Rugby Football League Championship

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RFL Championship
Current season or competition::
Super League XXII
Sport Rugby league
Inaugural season 1895–96
Countries  England (11 teams)
 France (1 team)
Champions Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors (21st title) (2016)
Most titles Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors (21 titles)
Relegation to RFL Second Division

The Rugby Football League Championship was the top division of rugby league in the UK between 1895 and 1996. In 1996 it was replaced by the Super League although winning the Super League is still regarded as winning the Championship.

History[edit]

1895–1904: Foundations[edit]

The first season of rugby league (1895–96) saw all the breakaway clubs play in a single league competition. The addition of new teams and the problems of travelling led to the league being split in two for the following season; into the Yorkshire League and the Lancashire League. This arrangement lasted until the 1901–02 season, when the top clubs from each league resigned and formed a single new competition. The following season the remaining clubs in the Yorkshire and Lancashire Leagues were re-organised to form a second division.

1905–1970: Restructure[edit]

In 1905–06 the two divisions were re-combined into a single competition. Clubs played all the teams in their own county on a home-and-away basis, results counting towards the re-formed Yorkshire and Lancashire Leagues. They also organised inter-county fixtures on an individual basis; all results were collated into a single table for the Championship. In order to even up the competition a top-four play-off series was used to determine the Championship.

Apart from the interventions of the two world wars, this system was retained until the 1962–63 season, when the league briefly returned to a two divisional system. This lasted only two years, and in the 1964–65 season they returned to one large division subdivided into county leagues. The play-offs were expanded to the top 16 teams and the Harry Sunderland Trophy was introduced as the man-of-the-match award for the decider.

1970–1995: Premiership and reintroducing Second Division[edit]

In the 1973–74 season they once again went back to two divisions. The play-off and the Yorkshire and Lancashire League were abandoned, and a new play-off type competition, the Premiership, was introduced however the team finishing top of the Championship were crowned champions. During this period in the late 80's and early 90s Wigan dominated both the Championship and Challenge Cup.

1996–present: Super League[edit]

In 1996 the championship was replaced by the Super League. The remaining clubs later went on to form the Rugby League Championships.

Champions[edit]

