Bradford Bulls

Last updated

Bradford Bulls
Club information
Full nameBradford Bulls Rugby League Football Club
Nickname(s)The Bulls
Steam Pigs [1]
Short nameBradford Bulls
Colours Bullscolours.svg Red, amber, black, and white
Founded1907;114 years ago (1907)
Current details
Coach John Kear
Captain Steve Crossley
Competition Championship
2020 season n/a (season cancelled)
Rugby football current event.png Current season
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body vredgoldblack.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks hoops red gold.png
Kit socks long.svg
Home colours
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body yellow red V.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks whitestripe.png
Kit socks long.svg
Away colours
Championships 6 (1980, 1981, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2005)
Challenge Cups 5 (1944, 1947, 1949, 2000, 2003)
World Club Challenges 3 (2002, 2004, 2006)

The Bradford Bulls are a professional rugby league club in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England, currently playing in the Championship. [3] They have won the Challenge Cup five times, the league championship six times and the World Club Challenge three times. Having vacated Odsal Stadium, Bradford intend to play their home games next year at Tetley's Stadium. The team jersey is predominantly white with red, amber and black chevrons.


In 1907, founder member of the Rugby Football League (RFL) Bradford F.C. switched codes to association football, and Bradford Northern (later Bradford Bulls) was formed by members who wished to continue rugby. Bradford Northern were renamed Bradford Bulls in 1996, at the start of Super League. Bradford's main rivalry was with Leeds; they also had rivalries with Halifax and Huddersfield.

The club entered administration in 2012, [4] and again in 2014 and 2016. [5] [6] Several bids were made to take over the club but none were accepted by the administrators, and so on 3 January 2017 the club went into liquidation. [7] Immediately the RFL announced the criteria and invited bids to form a "new club", [8] which ultimately acted as an immediate resurrection of the Bulls which retained the history, club colours, badge, home stadium and several players from the 2016 squad. Due to the administration and liquidation, the club started the 2017 season with a 12-point deduction. With a few games left of the 2017 season, Bradford's relegation fears were confirmed and in 2018 they played in League One earning promotion back to the Championship after beating Workington Town on 7 October 2018. [9]


1863–1907: Bradford F.C.

The original Bradford Football Club was formed in 1863 and played rugby football, subsequently joining the Rugby Football Union. Initially the club played at Horton Cricket Ground, All Saints Road but were asked to leave because of damage to the pitch. They then moved to Laisteridge Lane and later North Park Road in Manningham. A nomadic existence continued as they then went on to Peel Park, then Girlington and Apperley Bridge.

Bradford Football Club and Bradford Cricket Club bought Park Avenue in 1879 and this resulted in the club becoming "Bradford Cricket, Athletic and Football Club". The club's headquarters were at the Talbot Darley Street, and later The Alexandra, Great Horton Road. The club achieved its first major success by winning the Yorkshire Cup in 1884.

After the 1890-91 season, Bradford along with other Yorkshire Senior clubs Batley, Brighouse, Dewsbury, Halifax, Huddersfield, Hull, Hunslet, Leeds, Liversedge, Manningham and Wakefield decided that they wanted their own county league starting in 1891 along the lines of a similar competition that had been played in Lancashire. The clubs wanted full control of the league but the Yorkshire Rugby Football Union would not sanction the competition as it meant giving up control of rugby football to the senior clubs.

In 1895, along with cross-town neighbours Manningham F.C., Bradford was among 22 clubs to secede from the Rugby Football Union after the historic meeting at the George Hotel in Huddersfield in response to a dispute over "broken time" payments to players who were thus part-time professionals. These 22 clubs formed the Northern Rugby Football Union (which eventually became the Rugby Football League) and rugby league football was born.

Bradford enjoyed some success in the new competition. In the 1903–04 Northern Rugby Football Union season, the team finished level on points with Salford at the top of the league and then won the resulting play-off 5–0. In 1905–06, Bradford beat Salford 5–0 to win the Challenge Cup and were runners-up in the Championship. In 1906–07, Bradford won the Yorkshire County Cup 8–5 against Hull Kingston Rovers.

