The BBC 2 Floodlit Trophy (also known as the BBC 2 Television Trophy) was a competition for British rugby league clubs held between 1965 and 1980. It was designed specifically for television, and the then director of BBC2, broadcaster David Attenborough, was instrumental in its creation. When the competition was first mooted not many clubs were equipped with floodlights, but the tournament caused no fewer than twenty-one clubs to install them.
The tournament was not Rugby League's first foray into evening television; the 1955–56 season saw a tournament titled the Independent Television Floodlit Trophy. Eight clubs participated in a series of games played at football grounds in the London area, with Warrington eventually running out 43-18 victors over Leigh.
The tournament was played during the early part of the season. Each week one match would be played under floodlights on a Tuesday evening; the second half of this match that would be broadcast live on BBC2. Non-televised matches were played at various times, depending on clubs' commitments in more prestigious tournaments. Despite the title many matches did not take place under floodlights; clubs such as Barrow and Bramley (for example) did not possess adequate lighting.
The first season, 1965–66, eight clubs - Castleford, Leeds, Leigh, Oldham, St. Helens, Swinton, Warrington and Widnes took part.Seven of the eight teams had floodlights and Leeds installed theirs the following season.
The four-tackles-then-a-scrum rulewas first introduced in the competition's second season, in October 1966, before being implemented in all competitions by December.
Castleford won the trophy in the first season, 1965–66 and won the trophy the most times, on three more occasions 1966–67, 1967–68 and 1976–77.
Despite disagreements over shirt sponsorship in the early 1970s, Rugby League remained a mainstay of BBC Television during the 1970s, and 1980s, although the commitment to the Floodlit Trophy decreased before financial cutbacks at the BBC lead to its cancellation after the 1979-80 competition.In the last final, Hull F.C. beat local rivals Hull Kingston Rovers.
|1965||1965–66 season||Castleford||4–0||St. Helens||Knowsley Road, St. Helens||Tuesday, 14 December 1965|
|1966||1966–67 season||Castleford||7–2||Swinton||Wheldon Road, Castleford||Tuesday, 20 December 1966|
|1967||1967–68 season||Castleford||8–5||Leigh||Headingley, Leeds||Saturday, 16 January 1968|
|1968||1968–69 season||Wigan||7–4||St. Helens||Central Park, Wigan||Tuesday, 17 December 1968|
|1969||1969–70 season||Leigh||11–6||Wigan||Central Park, Wigan||Tuesday, 16 December 1969|
|1970||1970–71 season||Leeds||9–5||St. Helens||Headingley, Leeds||Tuesday, 15 December 1970|
|1971||1971–72 season||St. Helens||8–2||Rochdale Hornets||Knowsley Road, St. Helens||Tuesday, 14 December 1971|
|1972||1972–73 season||Leigh||5–0||Widnes||Central Park, Wigan||Tuesday, 19 December 1972|
|1973||1973–74 season||Bramley||15–7||Widnes||Naughton Park, Widnes||Tuesday, 18 December 1973|
|1974||1974–75 season||Salford||0–0||Warrington||The Willows, Salford||Tuesday, 17 December 1974|
|(replay)||Salford||10–5||Warrington||Wilderspool, Warrington||Tuesday, 28 January 1975|
|1975||1975–76 season||St. Helens||22–2||Dewsbury||Knowsley Road, St. Helens||Tuesday, 16 December 1975|
|1976||1976–77 season||Castleford||12–4||Leigh||Hilton Park, Leigh||Tuesday, 14 December 1976|
|1977||1977–78 season||Hull Kingston Rovers||26–11||St. Helens||Craven Park, Hull||Tuesday, 13 December 1977|
|1978||1978–79 season||Widnes||13–7||St. Helens||Knowsley Road, St. Helens||Tuesday, 12 December 1978|
|1979||1979–80 season||Hull F.C.||13–3||Hull Kingston Rovers||The Boulevard, Hull||Tuesday, 18 December 1979|
The Warrington Wolves are a professional rugby league club in Warrington, England, that competes in the Super League. They play rugby at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, having moved there from Wilderspool in 2004.
Alexander James Murphy OBE is an English former professional rugby league footballer, and coach of the mid to late 20th century. Known as 'Murphy the Mouth' and regarded as one of the greatest halfbacks in the history of the British game, he represented Great Britain in 27 Tests and his club career was played at three clubs, St. Helens, Leigh and Warrington. Murphy assumed a player-coach role of the last two clubs and expanded his coaching role toward the end of his playing career to include clubs such as Wigan, Salford and Huddersfield. He later returned to both Warrington and Leigh respectively as a football manager. He was the first player to captain three different clubs to victory in the Challenge Cup Final.
