The Willows, Salford

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The Willows
The Willows North Stand - - 43344.jpg
The Willows North Stand
The Willows, Salford
Full nameThe Willows
LocationWillows Road, Weaste, Salford
M5 5FQ
Coordinates 53°29′11″N2°18′34″W / 53.48639°N 2.30944°W / 53.48639; -2.30944 Coordinates: 53°29′11″N2°18′34″W / 53.48639°N 2.30944°W / 53.48639; -2.30944
OwnerIain Watson
Capacity 11,363 with 2,500 seats
Record attendance26,470 vs Warrington (Challenge Cup), 13 February 1937
Renovated1966, 1971, 1975, 1989
Salford RLFC (1901–2011)
Salford United (1906–1936)
Swinton RLFC (2011)

The Willows was a rugby league stadium in Weaste, Salford, England. It had a final capacity of 11,363 with 2,500 seats.



In 1900, Salford agreed a 14-year lease on 5 acres (20,000 m2) of land belonging to the Willows Estate Company, named after the abundance of willow trees in the area. They made their debut at the Willows on 21 December 1901, beating Swinton 2–0 in front of 16,981 fans.

In the 1960s, the terrace was flattened at the Willows Road end to make way for the Salford Football and Social Club which was officially opened on 16 June 1966.

The Willows switched on its floodlights for the first time in the match with Widnes on Friday 11 March 1966. On 26 November 1989, Salford unveiled a new £50,000 electronic scoreboard above the Willows Variety Centre. [1]

Salford City Reds moved to the Salford City Stadium in Barton-upon-Irwell at the start of the 2012 season. [2] The last match at the Willows saw them lose to the Catalans Dragons 18–44 in front of 10,146 fans, a record for a Salford City Reds home match in the Super League. [3]


In 2013, a proposal to redevelop the site for housing was put forward by City West Housing Trust. [4]

Rugby League Test matches

List of international rugby league matches played at The Willows. [5]

114 January 1922Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain def. Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 6–022,000 1921–22 Ashes series
227 January 1932Flag of England.svg  England def. Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 19–28,000
37 November 1968Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales def. Flag of England.svg  England 24–176,002
423 October 1969Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales def. Flag of France.svg  France 8–26,189 1969–70 European Rugby League Championship
525 September 1971Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand def. Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain 25–248,083 1971 Great Britain vs New Zealand series
625 January 1975Flag of England.svg  England def. Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 12–88,494 1975 European Rugby League Championship
76 November 1975Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales def. Flag of France.svg  France 23–22,247 1975 Rugby League World Cup

Rugby League Tour Matches

The Willows also saw Salford and the county team Lancashire play host to various international touring teams from 1908–1978.

128 December 1907 New Zealand Kiwis colours.svg New Zealand def. Redscolours.svg Salford 9–212,000 1907–08 All Golds tour
217 October 1908 Redscolours.svg Salford drew with Australian colours.svg Australia 9–96,100 1908–09 Kangaroo Tour
330 December 1911 Australian colours.svg Australasia def. Redscolours.svg Salford 6–34,000 1911–12 Kangaroo Tour
429 October 1921 Australian colours.svg Australasia def. Redscolours.svg Salford 48–39,000 1921–22 Kangaroo Tour
53 November 1926 New Zealand Kiwis colours.svg New Zealand def. Redscolours.svg Salford 18–103,500 1926–27 New Zealand Kiwis tour
611 January 1930 Australian colours.svg Australasia def. Redscolours.svg Salford 21–58,000 1929–30 Kangaroo Tour
721 October 1933 Redscolours.svg Salford def. Australian colours.svg Australia 16–915,761 1933–34 Kangaroo Tour
830 October 1937 Redscolours.svg Salford def. Australian colours.svg Australia 11–812,000 1937–38 Kangaroo Tour
930 October 1948 Australian colours.svg Australia def. Redscolours.svg Salford 13–216,627 1948–49 Kangaroo Tour
1026 September 1959 Australian colours.svg Australia def. Redscolours.svg Salford 22–2011,008 1959–60 Kangaroo Tour
1111 October 1967 Australian colours.svg Australia def. FlagOfLancashire.PNG Lancashire 16–79,369 1967–68 Kangaroo Tour
1230 September 1973 Australian colours.svg Australia def. Redscolours.svg Salford 15–1211,064 1973 Kangaroo Tour
1310 October 1975 Australian colours.svg Australia def. Redscolours.svg Salford 44–65,357 1975 Australian Rugby League World Cup tour
1414 November 1978 Australian colours.svg Australia def. Redscolours.svg Salford 14–26,155 1978 Kangaroo Tour

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  1. "The Willows". Manchester Evening News.
  2. "The Willows: Salford Reds' field of dreams". Manchester Evening News. 10 February 2011.
  3. "Salford 18-44 Catalans Dragons". BBC Sport. 11 September 2011.
  4. "Multi-million pound plan to convert old rugby league ground into 120 homes". Manchester Evening News. 22 October 2013.
  5. The Willows results @ Rugby League Project
Preceded by
Challenge Cup
Final Venue

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Challenge Cup
Final Venue

Succeeded by
Preceded by
New Barnes
Salford Red Devils
Home Ground

Succeeded by
Salford City Stadium