|Full name||Knowsley Road|
|Former names||GPW Recruitment Stadium (2008–2010)|
|Location||St. Helens, Merseyside|
|Record attendance||35,695 vs Wigan 26 December 1949|
| St. Helens (1890–2010)|
St Helens Town FC (2002–2010)
Knowsley Road in Eccleston, St Helens, Merseyside, was the home ground of St. Helens from 1890 until its closure in 2010. St Helens Town FC played their home fixtures at Knowsley Road from 2002 until 2010. For a period, the venue also hosted Liverpool F.C. Reserves. The stadium was demolished during spring 2011 and a new construction then known as Cunningham Grange, named after club legend Keiron Cunningham, was built on the site.
Knowsley Road consisted of four stands of open terracing and one seated stand called the Family Stand.
The Family Stand was the only section of the stadium which had a seated area, although there were still areas for standing supporters. The players entered the field from a gateway under the stand and the dugout was also in the Family Stand. The Family Stand contained an area for the media such as local radio stations. It was built after the Second World War, funded by local businesses. The actual design of the stand means that it only ran for two-thirds of that side of the pitch.
When the Main Stand was built, it provided a new changing room facility and gymnasium for the players, replacing the smaller, outdated ones at the old Pavilion End of the ground, next to the scoreboard. Players would come out of the new tunnel before kick off to a centralised view of the stadium, facing the Popular Stand.
When the Main Stand was constructed, it created an overhang at the top of the stand. This was because the old Eccleston railway ran below the site of the new stand, linking the Triplex (Pilkington) factory to the town centre. The railway has long gone now, and was replaced by the club's car park.
The Popular Stand was an all standing section of the ground and was the most popular stand for home supporters. The stand was built in the 1960s at a cost of over £30,000. It spread across the full length of the pitch. It held the Scaff – the gantry in which the press gathered. When St. Helens were on television, the Popular Stand regularly were heard singing and chanting due to the small distance between the cameras and the supporters.
The Dunriding Lane End was the only stand without a roof. It contained nine corporate boxes, as well as the stadium restaurant and the official store. Prior to being moved to the Family Stand, the changing rooms were at the Dunriding Lane End and players would enter from a tunnel.
The Dunriding Lane End of the ground was known as the Boys' Pen – a spot where die-hard fans congregated during the post-war years. During the 1970s, and 1980s, the club became aware of the need for corporate facilities in line with other clubs and the decision was made to build a bar, restaurant and executive boxes for the fans, and to give them a new and luxurious match day experience.
The Eddington End was a typical Kop. It was the second biggest stand overall at the ground, and the tallest, with the best views of the pitch. In the 1960s, a roof was placed on the Eddington End of the ground. The Eddington End is generally an away end, where most away fans congregated on match days. It became a haunt for local derby chanting with fans of arch rivals Wigan.
St. Helens moved to Knowsley Road in 1890, defeating Manchester Rangers in their first match. The stadium pre-dated the birth of the Northern Rugby Football Union (which would later become rugby league) by five years. Having been formed in 1873, St. Helens were a rugby union club when they moved into Knowsley Road. The stadium changed in appearance very little in its 120 years.
Lord Derby open the new pavilion on 26 December 1920 at a match against Wigan. A ground record of 35,695 fans turned up to watch Saints play Wigan on Boxing Day 1949. In January 1950, the training pitch was laid down. In February 1951, the newly completed Eccleston Kop covered enclosure was opened and was named after Supporters' Club Secretary George Eddington. In August 1958, the club's new grandstand was opened by Sir Harry Pilkington. The structure cost £32,000 and could seat 2,400.
In September 1961, new metal goal posts replaced the wooden originals after storm damage. The new popular side enclosure was erected in 1962. The old wooden structure that it replaced was given to Liverpool City for their ground at Knotty Ash. Saints' new floodlighting system opened by Sir Harry Pilkington on 27 January 1965. The bar and restaurant complex was opened at Dunriding Lane End of the Knowsley Road stadium in 1973.
Players' dug outs were moved from the Main Stand to the Popular Side in 1983. In September 1989, work started on nine executive boxes and an electronic scoreboard at the Dunriding Lane End.
In 2006, Knowsley Road was renovated slightly. On the club's new sponsorship deal with Earth Money, the stadium got new signs, new dug outs were installed, as were the toilet facilities which had been long complained about by supporters.
In 2006, Knowsley Road was approved as an international Test venue after safety and capacity improvements. It subsequently hosted an international test fixture in 2006 between Great Britain and New Zealand, which Great Britain won.
