Diary of John Counsell

1898 ~ 1906


May 26th - Wigan Rugby Football Club meeting at 8 o'clock

Aug. 18th - Wigan Rugby Football Club meeting at Three Crowns Hotel at 8 p.m.

Nov. 11th - Friday. Meeting of Wigan Rugby Football Club at Three Crowns Hotel at 8 o'clock


Sept. 23rd - Made sandwiches for Wigan team, on their journey to Millom.

Nov. 2nd - Wigan beat Millom. First League win this season.


May 31st - Annual meeting of Wigan Rugby Football Club.


Jan. 26th - At Swinton. Swinton 1 try, Wigan 1 try.

Feb. 16th - Wigan v. Millom. Match postponed through frost.

Feb 23rd. - Leigh beat Wigan at Wigan, 10 points to 3.

Mar. 9th - Wigan beat Millom at Wigan, 6 points to nil.

Mar. 13th - Went to see Broughton R. and Barrow play at Broughton, home side winning easily.

Mar. 16th - Oldham beat Wigan at Wigan, 15 points to nil.

Mar. 23rd - Wigan beat Rochdale, 5 points to nil.

Mar. 30th - Went with Wigan team to Birkenhead. A draw, no score.

Apr. 5th - Wigan beat Birkenhead Park.

Apr. 6th - Wigan beat Stockport, 9 points to 2.

Apr. 8th - Easter Monday. Went with Mrs. Counsell and Mr. and Mrs. Dowling at Widnes. Result: Widnes 6, Wigan 9

Apr. 27th - Batley beat Warrington at Leeds (below), 6 points to nil. Final tie of Challenge Cup. Gate £1,650 18s. 6d.

Apr. 29th - Warrington and Leigh played in final tie for West Lancashire Cup at Wigan. It ended in a draw there being no score. Warrington refused to play again.

Apr. 30th - Went to Broughton to see a twelve-a-side football game. English beat a Welsh side.

June 6th - Thursday. Attended Wigan Football Club annual meeting. Well attended.

Sept. 3rd - Went to football practice at Springfield Park.

Sept. 7th - Wigan beat St. Helens at Springfield Park.

Sept. 14th - Wigan beat Morecambe at Springfield Park.

Sept. 21st - Wigan beat Rochdale Hornets at Springfield Park. Wigan beat Lancaster 11 points to nil.

Sept. 26th - Wigan beat Barrow at Wigan, 9 points to 6.

Oct. 2nd - Wigan beat Altrincham, 28 points to 2.

Oct. 14th - Wigan beat Altrincham. 38 to nil.

Oct. 21st - Wigan and Birkenhead postponed.


Jan. 1st - Wigan beat Stockport at Wigan, 10 points to 3. Very good gate.

Jan. 11th - Runcorn beat Wigan at Runcorn by 8 to 5.


Jan. 23rd - Attended Wigan Football Club meeting in basement of Public Hall. Meeting decided to have new ground at Powell-street.

Feb. 14th - Attended meeting of Wigan Football club in Public Hall.

Feb. 15th - No football match on account of frost.

Mar. 8th - Wigan beat Radcliffe, 22 points to nil, which put Wigan at the head of the competition table.

Mar. 15th - Wigan beat Bramley, 2 points to nil. First round N.U. Cup at Wigan.

Mar. 19th - Wednesday. Wigan beat Widnes, 4 points to nil. Record gate £192 14s. 3d.

Mar. 22nd - Castleford beat Wigan, 16 points to nil. Second round N.U. Cup.

Mar. 28th - Good Friday. Wigan beat Leigh at Leigh, 4 points to nil. One thousand went from Wigan.

Apr. 28th - Wigan beat Rest of League, 9 points to nil, and afterwards received the Lancashire Senior Cup and medals.

May 14th - J. Counsell and T. Duncan did a little collecting for new ground.

May 28th - Attended Wigan Football Club annual meeting and elected on committee.

