Normanton (rugby league)
The club started out as founder members of the Yorkshire Senior Competition Division 2 (East), and moved as the competition structures changed.
The first rugby club in Normanton was established in 1879 and used the Midland Hotel as its base.
Together with 14 other clubs including Hull Kingston Rovers and Keighley, Normanton were one of the founders of the third division of the Yorkshire Senior Competition, then known as the Yorkshire Rugby Union Intermediate Competition, in 1893.
After the Great Schism in 1895, Normanton remained true to the Rugby Football Union. until eventually following the majority of other Yorkshire clubs and joining the Northern Union in 1898. They, together with Eastmoor, Featherstone Rovers, Goole, Hull Kingston Rovers, Kinsley, Outwood Parish Church, Ripon, Rothwell and York, were among the founders of the Yorkshire Second Competition (Eastern Section).
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.
1901–02 Normanton, being one of the fortunate ones, joined the new second division and finished 12th out of 18 teams. In 1903–04 Normanton continued to play in the Second division, but struggled and finished in 17th and bottom place. The 1904–05 season was a little better and Normanton managed to finish 10th out of 14; one place below Castleford.
1905–06 saw the Rugby League revert to one single division of 31 clubs. Normanton finished in 26th position but in doing so ended the season in financial difficulties. The Northern Union allowed Millom and Normanton to cancel their game due to the cost of travelling. At the end of the season Normanton was forced to fold. (Millom, who finished one position below Normanton in 27th place also folded at the end of the season due to financial difficulties).
A new club, Hopetown Rovers, was quickly formed in time for the new season. The new club joined the Wakefield and Dewsbury District League, using the Huntsman Inn as a base and playing on Normanton Common. Thus continuing the existence of a rugby league club in the town. The club later went through several transitions and name change including to Normanton ARLFC and finally Normanton Knights ARLFC in the early 1980s
Club league record
The league positions for Normanton for the five years in which they played semi-professional rugby league are given in the following table :-
|Season||Competition||Pos||Team Name||Pl||W||D||L||PW||PA||Diff||Pts||% Pts||No of teams in league||Notes||Ref|
|Only limited County League information is available for this season.|
RL = Single Division; Pl = Games Played: W = Win; D = Draw; L = Lose; PF = Points For; PA = Points Against; Diff = Points Difference (+ or -); Pts = League Points
% Pts = A percentage system was used to determine league positions due to clubs playing varying number of fixtures and against different opponents
League points: for win = 2; for draw = 1; for loss = 0.
Several fixtures and results
|1897–98||Sat 3 Sep 1898||Yorks Sec Comp (East)||Derwsbury||Mopsey Garth||H||Won||16-3||?||1|
|1899–00||date unknown||CC R1||Leeds||venue unknown||Won||?|
|1899–00||date unknown||CC R2||Batley||venue unknown||Lost||?|
|1903–04||Sat 3 Oct 1903||2nd Div||St. Helens||Knowsley Rd||A||Lost||0-27||?|||
|1903–04||Sat 30 Jan 1904||2nd Div||St. Helens||Mopsey Garth||H||Lost||6-8||?|||
|1905–06||Sat 20 Jan 1906||RL||St. Helens||Knowsley Rd||A||Lost||3-28||?|||
|1905–06||Sat 31 Mar 1906||RL||St. Helens||Mopsey Garth||H||Lost||5–9||?|||
|1908–09||Sat 27 Feb 1909||Challenge Cup 1st Rd||Hull||Home||H||Lost||10-20||?|||
|1911-12||17 Feb 1912||Challenge Cup 1st Rd||Warrington||Home||H||Drew||6-6||?|||
|1911-12||19 Feb 1912||CC 1st Round replay||Warrington||Wilderspool||A||Lost||0-75||?|||
Notes and Comments
1 - This was one of the games played on the Inaugural Saturday of the new league
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.
Normanton players who have turned professional
The following is an incomplete list of Normanton players who have turned professional.
- 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. p. 52.
- "Normanton Knights History".
- 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.
- "Eastmoor Dragons ARLFC - Club Info - History 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.
- Jack Winstanley & Malcolm Ryding (1975). John Player Rugby League Yearbook 1975-76. Queen Anne Press.
- "Cherry and White".
- "Hull&Proud Fixtures & Results".
- "Warrington Wolves results and archives".
- "Saints Heritage Society".
- "Widnes Seasons in Review".
- "History - Normanton Knights 3". pitchero.com. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
- Dalby, Ken (1955). The Headingley Story - 1890-1955 - Volume One - Rugby. The Leeds Cricket, Football & Athletic Co. Ltd ASIN: B0018JNGVM