In June 2007, club chairman Eamonn McManus announced plans for a new 18,000 capacity stadium, with a Tesco store and plaza with 2,000 car parking spaces for the 2011 Super League Season. These plans were approved by local councillors in May 2008.Plans were put on hold and building work did not start on time. Knowsley Road was closed at the end of the 2010 Super League Season and St Helens played their home games at Widnes' Stobart Stadium for the 2011 Super League Season.
The last first team match at Knowsley Road was the St. Helens vs Huddersfield game, a play-off semi-final on 24 September 2010. St. Helens won 42–22, the final try on the ground being scored by retiring club captain Keiron Cunningham.
|1||26 December 1949||35,695||Knowsley Road attendance record|
|2||26 August 1996||18,098||Super League attendance record|
|3||10 April 1957||23,250||Test match attendance record|
|4||10 October 1959||29,156||Tour match attendance record|
List of rugby league test matches played at Knowsley Road.
|1||14 February 1914||10,000|
|2||25 February 1939||10,000||1938–39 European Rugby League Championship|
|3||10 April 1957||23,250|
|4||28 January 1961||14,804|
|5||30 November 1969||6,080|
|6||17 March 1971||7,783|
|7||28 May 1978||9,759||1978 European Rugby League Championship|
|8||13 October 1995||8,679||1995 Rugby League World Cup Group B|
|9||1 November 2000||5,736||2000 Rugby League World Cup Group 1|
|10||28 June 2006||10,103||2006 Baskerville Shield|
Other than St Helens club games, Knowsley Road also saw St Helens, a combined St Helens – St Helens Recs XIII, the county team Lancashire and an English League XIII play host to international touring teams from Australia (sometimes playing as Australasia), New Zealand and France from 1907–2002.
|1||30 October 1907||1907–08 All Golds tour|
|2||22 February 1908|
|3||9 February 1909||1,500||1908–09 Kangaroo Tour|
|4||14 October 1911||12,000||1911–12 Kangaroo Tour|
|5||23 November 1921||6,000||1921–22 Kangaroo Tour|
|6||16 November 1929||9,500||1929–30 Kangaroo Tour|
|7||2 December 1933||5,735||1933–34 Kangaroo Tour|
|8||2 December 1937||2,000||1937–38 Kangaroo Tour|
|9||2 September 1939||4,000||1939 New Zealand Kiwis tour|
|10||14 October 1948||20,175||1948–49 Kangaroo Tour|
|11||27 September 1952||17,205||1952–53 Kangaroo Tour|
|12||24 November 1956||15,579||1956–57 Kangaroo Tour|
|13||23 September 1959||15,743||1959–60 Kangaroo Tour|
|14||10 October 1959||29,156|
|15||22 November 1959||16,000||Friendly|
|16||12 October 1960||12,250||Australian pre-tournament game to the 1960 Rugby League World Cup|
|17||28 September 1963||21,284||1963–64 Kangaroo Tour|
|18||24 October 1967||17,275||1967–68 Kangaroo Tour|
|19||9 November 1970||15,570||Australian pre-tournament game to the 1970 Rugby League World Cup|
|20||15 November 1972||10,000||Australian pre-tournament game to the 1972 Rugby League World Cup|
|21||13 November 1973||10,013||1973 Kangaroo Tour|
|22||12 October 1975||10,170||Australian pre-tournament game to the 1975 Rugby League World Cup|
|23||12 November 1978||16,352||1978 Kangaroo Tour|
|24||12 October 1980||6,000||1980 New Zealand Kiwis tour|
|25||17 October 1982||8,190||1982 Kangaroo Tour|
|26||2 November 1986||15,381||1986 Kangaroo Tour|
|27||7 October 1990||15,219||1990 Kangaroo Tour|
|28||1 November 1994||13,911||1994 Kangaroo Tour|
|29||25 October 2002||2002 New Zealand Kiwis tour|
Maine Road was a football stadium in Moss Side, Manchester, England, that was home to Manchester City F.C. from 1923 to 2003. It hosted FA Cup semi-finals, Charity Shield matches, a League Cup final and England matches. Maine Road holds the record for the highest attendance for a club in their normal home stadium in English club football, set in 1934 at an FA Cup sixth round match between Manchester City and Stoke City.
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.
St Helens R.F.C. is a professional rugby league club in St Helens, Merseyside who compete in the Super League, the top tier for rugby league in Great Britain.
