|Jurisdiction||Lancashire, parts of Merseyside and Greater Manchester|
The Lancashire County Rugby Football Union is the society responsible for rugby union in the county of Lancashire, England, and is one of the constituent bodies of the national Rugby Football Union having been formed in 1881. In addition it is the county that has won the County Championship on most occasions.
The first match arranged for the county of Lancashire took place in 1870, at Leeds against Yorkshire. This match was immediately known as the "Battle of the Roses" and was considered the "blue riband" of Northern rugby football.[ citation needed ] To be selected to represent the county was an honour bestowed long before the foundation of the Lancashire RFU and it was seen as "the high road to International honours".
From 1870 to 1881 the government and arrangement of county matches in Lancashire vested in Manchester Football Club. Though self-appointed, Manchester FC was recognised as the authority by the other great Lancashire club, Liverpool St. Helens.A movement of emerging new clubs, headed by W. Bell, the honorary secretary of the Broughton FC, had an objective to secure a voice in the selection of county teams. Bell was supported by an informal committee consisting of: G. C. Lindsay (Manchester Rangers), A. M. Crook (Free Wanderers), F. C. Hignett (Swinton), Hunter (Birch).
Initial approaches to the Manchester Club were declined and in 1881 a general meeting of Lancashire clubs was called at which the following clubs were represented: Manchester Rangers; Free Wanderers; Broughton; Swinton; Walton; Rossendale; Oldham; Manchester Athletic; Rochdale Hornets; Chorley Birch; and Cheetham. Notably, the Manchester Club did not take part, but a resolution to form the Lancashire Football Union was agreed. The initial committee had W. Bell as its honorary secretary and G. C. Lindsay as the honorary treasurer.
Two county matches were arranged altogether versus the Midland Counties and Lanarkshire (Scotland). Manchester then decided to wrest control of the county back and on 22 December 1881 met with the new Union and a duly constituted and representative governing body, its club to be called The Lancashire County Football Club, was formed. It was agreed the president, a vice-president, the hon. secretary and treasurer should be elected from the Manchester Football Club, a vice-president and a member of committee from the Liverpool Club, and the remaining eight names to be elected from clubs other than the Manchester and Liverpool clubs. Also, all Home County matches would be played on the ground of the Manchester Football Club.The first officers and clubs elected to represent the newly formed Lancashire County Football Club were:
The first match was versus the Midland Counties (the Lanarkshire match having been cancelled), played at Coventry on 26 March 1882. Albert Neilson Hornby became president after James MacLaren resigned the office on 1 October 1884. Lancashire was part of the Queen's Jubilee celebrations in 1887 when they were asked to play Middlesex at Kennington Oval on 12 March as a representation of Rugby Football, whilst Corinthians played Preston North End as an exposition of Association rules. Lancashire, led by Edward Temple Gurdon, won by a try, gained by Vincent Slater (Salford).
In February 1889 it was proposed that the county shall be divided out into five districts (Manchester, Liverpool, South-East Lancashire, West Lancashire, and North Lancashire) each with three representatives, removing club based representation on the committee.
Lancashire won the 1890-91 season of the County Championship, despite the county championship having been organised by arch-rivals, Yorkshire. Lancashire won all their games with "not a goal being scored against them in any of the county matches they played".They then played "the Rest of England", on 18 April 1891. In 1891-92 Lancashire were defeated by Yorkshire who therefore wrested the championship of England from Lancashire.
At this time, Lancashire County Football Club was made up of a number of clubs, and two sub-unions, West Lancashire Union (formed in 1884) and South-East Lancashire Union was (predating the county Rugby Union having been formed in 1877):
It was postulated that the comparatively small membership compared to Yorkshire had its roots in the fact that Yorkshire had a Challenge Cup the eligibility for which was based on membership of the county union, whereas in Lancashire there was no equivalent.
There are currently 83 clubs affiliated with the Lancashire RFU, most of which have teams at both senior and junior level. The majority of teams are based in Lancashire, parts of Greater Manchester and Merseyside, but there are also occasionally sides from Cheshire and even Cumbria that are members.