During this time Manningham F.C. had run into financial difficulties and, despite a summer archery contest that generated enough money to ensure their survival, its members were persuaded to swap codes and play association football instead. Manningham was invited to join the Football League in 1903, in an attempt to promote football in a rugby-dominated region, and the newly renamed Bradford City A.F.C. was voted into full membership of the Second Division without having played a game of football, having a complete team or even being able to guarantee a ground. The creation of Bradford City led to demands for association football at Park Avenue too. The ground had already hosted some football matches including one in the 1880s between Blackburn Rovers and Blackburn Olympic F.C.. In 1895, a Bradford side had beaten a team from Moss Side, Manchester, by 4–1 in front of 3,000 spectators. Following the change at Bradford City, a meeting was called of the Bradford FC members on 15 April 1907 to decide the rugby club's future. An initial vote appeared to favour continuing in rugby league, but then opinion shifted towards rugby union and the chairman, Mr Briggs, used his influence to swing the committee behind the proposed move to association football. This act, sometimes referred to as "The Great Betrayal", led to Bradford FC becoming the Bradford Park Avenue Association Football Club. The minority faction decided to split and form a new club to continue playing in the Northern Union, appropriately called "Bradford Northern", which applied for and was granted Bradford FC's place in the 1907–08 Northern Rugby Football Union season. Bradford Northern's first home ground was the Greenfield Athletic Ground in Dudley Hill, to the south of the city. They based themselves at the Greenfield Hotel.

1907–1963: Bradford Northern

Northern moved to Birch Lane in 1908. Bradford council offered the club a site for a new stadium between Rooley Lane and Mayo Avenue in 1927. However the NRFU said the site was too small and the club kept on looking. Before moving to Odsal, Bradford Northern had had two other homes at Greenfield Athletic Ground in Dudley Hill and at Birch Lane which was part of the Bowling Old Lane cricket ground, although at times they also had to hire Valley Parade as the capacity at Birch Lane was insufficient for large matches.

On 20 June 1933 Bradford Northern signed a ten-year lease with Bradford council for a former quarry being used as a waste dump at Odsal Top. It was turned into the biggest stadium outside Wembley. The Bradford Northern team played its first match there on 1 September 1934.

Success came to Bradford in the 1940s with a number of cup wins: the Yorkshire cup in 1940–41, 1942–43, 1944–45, 1945–46, 1948–49 and 1949–50; and the Challenge Cup 1943–44, 1946–47 and 1948–49. In the Championship Bradford found it difficult to win either before the war or after despite being runners up in 1942–43 and 1947–48. On Saturday 3 November 1945, Bradford Northern met Wakefield Trinity in the final of the Yorkshire Cup held at Thrum Hall, Halifax. Wakefield began the match as favourites, they had lost only one of thirteen matches thus far in the season. However, Bradford won 5–2 Frank Whitcombe scoring the try converted by George Carmichael and lifted the Yorkshire Cup for the fourth time in six seasons.

Bradford defeated Leeds 8–4 to win the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley in 1947. The 1947–48 Challenge Cup final was notable as it was the first rugby league match to be attended by the reigning monarch, King George VI, who presented the trophy. It was also the first televised rugby league match as it was broadcast to the Midlands. Bradford lost 8–3 to Wigan and Frank Whitcombe became the first player to win the Lance Todd trophy on the losing side. The 1949 Challenge Cup final was sold out for first time as 95,050 spectators saw Bradford beat Halifax. In 1951–52 Bradford were runners up in the league but beat New Zealand at Odsal in the first floodlit football match of any code in the North of England.

In 1953, a crowd of 69,429 watched Bradford play Huddersfield in the Challenge Cup's third round. This was Bradford's highest ever attendance. They also won the Yorkshire Cup final 7–2 against Hull. Bradford and Leigh were the first rugby league clubs to stage matches on a Sunday in December 1954, although there was opposition from the Sunday Observance lobby.

Bradford's support declined rapidly in the 1963 season, attracting a record low crowd of 324 against Barrow. The club went out of business on 10 December 1963, having played just 13 matches; winning 1 and losing 12, scoring 109 points and conceding 284, the results were declared null and void, and expunged from the 1963–64 season's records.

1964–1995: Third club

A meeting on 14 April 1964 saw 1,500 people turn out to discuss the formation of a new club, and those present promised a £1000 to help get plans for the new organisation underway. Amongst those who led proceedings were former players Joe Phillips and Trevor Foster. On 20 July 1964, Bradford Northern (1964) Ltd came into existence. The club's new side had been built for around £15,000 and had Jack Wilkinson as coach. On 22 August 1964, Hull Kingston Rovers provided the opposition in the reformed club's first match and 14,500 spectators turned out to show their support, as Odsal hosted its first 10,000 plus gate for a Bradford Northern match since 1957.

