Brighouse Rangers RFC

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Brighouse Rangers was a (semi) professional rugby league club.
The club was based in Brighouse, a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Calderdale, in West Yorkshire, England. It is situated on the River Calder and has a population of approx 35,000.

The club was involved in the momentous meeting at the George Hotel, Huddersfield in 1895, and after the schism, the club became founder members of the Northern Rugby Football Union (now Rugby Football League) and played for eleven seasons from 1895–96 to 1905–06.

After a break, a new club, also called Brighouse Rangers, appeared in 1915 and played in the Emergency War Leagues in season 1915-16, 1916-17, 1917-18 and the 1918-19 (Jan) wartime league (but not in the shortened 1919 (Feb – May) Victory League.

History[edit]

Early history[edit]

Brighouse Rangers Football Club were founded in the 1870s and joined the RFU in 1879.[1]

In 1895, on 20 April, Brighouse Rangers won "T'owd Tin Pot", beat Morley R.F.C. 16-4 in the Yorkshire Cup Final at Headingley, Leeds before a crowd of in the region of 20,000.[2]

Northern Union[edit]

Prior to the Schism, Brighouse Rangers, like many other clubs from Lancashire (and Yorkshire), had suffered punishment by the RFU for "broken time" payments.

After their annual general meeting in London, the RFU issued a decree banning the playing of rugby at grounds where entrance fees were charged,[3] and so Brighouse Rangers, represented by H H Waller, attended a meeting at The George Hotel, Huddersfield, together with the with representatives of 21 other clubs, and agreed to form a Northern Rugby Football Union.

After the Great Schism[4] in 1895, Brighouse Rangers were one of the founder members of the new league and the same H H Waller of Brighouse Rangers was elected the first Northern Rugby Football Union chairman.

In the first season 1895–96 the league consisted of 22 clubs and Brighouse Rangers, continuing their recent Rugby Union form, finished in 5th position.

In season 1896–97 the league was divided into Yorkshire and Lancashire. Brighouse Rangers, playing in the former section, finished in 1st position out of 16 teams, 2 points ahead of second placed Manningham and a full eight points above third place Halifax. Brighouse Rangers were crowned Yorkshire Champions.

In the following four seasons, still in the Yorkshire section, seasons 1897–98, 1898–99, 1899–00 & 1900–01 the club finished in 13th, 10th and 12th before moving up to a mid-table 7th in the respective seasons, each time out of the 16 clubs.

For the next season, 1901–02 the top seven clubs in each of the County Senior Leagues decided to break from the rest of the clubs and form "The Northern Rugby League". This is the first time these terms had been used. Brighouse Rangers, after finishing 7th (and beating Hull Kingston Rovers team with the same points by a better points scoring difference of 6), were included to this first division.

Brighouse Rangers finishing 14th and bottom with a playing record of 5 points (4 wins and 1 draw) out of 26 matches played.

The Rugby League made yet another change to the league structure for the next 1902–03 by renaming the top league as the 1st Division and increasing the number of clubs to 18, thus preventing any threatened relegations. Brighouse remained in the first division. In this following season, Brighouse Rangers again finished bottom out of the 18 teams, but this time only 2 points adrift of second bottom St Helens and 8 points away from third bottom Wigan. This time both Brighouse Rangers and St. Helens were relegated.

For the next two seasons 1903–04 and 1904–05, Brighouse Rangers in the 2nd Division where they finished 6th out of 17 and then 11th out of 14 respectively.

The following season 1905–06 the two leagues were combined into one. Also, clubs arranged all their own fixtures with the condition that any team they played they did so twice, both home and away. This meant that the league positions were decided on a % basis (i.e. the actual points gained divided by the number of points possible if the club had won every game – the answer multiplied by a hundred). In this, Brighouse Rangers' last season, they finished bottom equal with Morecambe, bottom with 8 points out of a possible 52 and bottom with a 15.38% winning percentage.

At their annual general meeting in summer 1906 Brighouse Rangers took the decision to disband.[1]

Successor clubs[edit]

After a break, another club with the same name Brighouse Rangers appeared during the First World War and played in the Emergency War League in season 1915-16, 1916-17, 1917-18 and the 1918-19 (Jan) wartime league but not in the shortened 1919 (Feb – May) Victory League.

Brighouse Rugby League club have reformed numerous times since.[1] The current club are amateurs Brighouse Rangers ARLFC.