The Lancashire RFU currently helps run the following competitions for club sides based in Lancashire:
All leagues are by both the Lancashire RFU and Cheshire RFU and feature clubs based in Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and the Isle of Man.
In 2018 several Lancashire Clubs lobbied the County to form a county based League system after repeated requests to change the RFU League structure in the North West had failed. The start of the 2018/19 season saw the foundation of 2 Leagues in the ADM Lancashire County Leagues consisting of 10 Teams each. In the 2019/20 this was expanded to 2 x 12 Team Leagues and by 2020/21 season it had expand to 3 Senior 1st XV Leagues comprising of 3 Leagues and 35 Clubs. In addition two new "combination" Leagues where formed consisting of 2 x 10 Team Leagues.
ADM Premier Division ADM Championship Division ADM 1st Division
Combination 1 Combination 2
The county side has reached the County Championship Final 38 times, winning the title on a record 25 occasions. Lancashire have played in twelve of the past fourteen finals (from 2003 to 2018) and has won nine of those twelve finals.
Notes: ★ RFU President
Lancashire is a ceremonial county in North West England. The administrative centre is Preston, while Lancaster is still the county town. The borders of the ceremonial county were created by the Local Government Act 1972 and enclose a population of 1,449,300 and an area of 1,189 square miles (3,080 km2). However, this is only a small portion of the extent of the historic county palatine, which includes the large cities of Manchester and Liverpool as well as the Furness and Cartmel peninsulas in the Lake District, and has an area of 1,909 square miles (4,940 km2). Many of these places still identify strongly with the county, particularly in areas of Greater Manchester where Lancashire is still used as part of the postal address. The population of Lancashire in the 1971 census was 5,118,405, making it the most heavily populated county in the United Kingdom at the time.
North West England is one of nine official regions of England and consists of the counties of Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside. The North West had a population of 7,052,000 in 2011. It is the third-most-populated region in the United Kingdom, after the South East and Greater London. The largest settlements are Manchester, Liverpool, Warrington, Blackpool, Chester, Stockport, Sale and Bolton.
The Lancashire County Football Association, also known simply as the Lancashire FA, is the governing body of football within the historical county boundaries of Lancashire, England. They are responsible for the governance and development of football at all levels in the county.
The Anti-Assassins Rugby Union Football team (A-As) was an invitation team that selected players from the northern counties of England to play friendly charitable matches locally and to go on tour. The team was remodelled in 2004, teaming up with the Wooden Spoon Society to become the Spoon AAs.
Broughton Rugby Union Football Club is a rugby union club based in Salford, Greater Manchester, which at the time of the club's founding in 1869 was in Lancashire, England. Its home venue is the Broughton Cricket & Rugby Club pitch on Yew Street. Broughton, although it currently occupies a low position in the English rugby union league system, is notable for its early important contributions to the development of rugby union most predominantly in the north of England, but also nationally. Broughton also hosted the first ever rugby match played under floodlights.
Broughton Park RUFC, is one of the oldest rugby union clubs in England and was established in 1882, just one year after the Lancashire County Rugby Football Union was founded and eleven years after the formation of the national Rugby Football Union. The first XV plays in North 1 West, a sixth level league in the English league system following their promotion as champions of South Lancs/Cheshire 1 at the end of the 2017-18 season.
North 2 West is a regional English rugby union league at the seventh tier of club rugby union for teams from Cheshire, Cumbria, Merseyside, Lancashire and Greater Manchester. The division was introduced for the 2019-20 season to form a new league at tier 7 - meaning that Lancs/Cheshire 1 would drop to being a tier 8 league.
Lancs/Cheshire Division 1 is a regional English Rugby Union league for teams from Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire and Greater Manchester, ranked at tier 8 of the English league system. The top two clubs are promoted to North 2 West and the bottom two clubs are relegated to Lancs/Cheshire 2. Each season two teams from Lancs/Cheshire 1 are picked to take part in the RFU Senior Vase - one affiliated with the Cheshire RFU, the other with the Lancashire RFU.