The reformed club won its first cup in 1965–66 by beating Hunslet 17–8 in the final of the Yorkshire County Cup. In 1972–73 Bradford lost the Challenge Cup final against Featherstone Rovers 33–14. In 1973–74 Bradford won the Second Division Championship and were promoted back to the First Division. During this season Keith Mumby made his début, becoming the Bradford's youngest player at only 16 years of age, kicking 12 goals and scoring a try in the match against Doncaster. He went on to make a record 576 appearances for the club. In 1974–75 Bradford won the Regal Trophy 3–2 against Widnes.

Peter Fox joined Bradford as coach for the first time in 1977–78. Bradford won the Premiership final 17–8 against Widnes and were also Championship runners-up.

In 1978–79 Bradford appeared in another Premiership final this time losing 24–2 to Leeds. A year later Bradford won the Championship and Regal Trophy, Peter Fox winning the award for Coach of the Year. In 1980–81 the club made it back-to-back championships. In 1981–82, Bradford lost the Yorkshire Cup final 10–5 against Castleford and lost again in 1982–83, this time 18–7 against Hull F.C. Keith Mumby won the award for First Division Player of the Year while Brian Noble won the Young Player award.

In 1985, Ellery Hanley left Northern to join Wigan for a then record transfer deal, worth £80,000 and a player exchange involving Steve Donlan and Phil Ford. By November 1987, Bradford had cash-flow problems and the local council refused to help financially, but appointed a special committee to administer the clubs' finances. In December 1987, desperate for cash, Bradford transfer-listed 22 players for a total of £210,000 plus Phil Ford for £120,000.

In 1987–88 Bradford won the Yorkshire Cup final replay against Castleford 11–2 after drawing 12–12. Ron Willey coached Bradford Northern for a short stint in 1989–90 and led them to the Premiership final and success in the Yorkshire Cup final when they beat Featherstone Rovers 20–14.

David Hobbs became coach at Northern in 1990 until he left for Wakefield Trinity in 1994. Bradford lost the Regal Trophy against Warrington 12–2 in 1990–91. Peter Fox returned to Bradford for a second spell as coach in 1991, and in 1993–94, Bradford finished as runners-up behind Wigan on points difference. Fox left the club in 1995.

1996–2011: Golden era

In 1996, the first tier of English rugby league clubs changed from a winter to a summer season and played the inaugural Super League season. [10] Bradford dropped the 'Northern' name to become Bradford Bulls. Matthew Elliot took over as head coach in 1996. The Bulls won the Super League title in his first season.

Elliot coached the Bradford Bulls to the 1999 Super League Grand Final which was lost to St Helens.

Brian Noble was appointed Bradford head coach in November 2000. [11] Noble took the Bradford Bulls to the 2001 Super League Grand Final in which they defeated the Wigan Warriors. As Super League VI champions, the Bulls played against 2001 NRL Premiers, the Newcastle Knights in the 2002 World Club Challenge. Noble oversaw Bradford's victory. He took the Bulls to the 2002 Super League Grand Final which was lost to St. Helens.

On 20 April 2006, Steve McNamara was promoted to head coach of Bradford [12] following Brian Noble's departure to Wigan. At the time he was the youngest coach in Britain. In his first season in charge, he guided Bradford to the Super League play-offs before the club were knocked out in the grand final eliminator by Hull

Following an eighth consecutive defeat, the Bulls' worst run in Super League, McNamara's contract was mutually terminated on 13 July 2010. Lee St Hilaire was coach for the rest of the 2010 season.

Mick Potter became coach in 2011. Despite the club being placed in receivership in 2012, the team was on the verge of making the semi-finals of Super League as Potter remained as unpaid coach.