In the 1970s Brighouse played at Wellholme Park, near the Cricket Club. Towards the approach of the new millennium in 2000, Tesco bought the site including the Brighouse ARLFC clubhouse and with the money, the club built anew on Russell Way, off Bradford Road.[1]

Club name[edit]

According to the official Rugby League records the Club was called Brighouse Rangers[5] Some sites and books refer to the club as Brighouse Rovers though.

Player earning international caps while at Brighouse Rangers[edit]

Ground[edit]

The club's first ground was at Fink Hill. In 1883 they moved to Waterloo Road, Lane Head (now the site of St Andrews Junior School and adjacent allotments), where they stayed until their demise in 1906.[1]

Records[edit]

Club league performance[edit]

In a Season
Details Season Competition Comments Notes Ref
Highest League Position 5 1895–96 RL out of clubs
or 1 1896–97 Yorks Sen out of clubs
Lowest League Position 31 1905–06 RL out of clubs
and 14 1901–02 RL out of clubs
and 18 1902–03 1st Div out of clubs
Most League Points 56 1895–96 RL out of possible 84 = 67%
or 48 1896–97 Yorks Sen out of possible 60 = 80%
Least League Points 7 1901–02 RL out of possible 52 = 14%
Most Points Scored (PF) 247 1895–96 RL In 42 games = 5.88/game
or 213 1896–97 Yorks Sen In 30 games = 2.18/game
Most Points Conceded (PA) 333 1905–06 RL In 26 games = 3.35/game
Least Points Scored (PF) 74 1901–02 RL In 26 games = 2.85/game
or (PF) 79 1902–03 1st Div In 34 games = 2.32/game
Least Points Conceded (PA) 68 1896–97 Yorks Sen In 30 games = 7.1/game
Best Points Difference 145 1896–97 Yorks Sen In 30 games
Worst Points Difference -250 1901–02 RL In 26 games

Club trophies[edit]

Brighouse Rangers were the first Champions of the 1896–97 Yorkshire Senior Competition.

Club league record[edit]

Season Competition Pos Team Name Pl W D L PW PA Diff Pts % No of teams in league Notes Ref
1895–96 RL 5 Brighouse Rangers 42 27 2 13 247 129 118 56
1896–97 Yorks Sen 1 Brighouse Rangers 30 22 4 4 213 68 145 48
1897–98 Yorks Sen 13 Brighouse Rangers 30 9 5 16 143 172 –9 23
1898–99 Yorks Sen 10 Brighouse Rangers 30 12 2 16 114 191 -77 26
1899–00 Yorks Sen 12 Brighouse Rangers 30 9 3 18 80 231 -151 21
1900–01 Yorks Sen 7 Brighouse Rangers 30 16 0 14 194 162 32 32
1901–02 RL 14 Brighouse Rangers 26 3 1 22 74 324 -250 7
1902–03 1st Div 18 Brighouse Rangers 34 7 4 23 79 270 -191 18
1903–04 2nd Div 6 Brighouse Rangers 32 19 3 10 192 136 56 41
1904–05 2nd Div 11 Brighouse Rangers 26 8 1 17 111 169 -58 17
1905–06 RL 31 Brighouse Rangers 26 3 2 21 87 333 -246 8 15.38

Heading Abbreviations
Pl = Games Played: W = Win; D = Draw; L = Lose; PF = Points For; PA = Points Against; Diff = Points Difference (+ or -); Pts = League Points
League points: for win = 2; for draw = 1; for loss = 0.

Several fixtures and results[edit]

The following a selection of Brighouse Rangers' fixtures in the seasons in which they played (semi) professional Rugby League:- [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

