Station Road, Swinton

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Station Road
GB v AUS 09-11-1963 at Station Road 1.jpg
Australia perform their "war cry" before the 2nd Test, 9 November 1963
Full nameStation Road
LocationStation Road, Pendlebury
Coordinates53°30′54″N 2°20′04″W / 53.51504°N 2.3344°W / 53.51504; -2.3344Coordinates: 53°30′54″N 2°20′04″W / 53.51504°N 2.3344°W / 53.51504; -2.3344
OwnerSwinton RLFC (1929–1992)
Record attendance44,621 - Warrington v Wigan, Challenge Cup Semi Final, 7 April 1951
Broke ground1929

Station Road was a stadium in Pendlebury, near Manchester, England. 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 (the others being 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.

International venue[edit]

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 County 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 by 50-12 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.

1960 Rugby League World Cup

1 October 1960
Great Britain  33–7  France
Station Road, Swinton
Attendance: 22,923
Referee: Edouard Martung France

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.

1970 Rugby League World Cup

31 October 1970
Great Britain  27–17  New Zealand
Station Road, Swinton
Attendance: 5,609

Britain eliminated New Zealand from the tournament, cruising to victory with five tries to three.[1]

List of Great Britain matches played at Station Road

Date Result Competition Attendance
6 November 1948  Great Britain 16–7  Australia 1948 Ashes series 36,354
10 November 1951  Great Britain 20-19  New Zealand 1951 Great Britain vs New Zealand Test series 29,938
8 November 1952  Great Britain 21–5  Australia 1952 Ashes series 32,421
8 October 1955  Great Britain 25–6  New Zealand 1955 Great Britain vs New Zealand Test series 21,937
15 December 1956  Great Britain 19–0  Australia 1956 Ashes series 17,542
17 October 1959  Great Britain 14–22  Australia 1959 Ashes series 35,224
4 November 1961  Great Britain 35–19  New Zealand 1961 Great Britain vs New Zealand Test series 22,536
9 November 1963  Great Britain 12–50  Australia 1963 Ashes series 30,843
23 January 1965  Great Britain 17–7  France 1965 Great Britain vs France Test 9,959
25 September 1965  Great Britain 9–2  New Zealand 1965 Great Britain vs New Zealand Test series 8,497
9 December 1967  Great Britain 3–11  Australia 1967 Ashes series 13,615

Also seven England internationals were played at Station Road

Date Result Competition Attendance
4 January 1930  England 0–0  Australia 1929–30 Ashes series 35,000
7 October 1933  England 4–0  Australia 1933 Ashes series 34,000
16 December 1933  England 19–16  Australia 1933 Ashes series 10,990
13 November 1937  England 13–3  Australia 1937 Ashes series 31,724
8 November 1947  England 7–10  New Zealand 1947 Great Britain vs New Zealand Test series 29,031
23 February 1946  England 16–6  France 1945–46 European Championship 20,500
12 October 1946  England 10–13  Wales 1946–47 European Championship 20,213

Station Road also saw Swinton playing various Australian international touring sides.

Game Date Result Attendance Notes
1 30 November 1929 Swintoncolours.svg Swinton def Australian colours.svg Australasia 9–5 9,000 1929–30 Kangaroo Tour
2 4 November 1933 Swintoncolours.svg Swinton def Australian colours.svg Australia 10–4 13,341 1933–34 Kangaroo Tour
3 24 November 1937 Swintoncolours.svg Swinton def Australian colours.svg Australia 5–3 4,113 1937–38 Kangaroo Tour
4 17 November 1948 Australian colours.svg Australia def Swintoncolours.svg Swinton 21–0 5,849 1948–49 Kangaroo Tour
5 18 October 1952 Australian colours.svg Australia def Swintoncolours.svg Swinton 31–8 10,269 1952–53 Kangaroo Tour
6 25 November 1959 Australian colours.svg Australia def Swintoncolours.svg Swinton 25–24 5,021 1959–60 Kangaroo Tour
7 23 November 1963 Swintoncolours.svg Swinton drew with Australian colours.svg Australia 2–2 11,947 1963–64 Kangaroo Tour
8 25 November 1967 Australian colours.svg Australia def Swintoncolours.svg Swinton 12–9 5,640 1967–68 Kangaroo Tour

Vandalism and closure[edit]

Fire damaged the disused Main Stand including offices and function rooms in July 1992, 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 versus Salford on 20 April 1992 with 3,487 witnessing Salford winning 26-18 and Ian Pickavance of Swinton scoring the last try.[2] The site is now a housing estate.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ AAP; Reuter (2 November 1970). "Britain has easy Cup win". The Age. p. 18. Retrieved 6 October 2009.
  2. ^ "Salford v Swinton has it all". Oldham Advertiser. 16 January 2003.