2012–2017: Administrations, relegation and liquidation

In March 2012 the club announced that it was in financial difficulties and needed £1 million to keep the club afloat. [13] A public appeal saw a lot of new funds pour in from supporters, [13] but following the issue of a winding up petition from HMRC for unpaid taxes the holding company for the club was forced to go into administration on 26 June 2012. [14] The Rugby Football League announced that had the company been wound up then the team would be allowed to complete their fixtures for the 2012 Super League season under the possible ownership of a supporters trust. [15] On 2 July 2012, the club's administrator, Brendan Guilfoyle, made sixteen members of staff, including the coach Mick Potter and chief executive Ryan Duckett, redundant, but announced that the club would attempt to fulfill its fixtures. [16] Mick Potter continued as an unpaid coach until the end of the season. On 31 August 2012 a bid for the club from a local consortium, headed by Bradford businessman Omar Khan, was accepted by the administrator [17] and was ratified by the RFL in early September. [18] Days later the RFL also granted the new owners a one-year probationary licence enabling the club to compete in Super League XVIII in 2013. [19]

Francis Cummins was appointed as head coach of the Bulls in September 2012. [20] During the 2012/13 season the Bulls appointed Dr Allan Johnston to the backroom staff to support the players wellbeing and performance. This appointment was thought to be the first of its kind in Rugby League. [21] In late December 2013 it was announced that chairman Mark Moore and directors Ian Watt and Andrew Calvert had resigned. [22]

In 2014, relegation was reintroduced to the Super League with two teams being relegated. Bradford were deducted 6 points for entering administration early on in the season and the Bulls were relegated from the top division of rugby league in Britain for the first time in 40 years. Francis Cummins was sacked around the time of relegation and replaced by James Lowes and won most of their remaining games.

Bradford began their first Championship campaign in 40 years against Leigh away where they narrowly lost the game. By the end of the regular season they entered the Super 8s finishing second. In the Qualifiers Bradford failed to make the top three for automatic entry to Super League for 2016, finishing 5th which meant a trip to Wakefield to play them in the first ever Million Pound Game. Bradford would lose 24–16, condemning them to a second year in the Championship.

In preparation for the 2016 season, Bradford completed the signings of several experienced players, such as Centre Kris Welham from Super League side Hull Kingston Rovers, as well as Oscar Thomas, Mitch Clark, Johnny Campbell, Jonathan Walker and Kurt Haggerty from London Broncos, Doncaster, Batley and Leigh. Bradford started the season strongly, with a win over fellow promotion hopefuls Featherstone Rovers by 22–12. Omari Caro scored a hat-trick in this match. This was followed up by away wins at Whitehaven and Swinton. Bradford's season was ultimately disappointing with failure to reach the Qualifiers, [23] this meant Bradford would miss out on a chance of promotion

On 14 November 2016, Bradford Bulls were placed in administration for the third time since 2012. [24] On 16 November, the Rugby Football League (RFL) cancelled Bradford's membership, making their future uncertain. In the ensuing weeks several bids to buy the club were made but despite one bid being acceptable to the RFL, none were accepted by the administrator and the club went into liquidation on 3 January 2017. [7]

Following liquidation the RFL issued a statement saying:

While a number of alternatives were considered the Board was most mindful of the planning already undertaken by all other clubs in the competition structure, the season tickets already purchased and the players and staff who will now be seeking employment in and around the sport in 2017. Accordingly the Board has agreed that the wider interests of the sport is best satisfied if it offers a place in the Kingstone Press Championship to any new club in Bradford and that such a club start the 2017 season on minus 12 points. The RFL believes that Rugby League needs Bradford and that Bradford deserves a strong and stable professional club and will work with all interested parties to deliver that outcome. [25]

2017–2019: Fourth club

After the Bulls went into liquidation in January 2017 the Rugby Football League invited bids to form a new club based in Bradford who would be allowed to take the place of the Bulls in the 2017 Championship but started with a 12-point penalty deduction.

The RFL issued a set of criteria for anyone wishing to bid for the new club and there were 12 expressions of interest of which four were converted into bids submitted to the RFL. [26] On 13 January the RFL announced that a consortium to run the new club had been selected an notified of the decision. [27] The new owner was publicly announced on 17 January as Andrew Chalmers, the former chairman of the New Zealand Rugby League. Also involved is former player and coach, Graham Lowe. [28]

The parent company of the club is registered as Bradford Bulls 2017 Limited at Companies House, and the team continue to be known as Bradford Bulls, also retaining the club colours, stadium and several players from the 2016 squad. On 20 January 2017 Geoff Toovey was named as coach and Leon Pryce as captain. [29] However, a delay in processing his paperwork left Toovey unable to fulfil his role and led to Leigh Beattie being appointed as interim coach. [30]

Before the start of the 2018 season, the Bulls appointed the highly experienced John Kear as coach, and under his guidance, gained promotion to the Championship. [31]

2020-present: Move to Dewsbury

In August 2019, Bulls chairman Andrew Chalmers announced that the club could no longer afford to play at Odsal and were to relocate to Dewsbury for two years after the preferred alternatives, Valley Parade and Horsfall Stadium were deemed too expensive.

