1965–66 Northern Rugby Football League season
|League||Northern Rugby Football League|
|League Leaders||St. Helens|
|Top point-scorer(s)||Len Killeen 336|
|Top try-scorer(s)|| Len Killeen 32
Trevor Lake 32
The 1965–66 Rugby Football League season was the seventieth season of rugby league football. A three-way county championship was also held, with comparative minnows Cumberland against Yorkshire and Lancashire.
- The substitutes rule introduced in the previous season changed so that substitutions could be used for any reason, including tactical reasons, although they were still only allowed up to and including half-time.
The BBC2 Floodlit Trophy competition was launched in this season with the BBC televising matches on Tuesday nights. The competition was used to trial the four-tackle rule, an experiment in ending the unlimited tackles that had been a by-product from the introduction of the play-the-ball in 1906.
St.Helens won the Lancashire League, and Leeds won the Yorkshire League. Warrington beat Rochdale Hornets 16–5 to win the Lancashire Cup, and Bradford Northern beat Hunslet 17–8 to win the Yorkshire Cup.
|12||Hull Kingston Rovers||34||20||0||14||40|
|Round of 16||Quarter-finals||Semi-finals||Final|
|Hull Kingston Rovers||6|
|Hull Kingston Rovers||13|
|Hull Kingston Rovers||10|
The 1966 Championship Final was played between Halifax and St Helens on Saturday, 28 May 1966 at Station Road Ground before a crowd of 30,634. St Helens won 35-12 with their hat trick-scoring prop forward, Albert Halsall being awarded the Harry Sunderland Trophy as man-of-the-match.
St Helens had reached the final by beating Wakefield Trinity 10-0 away on 26 Feb in Round One; Swinton 16-4 at home on 19 Mar in Round Two; Hull Kingston Rovers 12-10 at home on 2 Apr in Round Three and Dewsbury 12-5 on neutral ground on 16 Apr in the semi-final.
Wigan had reached the final by beating Halifax 9-4 at home on 26 Feb in Round One; Whitehaven 40-6 at home on 19 Mar in Round Two; Bradford Northern 15-6 away on 6 Apr in Round Three and Leeds 7-2 in the semi-final at Huddersfield on 23 Apr.
The Challenge Cup final was played at London's Wembley Stadium before a crowd of 98,536 on 21 May. Prime Minister Harold Wilson was introduced to the players before kick-off. St Helens led 9-2 at half time and went on to defeat Wigan 21-2. Saints' scorers were John Mantle (1 try), Tommy Bishop (1 try), Len Killeen (1 try, 5 goals) and Alex Murphy (1 goal). Wigan's scorer was Gilfedder (1 goal). This was St Helens' third Cup Final win in seven Final appearances.
- Top ten: Rugby league rules, Rugby League World, Aug 2009: 61
- Bottom ten: Rugby league rules, Rugby League World, Aug 2009: 62
- "1965-66 Season summary". Archived from the original on 2009-09-16. Retrieved 2009-08-08.
- Fletcher, Raymond; David Howes (1995). Rothmans Rugby League Yearbook 1995-1996. London: Headline Book Publishing. p. 468. ISBN 0-7472-7817-2.
- "St Helens 35 def. Halifax RLFC 12". rugbyleagueproject.org. Shawn Dollin, Andrew Ferguson and Bill Bates. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- "Saints Heritage Site Season records.". Archived from the original on 2009-09-16. Retrieved 2009-08-07.
- "Rugby League - Challenge Cup Final - Wigan v St. Helens - Wembley Stadium". friendsreunited.com. Friends Reunited Limited. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
- "RFL Challenge Cup Roll of Honour". Archived from the original on 2009-09-16. Retrieved 2009-08-07.
- de la Riviere, Richard, ed. (2009), Rugby League World (Brighouse, UK: League Publications, published August 2009) (340), ISSN 1466-0105
- 1965-66 Rugby Football League season at wigan.rlfans.com
- The Challenge Cup at The Rugby Football League website