Fartown Ground

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Fartown Ground
Fartown1.jpg
Fartown Ground
Full nameFartown Ground
Former namesSt John's Ground
LocationFartown, Huddersfield
Coordinates 53°39′46″N1°47′4″W / 53.66278°N 1.78444°W / 53.66278; -1.78444 Coordinates: 53°39′46″N1°47′4″W / 53.66278°N 1.78444°W / 53.66278; -1.78444
Capacity 5,000
Record attendance35,136 Challenge Cup Semi Final 19 April 1947
SurfaceGrass
Construction
Built1878
Closed1992
Tenants
Huddersfield RLFC (1878–1992)

Fartown Ground, is a sports ground located in the Huddersfield suburb of Fartown in West Yorkshire, England and is predominantly famous for being the home ground of Huddersfield Rugby League Club from 1878 to 1992. It was the scene of many great games, including the Challenge Cup finals of 1908 and 1910, several Challenge Cup semi finals and international matches.

Contents

Huddersfield are still known as "Fartown" or "the Fartowners" by many of their older supporters. The highest attendance at the stadium to watch a Huddersfield game was 32,912 against Wigan on 4 March 1950, although a Challenge Cup semi-final played 19 April 1947 attracted a crowd of 35,136.

History

The ground was originally known as the St John's Ground, after Huddersfield St John's Cricket Club who became its original occupants in 1868, the ground had previously been owned by the proprietor of the George Hotel in Huddersfield.

In 1875 St John's Cricket Club merged with Huddersfield Athletic Club to form the Huddersfield Cricket and Athletic Club. The name of the stadium was also changed to Fartown Grounds. [1]

Although the athletic club had formed a rugby football section in 1866, Fartown was initially used for athletics festivals alterations made in the summer of 1878 meant that rugby could begin at the start of the 1878/79 season with the visit of Manchester Rangers on 2 November. The venue quickly became synonymous with Huddersfield RLFC.

Senior football was played at Fartown just once, an FA Cup semi final in 1882, organised as part of an attempt by the Football Association to promote the game of association football in what was, at the time, a predominantly rugby focused town. Blackburn Rovers drew 0–0 with Sheffield Wednesday, forcing a replay at Fallowfield in Manchester. Blackburn eventually won 5–1, and went on to lose 1–0 in the final to Old Etonians.

On 10 April 1882 (Easter Monday), the North of England v South of England men's Lacrosse match was played at the Fartown ground, with the North winning 2–0, "in the prescence[ sic?] of a large number of spectators". (see match report: 'Athletic News' 12 April 1882).

The Challenge Cup finals of 1908 and 1910 were played at Fartown with a replay at the ground required in 1910. [2]

On 11 August 1943 an exhibition baseball game was staged between two teams of American soldiers which attracted 2,400 curious spectators.

The 1980s saw the stadium decline rapidly as Huddersfield RLFC struggled to pull in spectators. The main stand was closed due to storm damage in 1986. A new board of directors took over in 1989 when and injected some much needed financial resources into the club. As well as beginning to improve the playing staff, the new owners also carried out a considerable amount of work on the Fartown stadium and by the end of the 1989/90 season significant progress was being made.

Huddersfield RLFC moved to Huddersfield Town F.C.'s Leeds Road stadium in 1992, and then to the McAlpine Stadium in 1994, although they continued to use Fartown as a training base until 2004. The ground is now rather dilapidated, and is only used for staging amateur rugby league games.

Cricket

The rugby ground was adjoined by a cricket field, once considered to be the finest wicket in Yorkshire. A total of 76 first-class and 9 list A one-day matches were played on the pitch, [3] the first on 28 August 1873 when Yorkshire played Nottinghamshire, and the last on 17 August 1955, when Yorkshire defeated Gloucestershire by 67 runs.

Yorkshire also played games against the touring Australians and South Africans at Fartown and an England XI played the Australians there in 1884. [4] The first county one day game played there was held on 1 June 1969 in the Player's County League against Sussex while the last came on 9 May 1982 in the John Player League when Yorkshire played Worcestershire.