On 1 September 2019, Bradford Bulls played the last game at Odsal stadium and bid farewell to the 85 years old home ground for the team. [32]


1934-2019: Odsal

Odsal main stand.jpg

Odsal Stadium had been the home ground of Bradford Northern/Bulls since 1934. Odsal had also hosted many other sports, including association football, speedway, stock car racing, basketball, featuring the Harlem Globetrotters, wrestling, show jumping and kabaddi. The stadium's largest attendances was 102,569, when Halifax played Warrington on 5 May 1954 in the Challenge Cup Final replay.

From 9 November 2012, the Bulls sold the naming rights again to local business Provident Financial, and the stadium was renamed the Provident Stadium. The deal with Provident was ended in February 2018. [33]

On 15 August 2019 Bradford Bulls chairman Andrew Chalmers officially announced that they would “temporarily” be moving grounds to Dewsbury's Crown Flatt for the 2020 season as Odsal Stadium was a financial struggle at £450,000 rent per year.

Bradford's last home game was held on 1 September 2019 where they defeated their play off rivals Sheffield Eagles 30-10 in an emotional goodbye.

2020-present: Crown Flatt

The Bulls signed a one year deal to play their home games at Dewsbury's Crown Flatt stadium after they left Odsal.

Crest and colours


Up until the Super League era the club was known as Bradford Northern and used a stylised boar's head similar to the one atop the Bradford city coat of arms. When the club was rebranded Bradford Bulls the crest was changed to a similar design to that of the Chicago Bulls.


Bradford's traditional playing colours are a red, amber and black hoop, on a white background. Bradford's home strips are predominantly white with a red, amber and black hoop or "V". Away strips have had many designs and colours, but integrate the traditional red, amber and black into the design.

Kit sponsors and manufacturers

YearKit ManufacturerMain Shirt Sponsor
1980–1986 Umbro SGS Glazing
1986–1987 Wang Computers
1987–1992Samuel Websters
1992–1995Ellgreen Vaux Breweries
1996–1997 Mitre Compaq
1998 Asics
1999 Asics
2000Joe Bloggs Clothing
2001 Skylark
2002 JCT600
2004–2006 ISC
2007–2012 KooGa
2013–2016 ISC Provident Financial
2017 Utilita Energy
2019 Kappa Lowe
2021- Steeden


Bradford's main rivals are Leeds Rhinos who they have played in multiple finals, especially during the early years of Super League as well as St Helens whom they faced in two successive Challenge cup finals during the golden era. They also have a lesser local rivalry with Keighley Cougars although this was considered a one-way rivalry and competitive fixtures were rare as they played in different divisions. They also have other local rivalries with Halifax and Huddersfield Giants.

2021 squad

Bradford Bulls 2021 Squad
First team squadCoaching staff

Head coach

Assistant coach

  • (c) Captain(s)
  • (vc) Vice captain(s)

Updated: 12 February 2021
Source(s): 2021 Squad Numbers

2021 transfers


PlayerClubContract lengthDate
Danny Brough Wakefield Trinity 2 YearsJuly 2020
Aaron Murphy Huddersfield Giants 2 YearsAugust 2020
Brad England Doncaster RLFC 1 YearSeptember 2020
Reece Hamlett Warrington Wolves 1 YearNovember 2020
Elliot Wallis Hull Kingston Rovers Season LoanNovember 2020
Dan Fleming Halifax RLFC 1 YearNovember 2020
Brad Calland Widnes Vikings 1 Month TrialMarch 2021
Jack Sanderson Castleford Tigers 1 YearMarch 2021
Anthony Walker Unattached 1 YearMarch 2021
Ben Evans Toulouse Olympique 2 YearsMarch 2021
Elliot Kear Salford Red Devils 2 YearsMay 2021


PlayerClubContract lengthDate
Cobi Green Swinton Lions 1 YearJuly 2020
Jacob Smillie Swinton Lions 1 YearAugust 2020
Connor Farrell Retirement N/ASeptember 2020
Daniel Waite-Pullan ReleasedN/ASeptember 2020
Vytas Vaznys ReleasedN/ASeptember 2020
Evan Hodgson Newcastle Thunder 1 YearSeptember 2020
Keelan Foster ReleasedN/ASeptember 2020
Greg Johnson ReleasedN/ASeptember 2020
Liam Kirk Oldham RLFC 1 YearOctober 2020
Sam Barlow ReleasedN/AOctober 2020
Danny Maskill ReleasedN/AOctober 2020


Notable former players

Harry Sunderland Trophy winners

The Harry Sunderland Trophy is awarded to the Man-of-the-Match in the Super League Grand Final by the Rugby League Writers' Association.