Aug. 11th - Attended Wigan Football Club committee and appointed a groundsman at 25s. all the year round.

Sept. 6th - Attended opening of new football ground in Powell-street, Wigan, named Central Park. Wigan beat Batley, 14 points to 8. J. Barr (below) first try, Rothwell first goal. About 8,000 spectators.

Oct. 6th - Attended Wigan Football Club committee. Letter read from Barr of Tyldesley severing his connection with the Wigan club.


Nov. 11th - Went with George Taylor to Morecambe and arranged to buy their centre three-quarter back for £40.

Dec. 12th - Went with Frank Hammersley to Tyldesley to see J. Barr about again playing for Wigan.

Dec. 18th - Went with F. Hammersley to see Jim Barr and arranged that he should play for Wigan next Saturday.


Feb. 14th - Wigan 8 v. Stockport nil at Wigan. First round N.U. Cup.

May 25th - Attended first meeting of new Football Committee. The new secretary, Mr. E. Barrow, failed to turn up.

June 2nd - Attended Wigan Rugby Football committee rather late and was informed I was elected chairman.

June 11th - A meeting of members of Wigan Rugby Football Club in the basement of the Public Hall. Decided to float the club into a limited liability company.

June 25th - Meeting of members of the Wigan Football Club. Decided not to turn the club into a company.

July 6th - Attended Wigan Football Club committee meeting and appointed Mr. George Taylor secretary at £25 per annum.

July 9th - I received £10 from Mr. Jas. Ashurst, Orrell, on loan to Wigan Football Club.

July 11th - Went with Mr. F. Hammersley to Morecambe to see the Wigan players that reside there, but failed to re-sign any of them.

July 29th - Went with George Taylor to Morecambe and was not successful in signing players on.

Aug. 15th - Wrestling match at Central Park. About 400 present. The club's share was £3.

Aug. 22nd - Practice match. Wigan "A" team beat moderate first team.

Aug. 28th - Last practice match. The "A" team proved the superior team, 1 try to nil.

Sept. 12th - Wigan nil, Widnes nil. The Mayor, R. Johnson, kicked off.

Oct. 7th - Received telegram from Mr. S. Latham saying he was bringing Dia Harris from Wales. Joe Bowden was with him. Arrived 10-30.

Oct. 17th - Wigan lost at Huddersfield by 13 points to 11. Wigan now being at the bottom of the League table.

Oct. 19th - S. Latham, J.H. Prescott and Joe Bowden went to Cardiff in search of new players.

Oct. 20th - J. Counsell and Geo. Taylor went to Oldham and secured the transfer of Mr. J.C. Rees, centre three-quarter, for £60.

Oct. 21st - Our committeeman who went to Wales on the 19th, arrived in Wigan with Eli Davies the half-back.

Oct. 22nd - Ashton Association Football Club informed the Wigan Rugby Football Club that Jim Sharrock had signed on for them prior to signing for Wigan, so he was left out of the Wigan team.


Nov. 3rd - Went with Harry Lowe (below) to Mr. Barker, the bone specialist, on account of a knee injury in the Hull match on Saturday.

Nov. 4th - Luke Aspey, a Wigan player, drowned at Martland Mill Bridge.

Nov. 9th - Wet to Ashton and arranged with the Ashton club for them to strike Jim Sharrock off their register.

Nov. 12th - Wigan club advanced W. Anderson £324 at 5 o'clock, for ingoing to White Horse Inn, Standishgate.

Dec. 11th - Geo. Taylor drew £10 by cheque to sign J. Leytham. Advanced by J.C.


Jan. 2nd - Wigan v. Hunslet match postponed on account of frost. Committee got told off about it.

Jan. 18th - At Central Park. Lancashire 15 points, Cumberland nil. Gate £80. Ground in bad state through rain.

Jan. 20th - Lent Central Park to Birkenhead for that club to play Holbeck. Holbeck won easily. Rather bad day and poor gate.