Season Final Information
Champions Score Runners-up Venue Attendance
1895–96 Manningham
N/A
Faxcolours.svg Halifax
N/A
N/A
1896–97
County Leagues
1897–98
County Leagues
1898–99
County Leagues
1899–00
County Leagues
1900–01
County Leagues
1901–02 Broughton Rangers
N/A
Redscolours.svg Salford
N/A
N/A
1902–03 Faxcolours.svg Halifax Redscolours.svg Salford
1903–04 Bradford F.C. Redscolours.svg Salford
1904–05 Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham Bradford F.C.
1905–06 Leigh colours.svg Leigh Hunsletcolours.svg Hunslet
1906–07 Faxcolours.svg Halifax 18–3 Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham Fartown Ground, Huddersfield 13,200
1907–08 Hunsletcolours.svg Hunslet 12–7 Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham The Willows, Salford 14,000
1908–09 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 7–3 Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham The Willows, Salford 12,000
1909–10 Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham 13–7 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Wheater's Field, Salford 10,850
1910–11 Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham 20–7 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Wheater's Field, Salford 15,543
1911–12 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield 13–5 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Thrum Hall, Halifax 15,000
1912–13 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield 29–2 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Belle Vue, Wakefield 17,000
1913–14 Redscolours.svg Salford 5–3 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Headingley Stadium, Leeds 8,091
1914–15 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield 35–2 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Belle Vue, Wakefield 14,000
1918–19
County Leagues
1919–20 Hullcolours.svg Hull 3–2 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Headingley Stadium, Leeds 12,900
1920–21 Hullcolours.svg Hull 16–14 HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers Headingley Stadium, Leeds 10,000
1921–22 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 13–2 Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham The Cliff, Salford 26,000
1922–23 HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers 15–5 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Headingley Stadium, Leeds 14,000
1923–24 Batley colours.svg Batley 13–7 Wigancolours.svg Wigan The Cliff, Salford 13,729
1924–25 HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers 9–5 Swintoncolours.svg Swinton Athletic Grounds, Rochdale 21,580
1925–26 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 22–10 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Knowsley Road, St Helens 20,000
1926–27 Swintoncolours.svg Swinton 13–8 St Helens Recs Wilderspool, Warrington 24,432
1927–28 Swintoncolours.svg Swinton 11–0 Fevcolours.svg Featherstone Rovers Watersheddings, Oldham 15,451
1928–29 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield 2–0 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Thrum Hall, Halifax 25,604
1929–30 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield 10–2 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Belle Vue, Wakefield 32,095
1930–31 Swintoncolours.svg Swinton 14–7 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Central Park, Wigan 31,000
1931–32 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 9–5 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Belle Vue 19,386
1932–33 Redscolours.svg Salford 15–5 Swintoncolours.svg Swinton Central Park, Wigan 18,000
1933–34 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 15–3 Redscolours.svg Salford Wilderspool, Warrington 31,564
1934–35 Swintoncolours.svg Swinton 14–3 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Central Park, Wigan 27,700
1935–36 Hullcolours.svg Hull 21–2 Widnes colours.svg Widnes Fartown Ground, Huddersfield 17,276
1936–37 Redscolours.svg Salford 13–11 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Central Park, Wigan 31,500
1937–38 Hunsletcolours.svg Hunslet 8–2 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Elland Road, Leeds 54,112
1938–39 Redscolours.svg Salford 8–6 Castleford colours.svg Castleford Maine Road, Manchester 69,504
1939–40
County Leagues
1940–41
County Leagues
1941–42
Wartime Emergency League
1942–43
Wartime Emergency League
1943–44
Wartime Emergency League
1944–45
Wartime Emergency League
1945–46 Wigancolours.svg Wigan
N/A
Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Maine Road, Manchester 67,136
1946–47 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Ramscolours.svg Dewsbury Maine Road, Manchester 40,599
1947–48 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington 15–5 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Northern Maine Road, Manchester 69,143
1948–49 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield 13–12 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Maine Road, Manchester 75,194
1949–50 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 20–2 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Maine Road, Manchester 65,065
1950–51 Workingtoncolours.svg Workington Town 26–11 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Maine Road, Manchester 61,618
1951–52 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 13–6 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Northern Leeds Road, Huddersfield 48,684
1952–53 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 24–14 Faxcolours.svg Halifax Maine Road, Manchester 51,083
1953–54 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington 8–7 Faxcolours.svg Halifax Maine Road, Manchester 36,519
1954–55 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington 7–3 Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham Maine Road, Manchester 49,434
1955–56 Hullcolours.svg Hull 10–9 Faxcolours.svg Halifax Maine Road, Manchester 36,675
1956–57 Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham 15–14 Hullcolours.svg Hull Odsal Stadium, Bradford 62,233
1957–58 Hullcolours.svg Hull 20–3 Workingtoncolours.svg Workington Town Odsal Stadium, Bradford 57,699
1958–59 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 44–22 Hunsletcolours.svg Hunslet Odsal Stadium, Bradford 52,560
1959–60 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 27–3 Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity Odsal Stadium, Bradford 83,190
1960–61 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds 25–10 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Odsal Stadium, Bradford 52,177
1961–62 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield 14–5 Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity Odsal Stadium, Bradford 37,451
1962–63 Swintoncolours.svg Swinton N/A Saintscolours.svg St. Helens
N/A
N/A
1963–64 Swintoncolours.svg Swinton Wigancolours.svg Wigan
1964–65 Faxcolours.svg Halifax 15–7 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens Station Road, Pendlebury 20,776
1965–66 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 35–12 Faxcolours.svg Halifax Station Road, Pendlebury 30,634
1966–67 Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity 7-7 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens Headingley Stadium, Leeds 20,161
(Replay) Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity 21-9 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens Station Road, Pendlebury 33,547
1967–68 Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity 17–10 HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers Headingley Stadium, Leeds 22,586
1968–69 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds 16–14 Castleford colours.svg Castleford Odsal Stadium, Bradford 28,442
1969–70 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 24–12 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Odsal Stadium, Bradford 26,358
1970–71 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 16–12 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Station Road, Pendlebury 21,745
1971–72 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds 9–5 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens Station Road, Pendlebury 24,055
1972–73 Ramscolours.svg Dewsbury 22–13 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Odsal Stadium, Bradford 18,889
1973–74 Redscolours.svg Salford N/A Saintscolours.svg St. Helens
N/A
N/A
1974–75 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens Wigancolours.svg Wigan
1975–76 Redscolours.svg Salford Fevcolours.svg Featherstone Rovers
1976–77 Fevcolours.svg Featherstone Rovers Saintscolours.svg St. Helens
1977–78 Widnes colours.svg Widnes Bullscolours.svg Bradford Northern
1978–79 HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers Wolvescolours.svg Warrington
1979–80 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Northern Widnes colours.svg Widnes
1980–81 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Northern Wolvescolours.svg Warrington
1981–82 Leigh colours.svg Leigh Hullcolours.svg Hull
1982–83 Hullcolours.svg Hull HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers
1983–84 HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers Hullcolours.svg Hull
1984–85 HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers Saintscolours.svg St. Helens
1985–86 Faxcolours.svg Halifax Wigancolours.svg Wigan
1986–87 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Saintscolours.svg St. Helens
1987–88 Widnes colours.svg Widnes Saintscolours.svg St. Helens
1988–89 Widnes colours.svg Widnes Wigancolours.svg Wigan
1989–90 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Widnes colours.svg Widnes
1990–91 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Widnes colours.svg Widnes
1991–92 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Saintscolours.svg St. Helens
1992–93 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Saintscolours.svg St. Helens
1993–94 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Bullscolours.svg Bradford Northern
1994–95 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds
1995–96 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds
1996 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens Wigancolours.svg Wigan
1997 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Broncoscolours.png London
1998 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 10–4 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Old Trafford, Manchester 43,533
1999 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 8–6 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Old Trafford, Manchester 50,717
2000 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 29–16 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Old Trafford, Manchester 58,132
2001 Bullscolours.svg Bradford 37–6 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Old Trafford, Manchester 60,164
2002 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 19–18 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Old Trafford, Manchester 61,138
2003 Bullscolours.svg Bradford 25–12 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Old Trafford, Manchester 65,537
2004 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds 16–8 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Old Trafford, Manchester 65,547
2005 Bullscolours.svg Bradford 15–6 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Old Trafford, Manchester 65,728
2006 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 26–4 Hullcolours.svg Hull Old Trafford, Manchester 72,582
2007 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds 33–6 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens Old Trafford, Manchester 71,352
2008 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds 24–16 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens Old Trafford, Manchester 68,810
2009 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds 18–10 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens Old Trafford, Manchester 63,259
2010 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 22–10 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens Old Trafford, Manchester 71,526
2011 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds 32–16 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens Old Trafford, Manchester 69,107
2012 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds 26–18 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Old Trafford, Manchester 70,676
2013 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 30–16 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Old Trafford, Manchester 66,281
2014 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 14–6 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Old Trafford, Manchester 70,102
2015 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds 22–20 Wigancolours.svg Wigan Old Trafford, Manchester 73,512
2016 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 12–6 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Old Trafford, Manchester 70,202

