York City Knights will be no more as the club has announced an exciting new brand to recognise both the men’s and women’s teams.
Instead of ‘York City Knights’, the club will now just be named ‘York RLFC’.
The club released this statement: “Newly renamed as York RLFC, our Club will look to capitalise further on over 150 years of history of rugby league throughout the city. With newly reformed links with our past players epitomised by the success of our Heritage Project earlier this season, York RLFC is a club that incorporates the 134 years of history prior to the formation of York City Knights in the early noughties, 134 years of players who represented this city with passion and pride.
“While our Men’s team will continue to be known as the Knights, our new look incorporates a name change and bespoke logo for our Women’s team, one that will be known as York Valkyrie.
“At the forefront of the women’s game, it’s time for our Club to take a bold step in giving this team their own identity and, being that the existence of a female Knight is yet to be, and that we wouldn’t ask our Men to play for the ‘Dames’ or ‘Princesses,’ it’s time to recognise this.
“In Nordic history, the Valkyrie were a group of warrior goddesses who protected the Gods and chose which of the fallen were worthy of being taken to Valhalla.
“Known for their strength, courage, endurance, agility and durability, the attributes shown by the Valkyrie are epitomised by our Women’s team, one that we all believe can become the very best in this, the greatest game of all.
“York RLFC believe that any child should be able to aspire to play for a club that represents them and you can’t be what you can’t see. York Valkyrie are our own female warriors, elite professional rugby league players – opportunities that we are keen to provide to those youngsters, both as potential players and in our community.
“Our new look is also a step in the direction of future proofing York RLFC in a digital world. This move will allow us to maximise our marketing potential as a brand, business and Club. We look forward to, over the coming weeks, unveiling our new look with a brand new kit and off-field range.
“Our first-ever Heritage Weekend was the first move to realign ourselves with the history of the Club prior to the reformation as the Knights and, moving forwards, everyone at York RLFC is looking forward to further strengthening that bond with our former players.
“Further to that, the rebrand also brings into play a new logo and name for our women’s team, who will now be known as ‘The Valkyrie.’ In the same we wouldn’t ask our men to play for a team called the Dames or Princesses, we shouldn’t be asking our women to play for the Knights when there is no such thing as a female Knight.
“The Valkyrie, in Nordic history, were female warriors who epitomised a number of attributes we have all seen present in our women’s team. I know from speaking with the Women’s team that they are excited to have their own identity moving forward.
“The new look future-proofs the Club in this digital age. I am excited to release the new kits to our fanbase later in pre-season. I’m looking forward to the 2023 season, one where we are all keen to see the Knights and Valkyrie take to the field of battle.”
Discussing the new look, York Valkyrie Director of Rugby Lindsay Anfield said: “I like the similarity between the two and it shows the equality between the two teams. I love the identity for both teams and it’s great to have our own. The Knights was a great brand to play under but this is a great way to support our women’s team with their own identity.
“I know that the girls will be proud to represent the Valkyrie and it makes next year all the more special, knowing it’s our first under that brand. One thing that comes to mind, especially through discussions with people at the Club, is that any female from any race or culture can see themselves in the Valkyrie logo. That can only help strengthen our appeal.
“It would be great to cap that off with another big year for the team and I know all the players will be doing their utmost to perform to a high level every week.
York Knights captain Chris Clarkson also shared his views. “I like it. It’s bringing York RLFC back together and modernising the look of the team as well. I’m really proud to have played my small part in the journey in my time at York and being captain is something I’m really proud of.
“It’s like a brother and sister look which brings the two teams together but with their own identity. I think it’s a great move for the Club. It brings back York RLFC from years past and links it nicely with the modern-day Knights – it’s part of the future and I’m looking forward to continuing to play my part in that.”