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Mumby Magic

Placed where RL is non-existent

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19 minutes ago, Mumby Magic said:

Plus why. First examples are places like Barnsley and Burnley. Why is this? Possibly other sports, demographically?

I’ve often thought this, well obviously it’s largely due to where the original teams broke away in 1895 but still it seems odd that RL can be so massive in say Wigan yet in Bolton a few miles down the road it means nothing to anyone. 

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15 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

In a word football

It’s not just that though, if it was there would be no rugby league in Leeds, Bradford, Hull etc. 

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South Yorkshire's density of top Football clubs (5 in 4 cities/towns) is akin to RLs density in West Yorkshire. Indeed soccer was brought to the West by what were effectively missionaries from the south and even then has resulted in only 3 consistently present Football League sides (I don't know enough about the history of Halifax town Bradford PA or Guiseley)

Generally I get the sense that the majority of towns can only support 1 team and then slightly larger places can support more. Wakefield, Bath, Warrington, St Helens and Gloucester are classic examples of places that really should have football league teams but the prevalence of Rugby (either code) has played a huge factor in limiting that. Even Leeds and Leicester are examples of relatively large cities where there are 2 football teams, 1 just plays rugby football rather than association. I'd even include Bristol in that example if you take Rovers to be more of a Somerset County side rather than the city. A 5 Live podcast recently suggested that in the UK its very hard to be a 3rd team in a city and there is some truth to that (although our North American cousins can rightly point out that is not universal).

There are of course exceptions to the generalisations, Hull and Wigan spring to mind, but even then its largely the soccer club that has grown from relatively small on the back of footballs immense general popularity. 

In Lancashire I'd imagine the strength of the foundations of the football League (which in part drove the formation of the Northern Union) meant that the RL towns we do have are each small miracles by comparison with a relatively similar area such as the West Midlands and its dearth of top RU clubs nowadays.

Just my tuppence.

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Just now, Eddie said:

It’s not just that though, if it was there would be no rugby league in Leeds, Bradford, Hull etc. 

Apologies, I went into more detail afterwards.

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30 minutes ago, Eddie said:

It’s not just that though, if it was there would be no rugby league in Leeds, Bradford, Hull etc. 

Leeds Bradford and hull are much bigger than Barnsley.

It's common throughout the country. The big cities either have multiple football teams, a football team plus other sports, another sport, or just football. 

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South Yorkshire has always been a hotbed for football. Like Manchester which is a footballing city but plenty of towns around it have rugby league teams

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1 hour ago, Tommygilf said:

South Yorkshire's density of top Football clubs (5 in 4 cities/towns) is akin to RLs density in West Yorkshire. Indeed soccer was brought to the West by what were effectively missionaries from the south and even then has resulted in only 3 consistently present Football League sides (I don't know enough about the history of Halifax town Bradford PA or Guiseley)

Generally I get the sense that the majority of towns can only support 1 team and then slightly larger places can support more. Wakefield, Bath, Warrington, St Helens and Gloucester are classic examples of places that really should have football league teams but the prevalence of Rugby (either code) has played a huge factor in limiting that. Even Leeds and Leicester are examples of relatively large cities where there are 2 football teams, 1 just plays rugby football rather than association. I'd even include Bristol in that example if you take Rovers to be more of a Somerset County side rather than the city. A 5 Live podcast recently suggested that in the UK its very hard to be a 3rd team in a city and there is some truth to that (although our North American cousins can rightly point out that is not universal).

There are of course exceptions to the generalisations, Hull and Wigan spring to mind, but even then its largely the soccer club that has grown from relatively small on the back of footballs immense general popularity. 

In Lancashire I'd imagine the strength of the foundations of the football League (which in part drove the formation of the Northern Union) meant that the RL towns we do have are each small miracles by comparison with a relatively similar area such as the West Midlands and its dearth of top RU clubs nowadays.

Just my tuppence.

Thanks, Tommygilf, for an excellent post.

I think you are right to point out the places where one code dominates at the expense of the other, because the place in question is not quite big enough to support two.

For whatever reason, the early development of soccer had pockets which arguably are still reflected in the make-up of the top few divisions.  Most obvious is the preponderance of north Lancashire and Merseyside places, and of course there used to be a few more, Darwen and, much more recently, Southport and Barrow, for instance.  The north-east also took to soccer, but organised its own competition, the Northern League, which I think I am right in saying is the world's second oldest soccer league.

One minor correction to your post.  In Bristol, it is City who are on the Somerset side of the city; Rovers, who played at Eastville for about 90 years, are on the Gloucestershire side; their move to the old rugby union ground hasn't changed that.  That said, the spectators' choice is not that geographically strong.  I recall for instance that, at the primary school just a few miles out from Eastville, in the village of Pucklechurch, which I attended in the 1950s, we had a good number of City fans.

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1 hour ago, scotchy1 said:

Leeds Bradford and hull are much bigger than Barnsley.