Winners[edit]

Club Winners Runners-up Winning seasons
1 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 21 16 1908/09, 1921/22, 1925/26, 1933/34, 1945/46, 1946/47, 1949/50, 1951/52, 1959/60, 1986/87, 1989/90, 1990/91, 1991/92, 1992/93, 1993/94, 1994/95, 1995/96, 1998, 2010, 2013, 2016
2 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 13 16 1931/32, 1952/53, 1958/59, 1965/66, 1969/70, 1970/71, 1974/75, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2014
3 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds 10 11 1960/61, 1968/69, 1971/72, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015
4 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield 7 6 1911/12, 1912/13, 1914/15, 1928/29, 1929/30, 1948/49, 1961/62
5 Bullscolours.svg Bradford 6 7 1979/80, 1980/81, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2005
6 Redscolours.svg Salford [1] 6 4 1913/14, 1932/33, 1936/37, 1938/39, 1973/74, 1975/76
7 Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C. 6 4 1919/20, 1920/21, 1935/36, 1955/56, 1957/58, 1982/83
8 Swintoncolours.svg Swinton 6 2 1926/27, 1927/28, 1930/31, 1934/35, 1962/63, 1963/64
9 HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers 5 3 1922/23, 1924/25, 1978/79, 1983/84, 1984/85
10 Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham 4 5 1904/05, 1909/10, 1910/11, 1956/57
11 Faxcolours.svg Halifax 4 5 1902/03, 1906/07, 1964/65, 1985/86
12 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington 3 11 1947/48, 1953/54, 1954/55
13 Widnes colours.svg Widnes 3 4 1977/78, 1987/88, 1988/89
14 Hunsletcolours.svg Hunslet § 2 2 1907/08, 1937/38
15 Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity 2 2 1966/67, 1967/68
16 Leigh colours.svg Leigh 2 0 1905/06, 1981/82
17 Fevcolours.svg Featherstone Rovers 1 2 1976/77
18 Bradford F.C. § 1 1 1903/04
19 Workingtoncolours.svg Workington Town 1 1 1950/51
20 Ramscolours.svg Dewsbury 1 1 1972/73
21 Manningham § 1 0 1895/96
22 Broughton Rangers 1 0 1901/02
23 Batley colours.svg Batley 1 0 1923/24
24 Castleford colours.svg Castleford 0 2
25 St Helens Recs § 0 1
26 Broncoscolours.png London 0 1

