SS.com Messageboard · Home Friday, November 22, 2019
Latest Articles
rhinoms Superleague ...
rhinoms Superleague ...
rhinoms Superleague ...
rhinoms Superleague ...
rhinoms Superleague ...
Navigation
SS.com Messageboard
Home
Articles
Downloads
Contact Me
Web Links
Photo Gallery
Search
Game Info
2015 1st Team Game Info
2014 1st Team Game Info
2013 1st Team Game Info
2012 1st Team Game Info
2011 1st Team Game Info
2010 1st Team Game Info
2009 1st Team Game Info
2008 1st Team Game Info
2007 1st Team Game Info
2006 1st Team Game Info
2005 1st Team Game Info
Hall of Fame
Tony Smith ('03-'07)
Barrie McDermott ('96-'06)
Merchandise

Click Here
2013 Sponsors List
2012 Sponsors List
2011 Sponsors List
2010 Sponsors List
2009 Sponsors List
2008 Sponsors List
2007 Sponsors List
2006 Sponsors List
2005 Sponsors List
And So This Is Christmas?
Posted by southstander on December 29 2011 - 10:36:58

So this is Christmas?
by Iain Sharp

Christmas Days of yesteryear were somewhat different for rugby league players and supporters.

In our guest article from Iain Sharp we take a look back at bygone days when your Christmas dinner may well have been preceeded by a trip to Headingley to lend your support to the lads.

So this is Christmas?

Read more here....

All views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the site.

Whilst many of you will have settled down for your usual turkey dinner just a few days ago on the 25th December and maybe even some of you will have open Rhinos related presents that day, looking forward to a Boxing Day clash, could you have foreseen yourself watching rugby too?

Christmas Day 1959 is not too far away in the memory for some of the older fans and for those that tell you that there is too much top flight rugby played these days, spare a thought for the players not too far back in history. The date in 1959 is significant, as it is the date of the last Leeds game to be played on Christmas Day. It was a away defeat against Batley and an 8 – 6 scoreline.

In those post second world war years, it was rare for the average fan to get more than a day off at Christmas, this was usually Christmas Day and most of the celebrations that we take for granted today had to be squeezed in to the single day. This meant that sporting occasions also had to take place on the 25th as well as the home festivities. Indeed, if the weather was fortunate at that time of the year, there was a chance that anything up to five games or more games could be crammed in on the fixture list in little more than a week during one of the busiest times of the year for everyone.

Just such a fixture cram came during the dark days of the First World War in 1917, where Leeds played SIX games in the space of SEVEN days :

22ndDewsbury (A)League
24thRoyal Naval DepotFriendly under RU Rules
25thBramley (H)League
26thHunslet (H)League
28thRoyal Naval DepotFriendly under Northern Union (Rugby League) Rules
29thDewsbury (H)League

During those games, Leeds won all their League fixtures and lost both the games under both RU Rules and Northern Union Rules in the second game. The first game is also notable, as amongst the ‘guest’ players turning out for Leeds (as was common in both the First and Second World Wars) was a certain Billy Batten. He was captain of Hull FC and is now one of the game’s all time great ‘Hall of Fame’ legends. The Navy were also able to call on players like Harold Buck, who became the game’s first ever £1,000 transfer with his move from Hunslet to Leeds in 1921 and also Jonty Parkin, the Wakefield legend and another member of the RL’s Hall Of Fame. Under Union rules, Leeds lost 9 – 3 on Christmas Eve and also lost 24 – 3 under League rules four days later.

It has also not been uncommon throughout my research for this article to come across three fixtures being played on consecutive days. Whilst, as you can see from the list below, that local games and derby matches were common over the festive season, I have also come across occasions where Leeds played at home on Christmas Day and this was followed by a game away in Cumbria on the 26th and 27th December. I can only suggest that these fixtures were treated like a tour and with an overnight stay somewhere in West Cumbria being part of the arrangements.

There is another year, in the early years of the Northern Union, when there were a number of fledgling Welsh teams developing in the South Wales Valleys and where Leeds played a couple of games in the North around Christmas and were then faced with a long trek to South Wales to play Ebbw Vale in those days between Christmas and New Year. Indeed, given the era those games took place in, the away trip for the team must certainly have been done by train and I guess must have taken most of the day prior to the game to get down there and most of the following day to get back.

It is also noting that during the early years of the 20th century that inter-town travel is not what it is today and where virtually no-one owned a new fangled motor car and train travel was a special treat. Certainly I have heard many stories from old, now long-gone Loiners and who were faced with the only choice to see their team in action was to walk to places like Dewsbury or Batley for the games.