It's common throughout the country. The big cities either have multiple football teams, a football team plus other sports, another sport, or just football. 

You’ve covered everything with that last paragraph.  
 

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3 hours ago, Eddie said:

I’ve often thought this, well obviously it’s largely due to where the original teams broke away in 1895 but still it seems odd that RL can be so massive in say Wigan yet in Bolton a few miles down the road it means nothing to anyone. 

I'd have to say that this has got to be the obvious reason for where we are today. 

Every club in the league (or their predecessors) had jumped to the Northern Union by 1900 - or are a modern era expansion. 

The sport was forged in the schism, which also coincided with the last few years of change before the modern sporting structures we know today were effectively locked in place. 

Given all the sporting, economic and social challenges that league faced over the next century, if you weren't in at the start, it wasn't going to happen. 

The curious slight exceptions appear to be Workington and Whitehaven, which wiki tells me we're only formed at the end of the war. 

Anyone know why they bucked the trend and were able to get established so late? 

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Our of interest, what is the largest town within, say, 20 miles of the M62 that doesn't have EITHER a football team in the football league OR a pro (or semi-pro) Rugby League team?

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I really find this an interesting subject I live half the year in Kent and am involved in Step 5 football Kent has more semi-pro non league clubs than most counties in England but only one league team (Gillingham) it all goes back to the 1920,s even top London teams were in the SOUTHERN LEAGUE which was seen as the main opposition to the FOOTBALL LEAGUE (Lancashire based in Lytham St Annes) slowly the top teams in London moved into the FOOTBALL LEAGUE however left over was a strong semi-pro set up in the South especially Kent.

Teams like Dover/Folkestone/Deal/Canterbury/Ramsgate would attract many Scottish players in the 1950/60,s who were (Similar to Rugby League players) miners there was more money for many working down the Kentish pits and playing football on Saturday part time in the SOUTHERN LEAGUE than staying up in Scotland.

I remember the Scottish international goalkeeper Ian Black even playing for Canterbury City.

Even now Kent League matches (Now named SCEFL) can attract excellent crowds we had over 900 at Chatham Town recently and at the level above a Herne Bay v Whitstable Town Derby can be 700/1000.

I agree that mainly sport is a one town thing unless its a larger city Leeds/Hull its in the blood better always to make the well known clubs areas strong and support new teams in areas with no main other sports (London excepted) 

 

Paul 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, paulwalker71 said:

Our of interest, what is the largest town within, say, 20 miles of the M62 that doesn't have EITHER a football team in the football league OR a pro (or semi-pro) Rugby League team?

Wakefield! 😁😎

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Is the CORRECT answer:)

Get that new stadium built and its 10000 crowds we love you Wakey:)

Nice pub also in the summer at the new miller dam:)

 

Paul

Edited by ATLANTISMAN

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38 minutes ago, paulwalker71 said:

Our of interest, what is the largest town within, say, 20 miles of the M62 that doesn't have EITHER a football team in the football league OR a pro (or semi-pro) Rugby League team?

Runcorn? And Bury too now!

Edited by Eddie

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1 hour ago, paulwalker71 said:

Our of interest, what is the largest town within, say, 20 miles of the M62 that doesn't have EITHER a football team in the football league OR a pro (or semi-pro) Rugby League team?

Lancaster?


Like poor jokes? Thejoketeller@mullymessiah

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2 hours ago, Toby Chopra said:

The curious slight exceptions appear to be Workington and Whitehaven, which wiki tells me we're only formed at the end of the war. 

Anyone know why they bucked the trend and were able to get established so late? 

The amateur game was always very strong in Cumberland (and, to a lesser extent, Westmorland). That goes right back to the establishment of the Northern Union.

Why it took so long for professional clubs - Whitehaven and Workington Town - to emerge from this strong amateur base, I don’t know. Workington, of course,  were an almost immediate success, in terms of crowds and results.

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5 hours ago, Eddie said:

I’ve often thought this, well obviously it’s largely due to where the original teams broke away in 1895 but still it seems odd that RL can be so massive in say Wigan yet in Bolton a few miles down the road it means nothing to anyone. 

I don’t know what it’s like now but At the George author Geoffrey Moorhouse, reflecting on when he started watching Wigan after the war, was taken aback by the large number of fellow Boltonians who joined him every week on the bus to Central Park. Does Bolton still have an amateur team?

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2 hours ago, paulwalker71 said:

Our of interest, what is the largest town within, say, 20 miles of the M62 that doesn't have EITHER a football team in the football league OR a pro (or semi-pro) Rugby League team?

Harrogate? probably a bit too far though.

Edited by Damien

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5 minutes ago, Damien said:

Harrogate?

Not a bad shout. Must be close to the 20-mile limit! Interestingly, Harrogate Town FC were well positioned to secure a Football League place when the CV outbreak struck.

There aren't many candidates - and some possibles did have rugby league clubs.

How about Altrincham, Ashton-under-Lyne, Goole or Liversedge?

Edited by Hopping Mad

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