Active English RFL Championship droughts[edit]

Teams in bold currently compete in the Super League. Titles prior to 1947 include the number of years it was won prior to the Second World War, and titles won prior to 1919, includes the number of years it was won prior to the First World War.

Last English Championship
Seasons Team Last Championship Era
90 Batley colours.svg Batley 1923–24 RFL Championship
63 Workingtoncolours.svg Workington Town 1950–51 RFL Championship
60 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington 1954–55 RFL Championship
58 Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham 1956–57 RFL Championship
55 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield 1961–62 RFL Championship
53 Swintoncolours.svg Swinton 1963–64 RFL Championship
50 Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity 1967–68 RFL Championship
45 Ramscolours.svg Dewsbury 1972–73 RFL Championship
42 Redscolours.svg Salford 1975–76 RFL Championship
41 Fevcolours.svg Featherstone Rovers 1976–77 RFL Championship
36 Leigh colours.svg Leigh 1981–82 RFL Championship
35 Hullcolours.svg Hull 1982–83 RFL Championship
33 HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers 1984–85 RFL Championship
32 Faxcolours.svg Halifax 1985–86 RFL Championship
28 Widnes colours.svg Widnes 1989–90 RFL Championship
2 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 2014 Super League
1 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds 2015 Super League
0 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 2016 Super League

Titles won by region[edit]

Region Number of titles Clubs
Greater Manchester
40
Wigancolours.svg Wigan (21), Redscolours.svg Salford (6), Swintoncolours.svg Swinton (6), Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham (4),
Leigh colours.svg Leigh (2), Broughton (1)
West Yorkshire
36
Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds (10), Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield (7), Bullscolours.svg Bradford (6), Faxcolours.svg Halifax (4),
Hunsletcolours.svg Hunslet (2), Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity (2), Bradford F.C. (1),
Batley colours.svg Batley (1), Ramscolours.svg Dewsbury (1), Fevcolours.svg Featherstone Rovers (1),
Manningham (1)
Merseyside
13
Saintscolours.svg St. Helens (13)
East Yorkshire
11
Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C. (6), HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers (5)
Cheshire
6
Wolvescolours.svg Warrington (3), Widnes colours.svg Widnes (3)
Cumbria
1
Workingtoncolours.svg Workington Town (1)
Greater London
-
Northumbria
-
South Yorkshire
-
North Yorkshire
-
Wales
-

Titles won by city/town[edit]

City/ town Number of titles Clubs
Batley 1 Batley colours.svg Batley (1)
Bradford 8 Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls (6), Bradford F.C. (1), Manningham (1)
Dewsbury 1 Ramscolours.svg Dewsbury (1)
Featherstone 1 Fevcolours.svg Featherstone Rovers (1)
Halifax 4 Faxcolours.svg Halifax (4)
Huddersfield 7 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield (7)
Hull 11 Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C. (6), HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers (5)
Leeds 12 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds (10), Hunsletcolours.svg Hunslet (2)
Leigh 2 Leigh colours.svg Leigh (2)
Salford 13 Redscolours.svg Salford (6), Swintoncolours.svg Swinton (6), Broughton Rangers (1)
St. Helens 13 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens (13)
Wakefield 2 Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity (2)
Warrington 3 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington (3)
Widnes 3 Widnes colours.svg Widnes (3)
Wigan 21 Wigancolours.svg Wigan (21)
Workington 1 Workingtoncolours.svg Workington Town (1)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Salford Red Devils: Official Club Website". Salford Red Devils. Retrieved 13 June 2012.