1977-78 Flag of England.svg Bob Haigh
1999 Flag of New Zealand.svg Henry Paul
2001 Flag of England.svg Michael Withers
2002 Flag of England.svg Paul Deacon
2003 Flag of England.svg Stuart Reardon
2005 Flag of England.svg Leon Pryce

Lance Todd Trophy winners

The Lance Todd Trophy is awarded to the Man-of-the-Match in the Challenge Cup Final. Introduced in 1946, the trophy was named in memory of Lance Todd, the New Zealand-born player and administrator, who was killed in a road accident during the Second World War.

1947 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Willie Davis Stand-off
1948 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Frank Whitcombe Prop
1949 Flag of England.svg Ernest Ward Fullback
1996 Flag of New Zealand.svg Robbie Paul Fullback
2000 Flag of New Zealand.svg Henry Paul Stand-off

Steve Prescott Man of Steel winners

The Steve Prescott Man of Steel Award is an annual honour, awarded by the Super League to the most outstanding player in the British game for that year.

1985 Flag of England.svg Ellery Hanley Loose forward
1997 Flag of England.svg James Lowes Hooker
1998 Flag of England.svg Jamie Peacock Second row

Treble winning team

This list contains the players who played in the Challenge Cup, Grand Final.

Flag of New Zealand.svg 1 Robbie Paul
Flag of Tonga.svg 2 Tevita Vaikona
Flag of England.svg 3 Leon Pryce
Flag of New Zealand.svg 4 Shontayne Hape
Flag of Tonga.svg 5 Lesley Vainikolo
Flag of Australia (converted).svg 6 Michael Withers
Flag of England.svg 7 Paul Deacon
Flag of New Zealand.svg 8 Joe Vagana
Flag of England.svg 9 James Lowes
Flag of England.svg 10 Paul Anderson
Flag of Australia (converted).svg 11 Daniel Gartner
Flag of England.svg 12 Jamie Peacock
Flag of England.svg 13 Mike Forshaw
Flag of England.svg 14 Lee Gilmour
Flag of England.svg 15 Karl Pratt
Flag of Australia (converted).svg 16 Alex Wilkinson
Flag of England.svg 17 Stuart Reardon
Flag of England.svg 18 Lee Radford
Flag of England.svg 19 Jamie Langley
Flag of England.svg 20 Scott Naylor
Flag of England.svg 22 Karl Pryce
Flag of England.svg 26 Chris Bridge
Flag of England.svg 27 Rob Parker
Flag of England.svg 29 Stuart Fielden
Flag of England.svg 30 Richard Moore


