Stockport RFC

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For the rugby union club, see Stockport R.U.F.C.

Stockport RFC was a (semi) professional rugby league club.

The club was based in Stockport (population approximately 140,000), a large town in Metropolitan Borough of Stockport, Greater Manchester, England. It lies on the River Mersey at the confluence with the rivers Goyt and Tame.

Historically Stockport was a part of Cheshire.

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 eight seasons from 1895–96 to 1902–03.

Although they were from Cheshire, they, like several other Cheshire clubs and some Cumberland clubs, participated in the Lancashire Competitions.

Only limited County League information is available for this season (1901–02).

History[edit]

Early days[edit]

There is little evidence about the formation of the club except that it was before 1895.

Northern Union[edit]

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

When the 22 clubs met at The George Hotel, Huddersfield, the representative of Stockport had been unable to attend the meeting personally and so had telegraphed the meeting requesting the club's admission to the new organisation. This was duly accepted.

After the Great Schism[1] in 1895, Stockport were one of the founder members of the new league. In the first season 1895–96 the league consisted of 22 clubs and Stockport finished in 17th position.

In the second season 1896–97 the league was divided into Yorkshire and Lancashire, Stockport playing in the latter section, where they would stay for all but one of the remainder of their (semi) professional existence. They finished in 5th position out of 14 teams.

In the two following seasons, still in the Lancashire section, season 1897–98 and 1898–99 they finished in 11th position (out of 14 teams).

In the fifth season, 1899–00 they improved slightly finishing 9th out of 14 teams.

In season 1900–01, still in the Lancashire Senior League, Stockport dropped to 12th place out the 14 teams.

In season, 1901–02 14 clubs broke away to form the Northern Rugby League. Stockport were not among these and so, together with the remaining clubs and several additions from the lower county leagues, continued in the Lancashire Senior league, which became in effect division 2 (West). A slightly better season saw a mid-table finish in 6th place out of the 13 clubs. Only limited County League information is available for this season (1901–02).

At the end of the 1901–02 season, the County Leagues elected 18 teams to join the new Division 2 (7 from Lancashire and 10 from Yorkshire and new member South Shields) with the existing second competition scrapped.[2] This meant that teams were excluded from the senior competitions leaving them with several options :-

a) Join the new Lancashire League or the Lancashire Combination (reserve grade)

b) Join a new Yorkshire Senior League

c) reverting to amateur status within the Northern Union

d) revert to rugby union

e) turn to Association Football, which many clubs did

f) fold

In season 1902–03 Stockport joined the new 2nd Division. In this, their eighth and last season among the (semi) professional clubs, Stockport finished 18th out of 18 clubs, bottom of the league with only 11 points, whereas Morecambe, the second bottom, had 20 points.

Details of the club from this point on are sketchy, but according to the information provided in an article on the Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council website :-[3]

"(Stockport) County gained admission to the Second Division of the Football League in 1900, and following this elevation - and consequent requirement for a larger ground - the club moved to its current home of Edgeley Park in 1902, which was then the home of Stockport Rugby League Club. The rugby club folded a few years later, leaving County as sole tenants."[3]

Although this is not confirmed elsewhere, if the dates are correct, it can be assumed that Stockport Rugby (League) Club played in the lower Lancashire League until finally folding in 1904 or 1905.

Stadium[edit]

Stockport Rugby (League) Club, played, for at least part of their existence, at Edgeley Park.

And, according to the Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council website :-[3]

"The stadium was built in 1901 for the (Stockport) rugby league club, before Stockport County moved there in 1902, after needing to find a bigger stadium to play in following their entrance into the Football League two years earlier"

Stockport County Association Football Club started life in Stockport, when the Wycliffe Congressional Church team merged with Heaton Norris FC to form Heaton Norris Rovers FC. In 1890 they were renamed Stockport County to reflect Stockport's status as a County Borough. They originally played at the Heaton Norris Recreation Ground, then various locations until settling at a park on Green Lane, Heaton Norris in 1889. Stockport County were elected to the Second Division of the Football League in 1900, and this elevation led to a requirement for a larger ground. For the start of the 1902–03 season they moved into their current home of Edgeley Park. At the time this was the home of Stockport Rugby (League) Club.[3][4]

In 1905 (or 1906) Stockport Rugby Club appears to have folded, leaving Stockport County the sole user of the sole tenants of the ground. Edgeley Park has been County's home ever since, and the centenary of the ground was celebrated in 2002.

