wanderers were an amateur rugby club that disappeared long before the split of 1895 - I wonder if they were as old as Leeds St Johns (now Rhinos, established 1870), especially since they claimed - by virtue of their name - to be the football club representing the whole city?

 

Anyway, the newspaper states that Leeds FC would probably leave the Elland Road ground at this point (1881). If that is the same location as the modern ground, then Holbeck FC were not the stadium's first tenants (Holbeck moved there in 1897 according to Wikipedia).

Rugby may have a longer history at Elland Road than was first imagined.

Minä rakastan rugbyliigaa!

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22 minutes ago, Moomintroll said:

Some interesting stuff from the Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer (31.05.1881) that states the Leeds Football Club would be changing their name to the Yorkshire Wanderers. The LFC/Wanderers were an amateur rugby club that disappeared long before the split of 1895 - I wonder if they were as old as Leeds St Johns (now Rhinos, established 1870), especially since they claimed - by virtue of their name - to be the football club representing the whole city?

Yorkshire Wanderers get a couple of mentions in Tony Collins' works, it was formed by ex-pupils of Leeds Grammar School in 1864, the school having had a football club since the 1850s. They refused to take part in cup competitions and restricted themselves to playing other "middle class" clubs, before disbanding in 1883.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Please excuse a slightly self-indulgent post, but it is history related at least!

I've just done a big data load to my website, which now contains season-by-season player records for all Wire players from 1895-2016.  Appearance & scoring information for all players can be found in the players section here: www.warringtonrugbyheritage.com/players

Enjoy:-)

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For more information on the Rugby League Record Keepers' Club please visit our official website at www.rugbyleaguerecords.com

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1 hour ago, ntw said:

Please excuse a slightly self-indulgent post, but it is history related at least!

I've just done a big data load to my website, which now contains season-by-season player records for all Wire players from 1895-2016.  Appearance & scoring information for all players can be found in the players section here: www.warringtonrugbyheritage.com/players

Enjoy:-)

Sterling work! I just looked at the 1952/3 season and saw a player with the surname Frodsham. Any relation to the current player Gareth Frodsham? It's not that common a name, as far as I know.

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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2 hours ago, Futtocks said:

Sterling work! I just looked at the 1952/3 season and saw a player with the surname Frodsham. Any relation to the current player Gareth Frodsham? It's not that common a name, as far as I know.

It's fairly common in the St Helens area. I know quite a few frodshams. Quite a few who have played and coached amateur RL in the last 10 years too. 

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1 minute ago, bobbruce said:

It's fairly common in the St Helens area. I know quite a few frodshams. Quite a few who have played and coached amateur RL in the last 10 years too. 

Didn't Saints have a stand off called Frodsham (Tommy??) in the late 1980s or early 1990s?

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Just now, bobbruce said:

It's fairly common in the St Helens area. I know quite a few frodshams. Quite a few who have played and coached amateur RL in the last 10 years too. 

I didn't know that. I don't think it is widespread outside the North West, though, with origins in the town of the same name in Cheshire.

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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3 hours ago, Futtocks said:

Sterling work! I just looked at the 1952/3 season and saw a player with the surname Frodsham. Any relation to the current player Gareth Frodsham? It's not that common a name, as far as I know.

The player in question is Eric Frodsham.  Hopefully one day I'll be able to link you to a page he (along with every other Wire player) will have in my site, but until then I'll have to send you to Wikipedia: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Frodsham

For once, I think this is pretty accurate ;-)

For more information on the Rugby League Record Keepers' Club please visit our official website at www.rugbyleaguerecords.com

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FB_IMG_1492426437203.jpg

Anybody know anything about teams like Wallsend, South Shields.South Shields St.P, Parton. Werneth,  Kendal Hornets etc who played in the challenge cup first round or played the game in 1903?

Nobody seems to know anything about the team Thrum Hall. Halifax played at the Thrum Hall from 1886 when the first game was against Hull. But there is no info on who the Thrum Hall team was in 1903 or where they played.

Edited by Lounge Room Lizard
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How long did Otley stay in the sport for? It looks like they switched then swiftly disbanded? Seems a bit odd for a club with 30 years history to just give up. The current RU club were formed/reformed in 1908, playing on the same ground as the NU one (the one still used today).

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1 hour ago, Lounge Room Lizard said:

FB_IMG_1492426437203.jpg

Anybody know anything about teams like Wallsend, South Shields.South Shields St.P, Parton. Werneth,  Kendal Hornets etc who played in the challenge cup first round or played the game in 1903?

Nobody seems to know anything about the team Thrum Hall. Halifax played at the Thrum Hall from 1886 when the first game was against Hull. But there is no info on who the Thrum Hall team was in 1903 or where they played.

South Shields played in the Northern Rugby League division 2 and Wallsend played in the Cumberland League. Werneth had played in the Lancashire second competition but by this point were playing in the reserve league. 

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Whilst waiting for McDermott's press conference to appear I was absent-mindedly wandering around the Leeds website and found that they had some interesting stuff on each season going back to the start (although 1895 is perplexingly missing) - perhaps this is from the Ken Dalby books?

http://www.therhinos.co.uk/club/history/season-by-season.php#.WPUHbWe1vGg

Obviously it is mostly about Leeds but there are a few interesting snippets from NRFU meetings in the early years - such as

(1903) When the Annual meeting of the Northern Union clubs was held at Huddersfield on July '4th, some eight weeks before the commencement of the season, the delegates voted strongly in favour of a proposal that the Rugby game should be played by twelve players on each side. Indeed, the "ayes" had it by 54 votes to 24, but the necessary three-fourths majority was not obtained and the reformers had to yield to the minority. This question of minority rule was to be the stumbling block to many other reforms half a century later.

I also like this explanation for our poor performance in the 1904/05 season -

At the Annual General Meeting of the Football Section the Chairman was most forthright in stating that "we might have held a much stronger position in the table and also done better in the Cup-ties had it not been for matters which had concerned the Committee very much during the season. The club played 36 matches, and on no fewer than 19 occasions referees from Bradford officiated."
 

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35 minutes ago, M j M said:

At the Annual General Meeting of the Football Section the Chairman was most forthright in stating that "we might have held a much stronger position in the table and also done better in the Cup-ties had it not been for matters which had concerned the Committee very much during the season. The club played 36 matches, and on no fewer than 19 occasions referees from Bradford officiated."

Nothing ever changes, does it? :D

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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So, not wanting to be controversial or anything, but the oldest rugby league club in the world is......

Featherstone Rovers.

All the other (older) members of the RFL are rugby clubs who went over to the Northern Union.

But Featherstone Rovers never did. They were formed, as a rugby league club, in 1902. And are still here today.

The world's oldest rugby league club.

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Who are ‘The Forgotten 49’? And what part do they play in the history of the club now known as Warrington Wolves?

 

All will be revealed here in the next few days:

 

https://www.warringtonrugbyheritage.com/players-theforgotten49

For more information on the Rugby League Record Keepers' Club please visit our official website at www.rugbyleaguerecords.com

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