From 1996 -


Past coaches

Also see Category:Bradford Bulls coaches


League history

Super League era

SeasonLeague Play-offs Challenge Cup Other competitionsNameTriesNamePoints
DivisionPWDLFAPtsPosTop try scorerTop point scorer
1996 Super League 221705767409343rd RU Flag of New Zealand.svg Robbie Paul 23 Flag of England.svg Steve McNamara 170
1997 Super League 222002769397401st RU Flag of England.svg James Lowes 17 Flag of England.svg Steve McNamara 299
1998 Super League 2312011498450245thLost in Elimination PlayoffsR5 Flag of Tonga.svg Tevita Vaikona 13 Flag of England.svg Steve McNamara 170
1999 Super League 302514897445511stLost in Grand Final SF Flag of Australia (converted).svg Michael Withers 21 Flag of England.svg Steve McNamara 221
2000 Super League 2820351004408433rdLost in Preliminary Final W Flag of New Zealand.svg Robbie Paul 19 Flag of New Zealand.svg Henry Paul 404
2001 Super League 2822151120474451st Won in Grand Final RU Flag of Australia (converted).svg Michael Withers 31 Flag of New Zealand.svg Henry Paul 457
2002 Super League 282305910519461stLost in Grand Final R4 World Club Challenge W Flag of Australia (converted).svg Michael Withers 20 Flag of England.svg Paul Deacon 336
2003 Super League 282206878529441st Won in Grand Final W Flag of New Zealand.svg Lesley Vainikolo 26 Flag of England.svg Paul Deacon 389
2004 Super League 282017918565412ndLost in Grand Final R4 World Club Challenge W Flag of New Zealand.svg Lesley Vainikolo 39 Flag of England.svg Paul Deacon 282
2005 Super League 2818191038684373rd Won in Grand Final R5 Flag of New Zealand.svg Lesley Vainikolo 34 Flag of England.svg Paul Deacon 391
2006 Super League 2816210802568324thLost in Preliminary FinalR5 World Club Challenge W Flag of New Zealand.svg Shontayne Hape 22 Flag of England.svg Paul Deacon 277
2007 Super League 271719778560333rdLost in Elimination PlayoffsSF Flag of New Zealand.svg Lesley Vainikolo 19 Flag of England.svg Paul Deacon 244
2008 Super League 2714013705625285thLost in Elimination PlayoffsQF Flag of Fiji.svg Semi Tadulala 23 Flag of England.svg Paul Deacon 190
2009 Super League 2712114653668259thR4 Flag of Fiji.svg Semi Tadulala 14 Flag of England.svg Paul Deacon 201
2010 Super League 2791175287281910thQF Flag of Australia (converted).svg Brett Kearney/ Flag of Australia (converted).svg Steve Menzies 14 Flag of England.svg Paul Sykes 114
2011 Super League 2792165708262010thR5 Flag of New Zealand.svg Patrick Ah Van/ Flag of Australia (converted).svg Shad Royston 12 Flag of New Zealand.svg Patrick Ah Van 242
2012 Super League 2714112633756239thR5 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Brett Kearney/ Flag of England.svg Elliott Whitehead 15 Flag of England.svg Luke Gale 143
2013 Super League 2710215640658229thR5 Flag of Malta.svg Jarrod Sammut 25 Flag of Malta.svg Jarrod Sammut 167
2014 Super League 2780195129841013thQF Flag of England.svg Luke Gale 14 Flag of England.svg Luke Gale 147
2015 Championship 231814828387372ndR5 Flag of England.svg Danny Williams 25 Flag of England.svg Ryan Shaw 286
The Qualifiers730416724065th
2016 Championship 231328717446285thWon in Shield FinalR4 Flag of England.svg Kris Welham 29 Flag of England.svg Danny Addy 193
2017 Championship 236017500719012thR4 Flag of England.svg James Bentley 18 Flag of England.svg Oscar Thomas 139
2018 League 1 2623031197282462ndWon in Promotion Playoff FinalR5 Flag of England.svg Ethan Ryan 36 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Dane Chisholm 312
2019 Championship 2716110717522336thQF 1895 Cup R2 Flag of England.svg Ethan Ryan 20 Flag of England.svg Joe Keyes 136
2020 Championship [lower-alpha 1] 4202906047thNone PlayedR5 Flag of England.svg Matty Dawson-Jones 4 Flag of England.svg Rowan Milnes 44
2021 Championship 0000000 1895 Cup



Winners (6): 1979–80, 1980–81, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2005
Winners (3): 1999, 2001, 2003
Winners (1): 1973-74
Winners (1): 2016
Winners (1): 2018
Winners (1): 1977-78
Winners (1): 1947-48


Winners (5): 1943-44, 1946-47, 1948-49, 2000, 2003
Winners (2): 1974-75, 1979-80
Winners (11): 1940–41, 1941–42, 1943–44, 1945–46, 1948–49, 1949–50, 1953–54, 1965–66, 1978–79, 1987–88, 1989–90


Winners (3): 2002, 2004, 2006


Club Records

124-0 v. Canberra colours.svg West Wales (at Odsal, 6 May 2018)
6-84 v. Wigancolours.svg Wigan (at DW Stadium, 21 April 2014)
24,020 v. Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds (at Odsal, 3 September 1999)

See also


  1. The 2020 Championship was abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom. Statistics shown are those at time of abandonment and are not official.

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Odsal Stadium

Odsal Stadium in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England, is the home of Bradford Bulls Rugby League team. It has also been used by the Bradford Dukes speedway team, BRISCA F1 and F2 stock cars, the football team Bradford City, following the Valley Parade fire, and for baseball, basketball, kabbadi, show jumping, tennis, live music and international Rugby League.