Kevin Ashcroft is a former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1960s and 1970s, and coached in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. He played at representative level for Great Britain and Lancashire, and at club level for the Rochdale Hornets, Dewsbury, Leigh, Warrington and Salford, as a hooker, i.e. number 9, during the era of contested scrums, and coached at club level for Leigh and Salford. Ashcroft is a Warrington Hall of Fame inductee.
The 1967–68 Rugby Football League season was the 73rd season of rugby league football.
The 1976–77 Northern Rugby Football League season was the 82nd season of rugby league football. Sixteen English clubs competed for the Championship, with Featherstone Rovers claiming the title.
The Independent Television Floodlit Trophy or the Independent Television Floodlit Competition was a rugby league competition initiated and sponsored by ITV.
1965 was the inaugural season of the BBC2 Floodlit Trophy competition. Castleford won the trophy by beating St. Helens with the score of 4-0. The match was played at Knowsley Road, Eccleston, St Helens, Merseyside. The attendance was 11,510 and receipts were £3,548. This was to be the first of Castleford's three victories in successive seasons in the first three Floodlit competitions.
1966 BBC2 Floodlit Trophy
1967 was the third occasion on which the BBC2 Floodlit Trophy competition had been held.
1968 was the fourth occasion on which the BBC2 Floodlit Trophy competition had been held.
This year was a new name on the trophy after Castleford's three year winning streak came to an end.
Wigan won the trophy by beating St. Helens by the score of 7-4
The match was played at Central Park, Wigan,. The attendance was 13,479 and receipts were £3,291
This was to be Wigan's only success in the competition.
1969 was the fifth occasion on which the BBC2 Floodlit Trophy competition had been held.
This year was another new name on the trophy after the 1969 runner-up defeated the reigning cup-holders
Leigh won the trophy by beating Wigan by the score of 11-6
The match was played at Central Park, Wigan,. The attendance was 12,312 and receipts were £2,854
This was to be Wigan's last appearance in the final of the competition.
1970 BBC2 Floodlit Trophy
1971 was the seventh occasion on which the BBC2 Floodlit Trophy competition had been held.
This year was another new name on the trophy
St. Helens won the trophy by beating Rochdale Hornets by the score of 8-2
The match was played at Knowsley Road, Eccleston, St Helens, Merseyside. The attendance was 9,255 and receipts were £2,493
This was St. Helens first victory after being runner-up in three of the previous six finals
1972 was the eighth occasion on which the BBC2 Floodlit Trophy competition had been held.
This year was another new name on the trophy
Leigh won the trophy by beating Widnes by the score of 5-0
The match was played at Central Park, Wigan,. The attendance was 4,691 and receipts were £1,391
This was Leigh's first victory after being runner-up in two of the previous finals
1973 BBC2 Floodlit Trophy was the ninth occasion on which the BBC2 Floodlit Trophy competition had been held.
1974 was the tenth occasion on which the BBC2 Floodlit Trophy competition had been held. A new name was put on the trophy when Salford won by beating Warrington by the score of 10-5 in a replay. The final was played at The Willows, Salford,. The attendance was 4,473, receipts were £1913 and the score 0-0. The replay was at Wilderspool. The attendance was 5,778, receipts were £2434 and the score 10-5. This was the first floodlit final to require a replay after a drawn first match.
1975 was the eleventh occasion on which the BBC2 Floodlit Trophy competition had been held.
1976 was the twelfth occasion on which the BBC2 Floodlit Trophy competition had been held.
The 1977 BBC2 Floodlit Trophy was the thirteenth occasion on which the BBC2 Floodlit Trophy competition had been held. This year there was another new name added when Hull Kingston Rovers won the trophy by beating St. Helens in the final by the score of 26-11. The match was played at Craven Park (1), in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire. The attendance was 10,099, and the receipts were £6,586.
1979 was the fifteenth occasion on which the BBC2 Floodlit Trophy competition had been held.
This year, for the last time, a new name appeared on the trophy when Hull F.C. won the trophy by beating Hull Kingston Rovers by the score of 13-3
The match was played at Boulevard, in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire. The attendance was 18,500, and the receipts were £16,605
The attendance was a record for a BBC2 Floodlit Trophy, never to be beaten