The DW Stadium is a stadium in Robin Park, near Wigan, within the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan, Greater Manchester, England. The ground is owned and managed by Wigan Football Company Limited, which is 85% owned by Wigan Athletic and 15% owned by Wigan local authority. It is used by Wigan Athletic football club and Wigan Warriors rugby league club, the rugby league club having a 50 years lease on tenancy to play games at the stadium. Built and opened in 1999, it is named after its main sponsor, DW Sports Fitness. In UEFA matches, it is called Wigan Athletic Stadium due to UEFA regulations on sponsorship.
Eccleston is a civil parish within the Metropolitan Borough of St Helens, Merseyside, England. At the 2011 Census, it had a population of 10,433.
The DCBL Stadium is a rugby league stadium in Widnes, Cheshire, England. It is the home of Rugby League side Widnes Vikings of the Betfred Championship, and American football side Halton Spartans of the BAFA National Leagues. The stadium is all seater and has a total capacity of 13,350.
Keiron Cunningham is a Welsh professional rugby league coach and former player. A Great Britain and Wales international representative hooker, he played his entire professional career at St Helens, making nearly 500 appearances for the club between 1994 and 2010 and winning numerous trophies. He has been frequently cited as being among the best players in the Super League history and is widely regarded to be one of St Helens' greatest players of all time.
Totally Wicked Stadium is a rugby league stadium in the Peasley Cross area of St. Helens. Known as Langtree Park until 2017, it has a capacity of over 18,000 and is the home ground of St Helens R.F.C.. The stadium was granted full planning permission on 20 May 2008. On 11 July 2008 the go-ahead was given without the need for a public enquiry and construction started in 2010. The first rugby league match to be played at the stadium was between St. Helens and Widnes on Friday 20 January 2012. St. Helens won the opening game by 42-24 and they moved in ready for the 2012 Super League season. Liverpool F.C. U18s also play their home games at the stadium.
Edward "Eddie" Cunningham is an English former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1970s and 1980s. He played at representative level for Great Britain and Wales, and at club level for Wigan, St. Helens, Leeds, Widnes and Batley, as a centre, second-row, or loose forward, i.e. number 3 or 4, 11 or 12, or 13, during the era of contested scrums.
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1965–66 was the fifty-third occasion on which the Lancashire Cup completion had been held.
The 1971–72 Lancashire Cup was the fifty-ninth occasion on which the completion had been held. Wigan won the trophy by beating Widnes by the score of 15-8 in the final. The match was played at Knowsley Road, Eccleston, St Helens,. The attendance was 6,970 and receipts were £2,204.00
1980–81 was the sixty-eighth occasion on which the Lancashire Cup completion had been held.
The 1985–86 Lancashire Cup competition was the seventy-third occasion on which the tournament had been held. Wigan won the trophy by beating Warrington in the final by the score of 34-8.
1986–87 was the seventy-fourth occasion on which the Lancashire Cup completion had been held.
Wigan won the trophy by beating Oldham by the score of 27-6
The match was played at Knowsley Road, Eccleston, St Helens, Merseyside,. The attendance was 20,180 and receipts were £60,329.00
This was Wigan’s third appearance in three years and a second victory in what would a run of four victories and five appearances in five successive years.
The attendance was again at a very pleasing level, the third of the five year period when it would reach around the 20,000 level, and the receipts reached a new near record level
The 1987–88 Lancashire Cup was the seventy-fifth occasion on which the Lancashire Cup competition had been held. It was contested during the 1987–88 Rugby Football League season by clubs in Lancashire. Wigan won the trophy by beating Warrington in the final.
1988–89 was the seventy-sixth occasion on which the Lancashire Cup completion had been held.
Wigan won the trophy by beating Salford by the score of 22-17
The match was played at Knowsley Road, Eccleston, St Helens, Merseyside,. The attendance was 19,154 and receipts were £71,879.00
The 1989–90 Lancashire Cup was the 77th occasion on which the completion had been held. Warrington won the trophy by beating Oldham by the score of 24-16 in the final. The match was played at Knowsley Road, Eccleston, St Helens, Merseyside,. The attendance was 9.990 and receipts were £41,804.
The 1992 Lancashire Cup was the 80th and last occasion on which the Lancashire Cup completion was held. Wigan won the trophy by beating St. Helens by the score of 5-4 in the final.
The Rugby league matches between St. Helens and Wigan are local derbies with the two clubs being fierce rivals, both on and off the pitch. The sporting term of "Derby" or "Derbies" originates from this sporting fixture.