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Sowerby Bridge (rugby league)

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Sowerby Bridge was a (semi) professional rugby league club.


The club was based in Sowerby Bridge, a small market town (population approx. 10,000) that lies within the Upper Calder Valley in the district of Calderdale in West Yorkshire, northern England, and approximately 3 miles from Halifax.

The club joined the Northern Union in 1901-02 and played for the single season in the Yorkshire Senior Competition, which was effectively Division 2 (East).

Only limited County League information is available for this season.


Very little is known about the Sowerby Bridge club.

At the end of the 1901-02 season, the County Leagues elected 18 teams to join the new Division 2 (7 from Lancashire and 10 from Yorkshire and new member South Shields) with the existing second competition scrapped. This meant that teams were excluded from the senior competitions leaving them with several options:

  • Join the new Lancashire League or the Lancashire Combination (reserve grade)
  • Join a new Yorkshire Senior League
  • reverting to amateur status within the Northern Union
  • revert to rugby union
  • turn to Association Football, which many clubs did
  • fold
  • Sowerby Bridge was one of the 4 Yorkshire (the others being Goole, Heckmondwike and Liversedge) and 2 Lancashire clubs (Altrincham and Radcliffe) not elected to the new Division 2, but it is unknown as to which route the club followed. However, based on the limited available informnation and taking into account the poor playing record, it is feasible to assume that the club folded (or as described in Cherry and White "disappeared.

    Club League Record

    In the single season in which Sowerby Bridge played (semi) professional Rugby League, 1901-02, there are few records readily available.

    Some of the achievements are as follows:-

    Heading Abbreviations
    RL = Single Division; Pl = Games Played: W = Win; D = Draw; L = Lose; PF = Points For; PA = Points Against; Diff = Points Difference (+ or -); Pts = League Points
    % Pts = A percentage system was used to determine league positions due to clubs playing varying number of fixtures and against different opponents
    League points: for win = 2; for draw = 1; for loss = 0.

    Fixtures and results

    There are no records readily available of the fixtures and results of any of Sowerby Bridge’s games played during this, the sole season in which they played (semi) professional Rugby League.

    Notable players

    R. Helliwell of Sowerby Bridge played in The Rest's 7-5 defeat to Leeds in the 1901–02 Yorkshire Senior Competition Champions versus The Rest match at Headingley Stadium on Saturday 19 April 1902.


    Sowerby Bridge (rugby league) Wikipedia