Station Road, Swinton
Australia warm up before test match 1963
|Full name||Station Road|
|Location||Station Road, Pendlebury|
|Owner||Swinton RLFC (1929–1992)|
|Record attendance||44,621 - Warrington v Wigan, Challenge Cup Semi Final, 7 April 1951|
Station Road was a stadium in Pendlebury, near Manchester, England. Only a very short distance from the Pendlebury boundary with Swinton and close to the heart of the township of Swinton and Pendlebury, it was the home of Swinton Rugby League Club between 1929 and 1992 and was widely recognised as one of the finest grounds in the Rugby League.
Swinton moved to Station Road when they were at their peak, having won all four major trophies ("All Four Cups") the previous season, one of only three clubs (plus Hunslet and Huddersfield) ever to do so. The decision to purchase the land, which stood alongside the railway line and Swinton railway station, was made after a breakdown in negotiations with their existing landlord at their Chorley Road ground, their home since 1887.
In its heyday it boasted a capacity of 60,000, although with a record attendance of 44,621 for Warrington v Wigan in the 1951 Challenge Cup semi-final this was never really tested. All in all 19 internationals (including 15 test matches), 5 Championship finals, 17 Lancashire Cup finals, 4 Premiership finals and 30 Rugby League Challenge Cup semi-finals were played at the ground. In addition two World Cup matches were played at Station Road.
The biggest win in any international match at Station Road was when Australia defeated Great Britain in the second Ashes test during the 1963 Kangaroo tour. Played in front of 30,843 fans, the match became known as the "Swinton Massacre" as the Kangaroos ran riot. Winger Ken Irvine crossed for 3 tries giving the British fans (and his opposite, Lions winger Mick Sullivan) a taste of his legendary speed, while other stars for Australia were Reg Gasnier and Peter Dimond who crossed for 2 tries each, and Gasnier's Centre partner Graeme Langlands scored 2 tries and kicked 7 goals. After winning the first test 28-2 at Wembley, the victory saw Australia regain The Ashes they had lost to the Lions at home in 1962.
1 October 1960
Station Road, Swinton
Referee: Edouard Martung
Britain's comprehensive victory over the French at Swinton was marred by the first double sending-off in World Cup annals, France's skipper Jean Barthe and Britain's second-rower Vince Karalius being despatched by Edouard Martung, a police inspector from Bordeaux.
Britain eliminated New Zealand from the tournament, cruising to victory with five tries to three.
List of Great Britain matches played at Station Road
|4 January 1930||Great Britain 0-0 Australia||Test Series||34,709|
|16 December 1933||Great Britain 19-16 Australia||Test Series||10,990|
|13 November 1937||Great Britain 13-3 Australia||Test Series||31,724|
|8 November 1947||Great Britain 7-10 New Zealand||Test Series||29,031|
|6 November 1948||Great Britain 16-7 Australia||Test Series||36,354|
|10 November 1951||Great Britain 20-19 New Zealand||Test Series||29,938|
|8 November 1952||Great Britain 21-5 Australia||Test Series||32,421|
|8 October 1955||Great Britain 25-6 New Zealand||Test Series||21,937|
|15 December 1956||Great Britain 19-0 Australia||Test Series||17,542|
|17 October 1959||Great Britain 14-22 Australia||Test Series||35,224|
|4 November 1961||Great Britain 35-19 New Zealand||Test Series||22,536|
|9 November 1963||Great Britain 12-50 Australia||Test Series||30,843|
|23 January 1965||Great Britain 17-7 France||Test Series||9,959|
|25 September 1965||Great Britain 9-2 New Zealand||Test Series||8,497|
|9 December 1967||Great Britain 3-11 Australia||Test Series||13,615|
Also five England internationals were played at Station Road
|4 January 1930||England 0-0 Australia||Test Series||35,000|
|16 December 1933||England 19-16 Australia||Test Series||11,000|
|13 November 1937||England 13-3 Australia||Test Series||32,000|
|23 February 1946||England 16-6 France||European Championship||20,500|
|12 October 1946||England 10-13 Wales||European Championship||20,213|
Vandalism & closure
Fire damaged the disused main stand including offices and function rooms in July 1991, this was the last in a series of vandalism before the club moved out of Station Road. Station Road was sold at the end of the 1991–92 season by the club's directors to David McLean Homes for property development part of the deal involved sponsoring the Lions in their first season post Station Road. The last match to be played at Station Road was a local derby verses Salford on 20 April 1992 with 3,487 witnessing Salford winning 26-18 and Ian Pickavance of Swinton scoring the last try. The site is now a housing estate.