Records[edit]

Club scoring record[edit]

In a Season
Details Season Competition Notes Ref
Highest League Position 5 1896–97 Lancs Sen Comp Out of 14 clubs
Lowest League Position 18 1902–03 2nd Div Out of 18 clubs
Most League Points 32 1895–96 RL Out of possible 84 = 38%
or 30 1896–97 Lancs Sen Comp Out of possible 52 = 58%
Least League Points 11 1902–03 2nd Div Out of possible 68 = 16%
Most Points Scored (PF) 171 1895–96 RL In 42 games = 4.07/game
or 157 1896–97 Lancs Sen Comp In 26 games = 6.04/game
Most Points Conceded (PA) 317 1898–99 Lancs Sen Comp In 26 games = 12.2/game
Least Points Scored (PF) 69 1902–03 2nd Div In 34 games = 2.03/game
Least Points Conceded (PA) 136 1899–00 Lancs Sen Comp In 26 games = 5.23/game
Best Points Difference 20 1896–97 Lancs Sen Comp In 26 games
Worst Points Difference -276 1902–03 2nd Div In 26 games

Club league record[edit]

Season Competition Pos Team Name Pl W D L PF PA Diff Pts % Pts No of teams in league Notes Ref
1895–96 RL 17 Stockport 42 12 8 22 171 315 -144 32 22
1896–97 Lancs Sen 5 Stockport 26 14 2 10 157 137 20 30 14
1897–98 Lancs Sen 11 Stockport 26 8 2 16 154 253 –99 18 14
1898–99 Lancs Sen 11 Stockport 26 5 1 20 102 317 -215 11 14
1899–00 Lancs Sen 9 Stockport 26 10 2 14 126 136 -10 22 14
1900–01 Lancs Sen 12 Stockport 26 6 3 17 102 184 -82 15 14
1901–02 Lancs Sen 6 Stockport 27 13
Stockport had 2 points deducted.
Only limited County League information is available for this season.
1902–03 2nd Div 18 Stockport 34 5 1 28 69 348 -279 11 18

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 are just a few of Stockport's fixtures from the eight seasons in which they played (semi) professional Rugby League :- [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