Season Date C ompetition Opponent Venue H/A Result Score Att Notes Ref
1895–96 Mon 14-10-1895 RL Wigan Lane Head H Draw 3-3 [7]
1895–96 Sat 02-11-1895 RL Hull Boulevard A Lost 0-5 [10]
1895–96 23-11-1895 RL Widnes Lowerhouse Lane A Won 3–0 [8]
1895–96 14-12-1895 RL Warrington unknown ? Won 13-3 [11]
1895–96 Sat 28-12-1895 RL Wigan Folly Fields A Draw 0–0 [7]
1895–96 Sat 04–01-1896 RL St Helens Lane Head H Won 6-4 [9]
1895–96 14–03-1896 RL Widnes Lane Head H Won 11–0 [8]
1895–96 28–03-1896 RL Warrington unknown ? Won 13-7 [11]
1895–96 Mon 06–04-1896 RL St Helens Knowsley Rd A Draw 0–0 [9]
1895–96 Mon 20–04-1896 RL Hull Lane Head H Won 6-3 [10]
1896–97 Sat 31-10-1896 YSC Hull Boulevard A Draw 3-3 [10]
1896–97 Wed 10–03-1897 YSC Hull Lane Head H Won 6–0 [10]
1896–97 Sat 20–03-1897 CC R1 ? ?
1896–97 Sat 27–03-1897 CC R2 Wakefield Trinity Lane Head 13-4
1896–97 Sat 03–04-1897 CC R3 ? ? lost to
1897–98 Sat 13-11-1897 YSC Hull Boulevard A Draw 0–0 [10]
1897–98 Sat 19–02-1898 YSC Hull Lane Head H Won 7-3 [10]
1898–99 Sat 24–09-1898 YSC Hull Boulevard A Lost 0-14 [10]
1898–99 Sat 31-12-1898 YSC Hull Lane Head H Lost 0-21 [10]
1899–00 Sat 23–09-1899 YSC Hull Lane Head H Lost 5-10 [10]
1899–00 Sat 30-12-1899 YSC Hull Boulevard A Won 5-3 [10]
1900–01 Sat 01–09-1900 YSC Hull Boulevard A Lost 0-13 [10]
1900–01 Sat 15-12-1900 YSC Hull Lane Head H Won 7-4 [10]
1901–02 Sat 21–09-1901 RL Hull Boulevard A Lost 0-3 [10]
1901–02 02-11-1901 RL Warrington Wilderspool A Lost 2-7 [11]
1901–02 15–02-1902 RL Warrington Lane Head H Lost 0-2 [11]
1901–02 Sat 01–03-1902 RL Hull Lane Head H Won 4-3 [10]
1902–03 13–09-1902 1st Div Warrington Wilderspool A Lost 0-3 [11]
1902–03 Sat 27–09-1902 1st Div St Helens Lane Head H Lost 3-4 [9]
1902–03 Sat 08-11-1902 1st Div Hull Lane Head H Won 5-3 [10]
1902–03 Sat 13-12-1902 1st Div Wigan Folly Fields A Lost 0-12 [7]
1902–03 20-12-1902 1st Div Widnes Lane Head H Lost 2-5 [8]
1902–03 10–01-1903 1st Div Warrington Lane Head H Won 7–0 [11]
1902–03 Sat 24–01-1903 1st Div St Helens Knowsley Rd A Won 7–0 [9]
1902–03 Sat 11–04-1903 1st Div Wigan Lane Head H Won 3–0 [7]
1902–03 Mon 13–04-1903 1st Div Hull Boulevard A Lost 2-23 [10]
1902–03 18–04-1903 1st Div Widnes Lowerhouse Lane A Draw 5-5 [8]
1903–04 Sat 31-10-1903 2nd Div St Helens Knowsley Rd A Lost 0-10 [9]
1903–04 Sat 27–02-1904 2nd Div St Helens Lane Head H Won 3–0 [9]
1905–06 Sat 16-12-1905 RL Hull H Lost 7-13 [10]
1905–06 23-12-1905 RL Widnes Lane Head H Draw 0–0 [8]
1905–06 Sat 24–03-1906 RL Hull Boulevard A Lost 2-30 [10]
1905–06 07–04-1906 RL Widnes Lowerhouse Lane A Lost 0-22 [8]

Heading Abbreviations
CC Rx = Challenge Cup Round x; TSC = Yorkshire Senior Competition;

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Brighouse Rangers ARLFC - History". 
  2. ^ "Morley RUFC - History". 
  3. ^ "South Wales Scorpions - A brief history to the origins of Rugby League". 
  4. ^ J C Lindley with personal recollections by D W Armitage (1973). 100 Years of Rugby - The History of Wakefield Trinity Football Club. The Wakefield Trinity Centenary Committee. pp. 34 and 35. 
  5. ^ "RFL Past Chairmen of the council". 
  6. ^ Williams, Graham; Lush, Peter; Farrar, David (2009). The British Rugby League Records Book. London League. p. 178. ISBN 978-1-903659-49-6. 
  7. ^ a b c d e 324 "Cherry and White". 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g "Widnes History". 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g "Saints Heritage Society". 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s aspx "Hull&Proud". 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g "Warington History". 

External links[edit]