John Kear English professional rugby league coach & former rugby league player

John Kear is an English rugby league coach who is the head coach of Bradford Bulls and the Wales national rugby league team and also works as a pundit for BBC Sport. He is a former professional rugby league footballer. He is best known as a coach for his Challenge Cup successes with Sheffield Eagles in 1998 and Hull in 2005, as well as his time coaching Wakefield Trinity in the late 2000s. As a player, he played on the Wing or in the Centre position for Castleford.

Ernest Ward was an English rugby league footballer who played in the 1940s and 1950s, and coached in the 1950s. He played at representative level for Great Britain, British Empire, Combined Nationalities and England, and at club level for Bradford Northern (captain), and Castleford, as a goal-kicking fullback, centre or second-row, i.e. number 1, 3 or 4, or, 11 or 12, during the era of contested scrums, and coached at club level for Castleford. Ernest Ward was a Private in the British Army during World War II.

The History of the Bradford Bulls stretches back from their former incarnation as Bradford F.C. in 1863 to 2017.

Brian Noble (rugby league) TV broadcaster, Rugby league coach and former GB rugby league international footballer

Brian David Noble MBE, also known by the nickname of "Nobby", is an English rugby league coach and former rugby league footballer. As a footballer, Noble was a Great Britain representative hooker, but is best known for his coaching career, during which he coached the Bradford Bulls, the Wigan Warriors, the Crusaders RL and the Salford Red Devils in the Super League, and the Great Britain national team. He was the first coach to win three Super League Grand Finals, and is one of only two coaches to have achieved that feat along with Brian McDermott. He was formerly the Director of Rugby for the Toronto Wolfpack, and also works as a pundit for BBC Sport.

Ken Traill English RL coach and former GB & England international rugby league footballer

Kenneth Traill was an English professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1940s and 1950s, and coached in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. He played at representative level for Great Britain, England and Yorkshire, and at club level for Hunslet, Bradford Northern, Halifax and Wakefield Trinity, as a loose forward, and coached at club level for Wakefield Trinity.

Neil Fox MBE is an English former professional rugby league footballer and player-coach who played in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, and coached in the 1970s and 1980s.

Challenge Cup Rugby league knockout cup competition organised by the Rugby Football League

The Challenge Cup is a knockout rugby league cup competition organised by the Rugby Football League, held annually since 1896, with the exception of 1915–1919 and 1939–1940, due to World War I and World War II respectively. It involves amateur, semi-professional and professional clubs.

The Super League (SL), sponsored as the Betfred Super League is the top-level of the British rugby league system. The league currently has twelve teams, eleven of which are from Northern England, reflecting the sport's geographic popularity within the UK. The final team is Catalans Dragons, from southern France.

The 1933–34 Rugby Football League season was the 39th season of rugby league football. The first rugby league club in London, London Highfield competed in its inaugural season.

The 1934–35 Rugby Football League season was the 40th season of rugby league football. A single league Championship was contested by twenty eight teams. The Challenge Cup was contested for the 35th time and the first European Championship took place between England, France and Wales.

Terence "Terry" A. Clawson was an English World Cup winning professional rugby league footballer who played from the 1950s through to the 1980s. He played at representative level for Great Britain between 1962 and 1974, and was part of the 1972 Rugby League World Cup winning squad. He also played for Yorkshire, and at club level for Featherstone Rovers (captain), Bradford Northern, Leeds, Hull Kingston Rovers, Oldham, York, Wakefield Trinity, Hull FC and South Newcastle, as a goal-kicking prop or second-row, i.e. number 8 or 10, or, 11 or 12. He coached at club level for South Newcastle and Featherstone Rovers.

Rugby league in the British Isles

Rugby league is played across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, but it's heartland in the North of England is where the sport is most popular, and is where the majority of professional clubs are based. The sport was first established in the George Hotel, Huddersfield, where 22 clubs from the Rugby Football Union split to form the Northern Rugby Football Union.

The Bradford Bulls Women are an English professional women's rugby league team based in Bradford, West Yorkshire. Formed in 1999 as an autonomous club, Dudley Hill Thunderbirds, the team was also known as Bradford Thunderbirds and Bradford Clayton Thunderbirds. As the Thunderbirds the club played in the Women's Rugby League Conference and later the Women's Rugby League.

2019 Challenge Cup

The 2019 Challenge Cup known as the Coral Challenge Cup for sponsorship reasons, is the 118th staging of the Challenge Cup, the main rugby league knockout tournament for teams in the Super League, the British National Leagues and a number of invited amateur clubs.


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