There are also a couple of notable fixtures that have taken place and none more so than Christmas 1908, when Leeds faced the first Australian touring team at home (less HH ‘Dally’ Messenger, who was injured) and lost 10 – 14 to the All Golds.

Other notable score lines from the list came on Christmas Day 1916 and 1937, where there have been two rare nil – nil draws one against Batley and the other against Wakefield Trinity. Certainly in many years of watching Leeds in the modern era, I have seen only a few games where neither side has scored a try and of course, games where Leeds have failed to score, but never a scoreless draw.

Of all the teams Leeds have faced at Christmas, the most common opponent was Batley who we’ve played on twenty six occasions during the festive period.

YEAR

OPPONENTS

VENUE

SCORE

1895

Liversedge

A

L 5 - 20

1902

Manningham

H

W 18 - 5

1905

Bradford

A

L 5-3

1906

Bradford

H

W 26 - 14

1907

Bradford

A

L 11 – 8

1908

Australia

H

L 10 -14

1909

Batley

A

L 16 - 0

1911

Batley

A

L 12 - 0

1912

Batley

H

L 7 - 18

1913

Batley

A

L 3- 0

1914

Batley

H

W 6 - 0

1915

Hunslet

H

W 15 - 6

1916

Batley

H

D 0 - 0

1917

Bramley

H

W 21 - 2

1918

Dewsbury

A

W 8 – 9

1919

Bramley

H

W 17 - 5

1920

Bramley

H

W 26 – 0

1922

Batley

H

W 7 – 6

1923

Batley

A

W 2 - 5

1924

Batley

H

W 11 – 0

1925[1]

Batley

A

L 10 – 5

1926

Batley

H

W 19 – 0

1928

Batley

H

W 19 – 8

1929

Batley

A

L 7 – 6

1930

Batley

H

W 49 – 8

1931

Batley

A

W 5 – 7

1933

Wakefield Trinity

H

W 25 - 12

1934

Wakefield Trinity

A

L 13 – 6

1936

Wakefield Trinity

A

W 0 – 9

1937

Wakefield Trinity

H

D 0 - 0

1939

Wakefield Trinity

H

L 5 - 18

1940

Batley

H

W 28 – 5

1941

Batley

H

W 34 – 8

1942

Oldham

H

W 36 – 5

1943

Hunslet

A

L 7 – 0

1945

Hunslet

H

L 8 – 13

1947

Batley

A

W 4 – 13

1948

Batley

H

W 26 – 11

1950

Batley

H

W 21 – 2

1951

Batley

A

L 15 – 7

1952

Batley

H

W 20 – 16

1953

Batley

A

W 2 – 25

1954

Batley

H

W 50 – 6

1956

Batley

H

W 37 – 6

1958

Featherstone Rovers

H

L 11 – 12

1959

Batley

A

L 8 - 6

[1] The game Vs Batley on Christmas Day 1925 was appealed to the league on the grounds that Batley’s field was not correctly marked. This was upheld by the league and the game was replayed at Batley on 17.03.1926 and lost 5 – 0.

NB – Games during the 1914 – 18 and 1939-45 wars were often played under ‘Wartime Emergency League’ rules, which in some years included 12-a-side competitions and the extensive use of ‘guest’ players from other clubs.

Manningham, the suburb of Bradford were one of the founder member clubs of the Northern Union. They dissolved in the early years of the 20th century and exist to this day as Bradford City FC.

Iain Sharp has been a Leeds fan for over 25 years and works as a freelance consultant. He owns an extensive collection of Leeds memorabilia and has a interest in the social history of the club. He also owns the www.fourpointry.com website.

Guest
Username

Password

Remember Me



Register
Lost Password?
Google Adverts
Member Poll
How will the Rhinos fare in the opening fixtures of the two part season?

Top of the pile

Top Four

Top Eight

Bottom Four

You must login to vote.
All The Latest News
YEP
Google Adverts

Whilst every effort is made to ensure that news stories are correct, we cannot be held responsible for errors. However, if you feel any material on this website is copyrighted or incorrect in any way please contact us at loiners@hotmail.com so we can remove it or negotiate copyright permission.

RLFANS.COM, the owners of this website, the RLSA (Rugby League Supporters Association) or the 100% League Network are not responsible for the content of its sub-sites, please email the author of this sub-site if you feel you find an article offensive or of a choice nature that you disagree with.

Email RLFANS.COM's owners admins@rlfans.com if further assistance is required.

(C)1999-2015 RLFANS.COM