Season Date Competition Opponent Venue H/A Result Score Attendance Notes Ref
1895–96 Sat 28 Sep 1895 RL St Helens Knowsley Rd A Won 3–0 [7]
1895–96 26 Oct 1895 RL Warrington Edgeley Park H Draw 3–3 [9]
1895–96 Sat 9 Nov 1895 RL Hull Edgeley Park H Won 3–0 [8]
1895–96 30 Nov 1895 RL Widnes Edgeley Park H Lost 0–5 [6]
1895–96 Wed 25 Dec 1895 RL Wigan Folly Fields A Lost 0–16 1 [5]
1895–96 -1-–0-1896 RL Widnes Lowerhouse Lane A Lost 10–14 2 [6]
1895–96 Sat 18 Jan 1896 RL St Helens Edgeley Park H Won 18–3 [7]
1895–96 Sat 7 Mar 1896 RL Hull Boulevard A Lost 5–15 [8]
1895–96 6 Apr 1896 RL Warrington Wilderspool A Lost 3–14 [9]
1895–96 Sun 26 Apr 1896 RL Wigan Edgeley Park H Won 8–3 [5]
1896–97 Sat 12 Sep 1896 Lancs Sen Comp Wigan Edgeley Park H Won 12–0 [5]
1896–97 19 Sep 1896 Lancs Sen Comp Warrington Edgeley Park H Won 15–5 [9]
1896–97 Mon 12 Oct 1896 Friendly Hull Boulevard A Won 5–0 [8]
1896–97 5 Dec 1896 Lancs Sen Comp Widnes Edgeley Park H Won 12–3 [6]
1896–97 Sat 19 Dec 1896 Lancs Sen Comp St Helens Edgeley Park H Won 13–6 [7]
1896–97 9 Jan 1897 Lancs Sen Comp Widnes Lowerhouse Lane A Lost 0–9 2 [6]
1896–97 13 Feb 1897 Lancs Sen Comp Warrington Wilderspool A Lost 5–9 [9]
1896–97 Sat 13 Mar 1897 Lancs Sen Comp St Helens Knowsley Rd A Lost 0–9 [7]
1896–97 Wed 17 Mar 1897 Lancs Sen Comp Wigan Folly Fields A Draw 0–0 1 [5]
1897–98 25 Sep 1897 Lancs Sen Comp Warrington Wilderspool A Lost 7–10 [9]
1897–98 27 Nov 1897 Lancs Sen Comp Widnes Lowerhouse Lane A Lost 0–6 [6]
1897–98 Sat 11 Dec 1897 Lancs Sen Comp St Helens Edgeley Park H Won 14–7 [7]
1897–98 Sat 8 Jan 1898 Lancs Sen Comp Wigan Edgeley Park H Lost 4–6 [5]
1897–98 29 Jan 1898 Lancs Sen Comp Warrington Edgeley Park H Won 13–3 [9]
1897–98 12 Feb 1898 Lancs Sen Comp Widnes Edgeley Park H Lost 5–9 [6]
1897–98 Sat 19 Feb 1898 Lancs Sen Comp St Helens Knowsley Rd A Lost 0–27 [7]
1897–98 Fri 8 Apr 1898 Lancs Sen Comp Wigan Folly Fields A Draw 5–5 1 [5]
1898–99 Sat 8 Oct 1898 Lancs Sen Comp Wigan Folly Fields A Lost 8–19 1 [5]
1898–99 17 Dec 1898 Lancs Sen Comp Warrington Wilderspool A Lost 6–8 [9]
1898–99 7 Jan 1899 Lancs Sen Comp Widnes Edgeley Park H Lost 0–10 [6]
1898–99 14 Jan 1899 Lancs Sen Comp Widnes Lowerhouse Lane A Lost 10–26 2 [6]
1898–99 Sat 25 Feb 1899 Lancs Sen Comp Wigan Edgeley Park H Won 3–0 [5]
1898–99 Sat 4 Mar 1899 Lancs Sen Comp St Helens Edgeley Park H Lost 3–13 [7]
1898–99 1 Apr 1899 Lancs Sen Comp Warrington Edgeley Park H Won 12–2 [9]
1898–99 Thu 20 Apr 1899 Lancs Sen Comp St Helens Knowsley Rd A Lost 10–13 [7]
1899–00 9 Sep 1899 Lancs Sen Comp Wigan Edgeley Park H Won 18–5 [5]
1899–00 16 Sep 1899 Lancs Sen Comp Warrington Wilderspool A Lost 0–15 [9]
1899–00 Sat 21 Oct 1899 Lancs Sen Comp St Helens Knowsley Rd A Lost 3–17 [7]
1899–00 4 Nov 1899 Lancs Sen Comp Warrington Edgeley Park H Lost 0–3 [9]
1899–00 Sat 25 Nov 1899 Lancs Sen Comp St Helens Edgeley Park H Lost 3–6 [7]
1899–00 30 Dec 1899 Lancs Sen Comp Widnes Edgeley Park H Won 21–3 [6]
1899–00 24 Feb 1900 Lancs Sen Comp Widnes Lowerhouse Lane A Lost 0–2 2 [6]
1899–00 10 Mar 1900 Lancs Sen Comp Wigan Folly Fields A Lost 0–2 [5]
1899–00 7 Apr 1900 CC R4 Widnes Edgeley Park H Lost 0–3 [6]
1900–01 22 Sep 1900 Lancs Sen Comp Warrington Edgeley Park H Won 8–3 [9]
1900–01 Sat 6 Oct 1900 Lancs Sen Comp St Helens Knowsley Rd A Lost 0–3 [7]
1900–01 24 Nov 1900 Lancs Sen Comp Widnes Lowerhouse Lane A Lost 0–5 2 [6]
1900–01 Sat 1 Dec 1900 Lancs Sen Comp St Helens Edgeley Park H Won 5–0 [7]
1900–01 23 Feb 1901 Lancs Sen Comp Warrington Wilderspool A Lost 3–10 [9]
1900–01 Sat 9 Mar 1901 CC R2 St Helens Knowsley Rd A Draw 0–0 [7]
1900–01 Wed 13 Mar 1901 CC R2 Replay St Helens Edgeley Park H Lost 5–11 [7]
1900–01 16 Mar 1901 Lancs Sen Comp Widnes Edgeley Park H Won 13–0 [6]
1900–01 6 Apr 1901 Lancs Sen Comp Wigan Folly Fields A Lost 2–9 1 [5]
1900–01 13 Apr 1901 Lancs Sen Comp Wigan Edgeley Park H Won 13–0 [5]
1901–02 Sat 12 Oct 1901 Lancs Sen Comp St Helens Edgeley Park H Won 3–0 [7]
1901–02 2 Nov 1901 Lancs Sen Comp Widnes Edgeley Park H Lost 0–2 [6]
1901–02 25 Dec 1901 Lancs Sen Comp Wigan Edgeley Park H Won 6–5 [5]
1901–02 1 Jan 1902 Lancs Sen Comp Wigan Springfield Park A Lost 3–10 3 [5]
1901–02 Sat 18 Jan 1902 Lancs Sen Comp St Helens Knowsley Rd A Lost 7–13 [7]
1901–02 25 Jan 1902 Lancs Sen Comp Widnes Lowerhouse Lane A Lost 0–12 2 [6]
1902–03 14 Feb 1903 CC R1 Wigan Springfield Park A Lost 0–8 3 [5]

Heading Abbreviations
CC Rx = Challenge Cup Round x; LC Rx = Lancahire Cup Competition; JPT Rx = John Player Trophy; REGAL Rx = Regal Trophy.

Notes and comments[edit]

1 - Folly Fields is the stadium used by Wigan at the time until 1901. They then became sub-tenants of Springfield Park See below - Note 3.

2 - Lowerhouse Lane is the original site of the current ground used by Widnes. It was renamed Naughton Park in 1932 in honour of club secretary, Tom Naughton - and later renamed Halton Stadium after being completely rebuilt in 1997.

3 - Wigan became sub-tenants of Springfield Park, which they shared with Wigan United AFC, playing their first game there on 14 September 1901 at which a crowd of 4,000 saw them beat Morecambe 12–0, and the last game on 28 April 1902 when Wigan beat the Rest of Lancashire Senior Competition. A temporary ground was necessary to span the period between moving from Folly Fields and the new ground at Central Park being constructed.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ 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. 37 and 38. 
  3. ^ a b c d "About Stockport County". 
  4. ^ "Stockport County History". 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p 324 "Cherry and White". 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Widnes History". 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Saints Heritage Society". 
  8. ^ a b c d aspx "Hull&Proud". 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Warington History". 

External links[edit]