Lancs/Cheshire 3 was an English rugby union league. Promoted teams entered South Lancs/Cheshire 2, ranked at tier 9 of the English league system. This was the basement level for club rugby union for teams in the South Lancashire, Manchester and Cheshire areas and any team from this area wanting to begin in club rugby union must join this league. Up until 2008–09 teams there was relegation with teams dropping down and coming up from South Lancs/Cheshire 4.
North Lancashire/Cumbria was an English Rugby Union League at the seventh tier of club rugby union for teams from North Lancashire and Cumbria that ran until the end of 2017–18 season. Promotion from this division used to be into North 1 West with the champions going straight up and the league runners up facing the league runners up from South Lancs/Cheshire 1 for their place. Clubs at the bottom of the table were relegated either to North Lancashire 1, South Lancs/Cheshire 2 or the Cumbria League depending on their geographical location.
North Lancashire Division 2 was an English Rugby Union league for teams from North Lancashire. The division was initially known as North-West East 2 when it was created in 1987, and had a number of different names since with North Lancashire 2 being the longest running. Promotion from this division was into North Lancashire 1 but there was no relegation as this is the basement division of club rugby union in North Lancashire. This league, and the three other lowest level north west leagues, were replaced in 2015 by three county-specific leagues - Cheshire (South), Merseyside (West) and Lancashire (North).
The Lancashire Cup was an English Rugby Football Union competition founded in 1971. It was organized by the Lancashire Rugby Football Union and was open to all eligible clubs in the Lancashire region including a number of clubs in Cheshire and Merseyside. The men's competition was discontinued at the end of 2013 as there were not enough teams willing to participate in the cup.
North West 1 was an English Rugby Union league which was at the seventh tier of the domestic competition and was available to teams in North West England. Promoted teams moved up to North 2 West while relegated teams dropped to North West 2. The division was abolished at the end of the 1999-00 season due to RFU restructuring with teams being transferred to either North 2 West or their relevant regional leagues such as South Lancs/Cheshire 1 or North Lancs/Cumbria.
North West 2 was an English Rugby Union league which was at the eighth tier of the domestic competition and was available to teams in North West England. Promoted teams moved up to North West 1 while relegated teams dropped to North West 3. The division was abolished at the end of the 1999-00 season due to RFU restructuring with teams being transferred to their relevant regional leagues such as South Lancs/Cheshire 1 or North Lancs/Cumbria.
North West 3 was an English Rugby Union league which was at the ninth tier of the domestic competition and was available to teams in North West England. Promoted teams moved up to North West 2 while relegated teams dropped to either South Lancs/Cheshire 1 or North Lancs/Cumbria depending on their location.
Rugby League in Lancashire refers to the sport of rugby league in relation to its participation and history within the traditional county of Lancashire, England. The county has since been split up with parts of traditional Lancashire forming parts of Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Cheshire and Cumbria as well as the current borders of Lancashire.
Lancashire (North), formerly known as North Lancashire 1 was a regional English Rugby Union league for teams from the South Lancashire and Manchester area. The league champions were promoted to North Lancashire/Cumbria while the runners had a playoff against the runners up from the Cumbria League for the final promotion spot.
The Cheshire Rugby Football Union (CRFU) is the governing body for the sport of rugby union in the county of Cheshire in England, which also includes parts of Merseyside and Greater Manchester as well as the Isle of Man and even Wales. The union is the constituent body of the Rugby Football Union (RFU) for Cheshire. The CRFU administers and organises rugby union clubs and competitions in the county and administers the Cheshire county rugby representative teams.
The Cumbria Rugby Union is the governing body for the sport of rugby union in the county of Cumbria in England. The union is the constituent body of the Rugby Football Union (RFU) for Cumbria, and administers and organises rugby union clubs and competitions in the county. It also administers the Cumbria rugby representative teams.
Lancs/Cheshire Division Two is a regional English Rugby Union league for teams in Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire and Greater Manchester at level 9 of the English rugby union system. Teams are promoted up into Lancs/Cheshire 1 and since the cancellation of Lancs/Cheshire 3 at the end of the 2019–20 season there is no relegation.
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