Radcliffe RFC

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Radcliffe was a semi-professional rugby league club based in Radcliffe, a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Bury, in Greater Manchester,[1] England.

The club joined the Northern Union in 1901–02 and played for the single season in the Lancashire Senior Competition, which was effectively Division 2 (West).


The club had been founded some years before their single year in the semi-professional ranks. They had been drawn away to Wigan in the first round of the 1897 Challenge Cup, losing by 3 points to nil. The following year they entered the second Challenge Cup competition and lost again in the first round, this time away to Hull F.C. at the Boulevard by 19 points to nil.[2]

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.[3]

Radcliffe were one of the 4 Yorkshire (Goole, Heckmondwike, Liversedge and Sowerby Bridge) and 2 Lancashire clubs (the other being Altrincham) not elected to the new Division 2, but it is unknown as to what happened to the club. In Cherry and White it is said that the club "disappeared".[4]

Club league record[edit]

In the single season in which Radcliffe played semi-professional rugby league, 1901–02, there are few records readily available.[4]

Some of the achievements are as follows:-[5]

Season Competition Pos Team Name Pl W D L PW PA Diff Pts % Pts No of teams in league Notes Ref
1901–02 Lancs Senior 13 Radcliffe 2 1 3 13 [4]
Radcliffe had 2 points deducted. Only limited County League information is available for this season.

Heading Abbreviations
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[edit]

The following are just a few of Radcliffe's fixtures during the sole season (and others) in which they played semi-professional rugby league :-[4][6][7]

Season Date Competition Opponent Venue H/A Result Score Att Notes Ref
1896–97 Sat 20 Mar 1897 Challenge Cup 1st Rd Wigan Folly Field A Lost 0-3 ? 1 [4]
1897–98 Sat 5 Mar 1898 Challenge Cup 1st Rd Hull Boulevard A Lost 0-18 ? [2]
1901–02 28 Sept 1901 Lancs Senior Widnes Lowerhouse Lane A Lost 0-28 ? 2 [6]
1901–02 Sat 2 Nov 1901 Lancs Senior St. Helens Home A Lost 0-19 ? [7]
1901–02 Sat 7 Dec 1901 Lancs Senior St. Helens Knowsley Rd A Lost 6-23 ? [7]
1901–02 12 Oct 1901 Lancs Senior Widnes Home H Lost 3-14 ? [6]
1901–02 18 Jan 1902 Lancs Senior Widnes Lowerhouse Lane A Lost 0-40 ? 2 [6]
1901–02 Sat 8 Mar 1902 Lancs Senior Wigan Springfield Park A Lost 0-22 ? 3 [4]
1901–02 Mon 7 Apr 1902 Lancs Senior Wigan Home H Lost 5-21 ? [4]

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]


  1. ^ "Greater Manchester Gazetteer". Greater Manchester County Record Office. Places names – A. Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 12 December 2007. 
  2. ^ a b "Hull&Proud Results". 
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Cherry and White". 
  5. ^ Jack Winstanley & Malcolm Ryding (1975). John Player Rugby League Yearbook 1975–76. Queen Anne Press. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Widnes History". 
  7. ^ a b c "Saints Heritage Society". 

External links[edit]