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Rugby league county leagues

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Title: Rugby league county leagues  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Swinton Lions, 1946–47 Northern Rugby Football League season, 1948–49 Northern Rugby Football League season, Eric Ashton, Rugby league county cups
Collection: Rugby League Competitions in the United Kingdom
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Rugby league county leagues

The Yorkshire League and the Lancashire League formed two sections of the Rugby Football League Championship for much of its history. Initially, the 22 clubs that broke away in 1895 played in one combined league, however the following season saw the addition of many clubs, and the League was split into two separate county competitions.

This situation endured until 1901-02, when the top teams in each league resigned and formed a new combined first division. The following season, the remaining clubs formed a second division. From then until 1907, when there was another re-organisation, the county leagues were not played.

The new structure initiated for the 1907-8 season saw the clubs playing every other team in their own county home and away, and playing once each against the clubs from the other county. Results from all games counted towards the Rugby Football League Championship, whilst results within the county counted towards the respective county leagues.

The championship often included teams from outside the Yorkshire and Lancashire heartlands; these were allocated to a county league on a practical basis. Briefly, in the 1908-09 season, there were enough clubs from Wales to add a third Welsh League to the structure. The sole winner of this title was Merthyr Tydfil.

The Yorkshire and Lancashire Leagues were abandoned in 1970.


  • Championship winners 1
  • Number of Championship Titles 2
    • Footnotes 2.1
  • See also 3

Championship winners

Season Lancashire League Yorkshire League
1895–96 Runcorn Manningham
1896–971 Broughton Rangers Brighouse Rangers
1897–981 Oldham Hunslet
1898–991 Broughton Rangers Batley
1899–19001 Runcorn Bradford FC
1900–011 Oldham Bradford FC
1901–022 Wigan Leeds
1902–07 No competition
1907–08 Oldham Hunslet
1908–09 Wigan Halifax
1909–10 Oldham Wakefield Trinity
1910–11 Wigan Wakefield Trinity
1911–12 Wigan Huddersfield
1912–13 Wigan Huddersfield
1913–14 Wigan Huddersfield
1914–15 Wigan Huddersfield
1915–18 No competition due to World War I
1918–19 Rochdale Hornets Hull
1919–20 Widnes Huddersfield
1920–21 Wigan Halifax
1921–22 Oldham Huddersfield
1922–23 Wigan Hull
1923–24 Wigan Batley
1924–25 Swinton Hull Kingston Rovers
1925–26 Wigan Hull Kingston Rovers
1926–27 St Helens Recs Hull
1927–28 Swinton Leeds
1928–29 Swinton Huddersfield
1929–30 St. Helens Huddersfield
1930–31 Swinton Leeds
1931–32 St. Helens Hunslet
1932–33 Salford Castleford
1933–34 Salford Leeds
1934–35 Salford Leeds
1935–36 Liverpool Stanley Hull
1936–37 Salford Leeds
1937–38 Warrington Leeds
1938–39 Salford Castleford
1939–45 No competition due to World War II
1945–46 Wigan Wakefield Trinity
1946–47 Wigan Dewsbury
1947–48 Warrington Bradford Northern
1948–49 Warrington Huddersfield
1949–50 Wigan Huddersfield
1950–51 Warrington Leeds
1951–52 Wigan Huddersfield
1952–53 St. Helens Halifax
1953–54 Warrington Halifax
1954–55 Warrington Leeds
1955–56 Warrington Halifax
1956–57 Oldham Leeds
1957–58 Oldham Halifax
1958–59 Wigan Wakefield Trinity
1959–60 St. Helens Wakefield Trinity
1960–61 Swinton Leeds
1961–62 Wigan Wakefield Trinity
1962–633 Workington Town Wakefield Trinity
1963–643 St. Helens Halifax
1964–65 St. Helens Castleford
1965–66 St. Helens Leeds
1966–67 St. Helens Hull Kingston Rovers
1967–68 Warrington Leeds
1968–69 St. Helens Leeds
1969–70 Wigan Leeds

Number of Championship Titles

Wins Lancashire League Yorkshire League
18 Wigan
15 Leeds
11 Huddersfield
9 St. Helens
8 Warrington
7 Oldham Halifax
Wakefield Trinity
5 Salford
4 Hull
3 Castleford
Hull Kingston Rovers
2 Broughton Rangers Batley
Runcorn Bradford FC
1 Liverpool Stanley Bradford Northern
Rochdale Hornets Brighouse Rovers
St Helens Recs Manningham
Workington Town


  1. During the period 1896-1901 the county leagues were titled senior competitions. There was no national league championship during this period.
  2. For the 1901-02 season the top teams from each senior competition resigned to form a single league championship. The lower clubs continued to contest separate county leagues for that year only.
  3. During the 1962-63 and 1963-64 two division campaigns the county leagues were officially retitled Eastern and Western divisions.

See also

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