Yorkshire's highest score at Fartown was the 579 for 6 declared they accumulated against Glamorgan in 1925 while Middlesex scored 527 in 1887. Worcestershire were dismissed for 24 in 1903 while Yorkshire were humiliated for 31 by Essex in 1935. AJ Webbe scored an unbeaten 243 in Middlesex's run spree in 1887 while the prolific Percy Holmes scored 220 not out for the Tykes against Warwickshire in 1922. A.W. Mold took 9 for 41 for Lancashire in a Roses Match in 1890 while CT Spencer took 9 for 63 for Leicestershire in 1954.

Rugby League Test Matches

The list of international rugby league matches played at Fartown is. [5]

Game#DateResultAttendanceNotes
11 November 1923Flag of England.svg  England def. Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 18–1111,066
218 March 1931Flag of England.svg  England def. Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 23–186,000
318 December 1937Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia def. Flag of the United Kingdom.svg The Lions 13–39,403 1937–38 Ashes series
425 October 1947Flag of England.svg  England def. Flag of France.svg  France 20–1514,175 1947–48 European Championship
518 October 1952 Other nationalities def. Flag of England.svg  England 31–1220,459 1952–53 European Championship

Rugby League Tour Matches

Fartown also saw Huddersfield, the county team Yorkshire and a Northern Rugby Football Union select side play host to international touring teams from Australia (sometimes playing as Australasia) and New Zealand from 1907 to 1973.

GameDateResultAttendanceNotes
112 October 1907 New Zealand Kiwis colours.svg New Zealand def. Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield 19–810,000 1907–08 All Golds tour
212 October 1908 England colours.svg Northern Union XIII def. Australian colours.svg Australia 14–97,000 1908–09 Kangaroo Tour
320 February 1909 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield def. Australian colours.svg Australia 5–39,700
42 December 1911 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield def. Australian colours.svg Australasia 21–717,000 1911–12 Kangaroo Tour
519 November 1921 Australian colours.svg Australasia def. Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield 36–212,000 1921–22 Kangaroo Tour
66 November 1926 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield def. New Zealand Kiwis colours.svg New Zealand 12–105,000 1926–27 New Zealand Kiwis tour
715 December 1926 Flag of Yorkshire.svg Yorkshire def. New Zealand Kiwis colours.svg New Zealand 17–163,000
812 October 1929 Australian colours.svg Australasia def. Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield 18–818,560 1929–30 Kangaroo Tour
918 November 1933 Australian colours.svg Australia def. Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield 13–57,522 1933–34 Kangaroo Tour
1020 November 1937 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield def. Australian colours.svg Australia 17–79,383 1937–38 Kangaroo Tour
1122 November 1947 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield def. New Zealand Kiwis colours.svg New Zealand 12–78,872 1947–48 New Zealand Kiwis tour
1218 September 1948 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield def. Australian colours.svg Australia 22–326,017 1948–49 Kangaroo Tour
1310 October 1951 New Zealand Kiwis colours.svg New Zealand def. Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield 34–129,859 1951–52 New Zealand Kiwis tour
141 November 1952 Australian colours.svg Australia def. Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield 27–925,494 1952–53 Kangaroo Tour
1526 November 1952 Australian colours.svg Australia def. Flag of Yorkshire.svg Yorkshire 55–113,737
1610 November 1956 Australian colours.svg Australia def. Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield 20–1012,127 1956–57 Kangaroo Tour
172 December 1959 Australian colours.svg Australia def. Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield 21–72,349 1959–60 Kangaroo Tour
1816 September 1963 Australian colours.svg Australia def. Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield 6–513,398 1963–64 Kangaroo Tour
1910 November 1973 Australian colours.svg Australia def. Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield 32–21,333 1973 Kangaroo Tour

Huddersfield also faced Australia on the first game of their 1992 Rugby League World Cup Final tour, losing 66–2 at the Leeds Road ground on 9 October 1992.

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References

  1. "The Home of CricketArchive". cricketarchive.com. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  2. "Fartown - Current Name: Fartown - Rugby League Project". www.rugbyleagueproject.org. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  3. "First-Class Matches played on Fartown, Huddersfield (76)" (Web list). Cricket Archive. Retrieved 16 January 2008.
  4. "England XI v Australians" (Web match review). Cricket Archive. Retrieved 16 January 2008.
  5. "Fartown - Results - Rugby League Project". www.rugbyleagueproject.org. Retrieved 18 March 2020.