Jan. 27th - Wakefield easily beat Birkenhead at Central Park. Ground very wet.


Feb. 17th - At central Park. Had difficulty in getting referee off the ground safely after the match. Wigan 3, Hunslet 3. Chief Constable Hardy got him in hansom, top of Standishgate.

Mar. 7th - Committee decided not to play W. Anderson (below) against Huddersfield - first round N.U. Cup - which caused quite a stir in the town.

Mar. 9th - Met W. Hector at Station and took him to W. Livesey's, who engaged him to work for them. He came from South Shields.

Mar. 12th - Went with Wigan team to Huddersfield - first round N.U. Cup. Wigan 7 points, Huddersfield nil.

Apr. 5th - At Central Park, Wigan. Other Nationalities 9, England 3. Dia Harris and Eli Davies played for Other Nationalities.

Mar. 19th - At Warrington - second round N.U. Cup. Warrington 1 try, Wigan nil.

July 29th - Went with Jas. Henderson to Morecambe and re-signed Leytham and Jacky Mason. Also signed forward from Morecambe club; £17 10s. for Morecambe ad £10 for Joe Bell, the player.

Aug. 19th - Met Geo. Taylor at railway station who brought Windsor Jones and Fred Jones from Wales.

Oct. 12th - At Central Park, Wigan. County Trial match. Possibles won 17 to 15. J. Leytham, W. Anderson, J. Brown and Bobs Hilton played in the match.

Nov. 16th - Sam Latham and J.H. Prescott sent word from Wales they had signed W. Hopkins.

Dec. 8th - J.H. Prescott and S. Latham signed Bert Jenkins, but failed to sign J. Thomas.


Dec. 14th - The Wigan club sent S. Latham, to Cardiff, with £100 to bring back Johnny Thomas but he failed to secure him. He signed on for £200 on the 21st December. On December 22nd, J.H. Prescott and S. Latham arrived in Wigan with Johnny Thomas (below).


Jan. 1st - At Central Park, Wigan. Wigan team beat Dia Rees's Welsh team, 13 points to nil. Mayor, W. Sharrock, kicked off. £104 gate. Net proceeds go to Mayor's Unemployment Fund.

Feb. 23rd - Thursday. Hopkins cried off Wigan team through illness. Tresize selected to play.

Mar. 11th - Saturday at Halifax. Halifax won by dropped goal in the last minute to nil.

Mar. 16th - Went with Geo. Taylor and John Henderson to a man in Enfield-street, Pemberton, about Silcock, a Leigh footballer.

Mar. 17th - Went with Geo. Taylor and J. Henderson to Manchester to meet Cup Committee. The match that Leigh won was ordered to be replayed at Wigan.

Mar. 24th - Received telegram that Bucky Green's case was adjourned until next Thursday.

Mar. 25th - Saturday. Wigan beat Halifax at Wigan by 5 points to 2 - Second round N.U. Cup.

Mar. 25th - Went with Geo. Taylor to Manchester. The Cup Committee suspended Bucky Green until general meeting. Case against Barton dismissed.

Apr. 1st - Warrington beat Wigan by 13 points.

Apr. 4th - Tuesday. Carey and Tresize threatened to go home because they were not on the reserve team. They did leave Wigan in a few days.

Apr. 21st - Wigan team by beating Leigh 17 points to 5 won the West Lancashire Cup and medals.

Apr. 29th - Saturday. Tyldesley beat Wigan St. George's in final for Wigan club's medal competition. Wigan club finished the season with 37 points, being seventh position in the table.


May 2nd - Decided to withdraw Bucky Green's charge against R. Silcock.

May 11th - Went with S. Leytham to Liverpool to purchase medals for Wigan team for winning West Lancashire Cup. Ordered 28 at 25s.

May 31st - Annual meeting Wigan Football Club. J. Walkden elected on committee.

June 14th - Went with Geo. Taylor to N.U. annual meeting. The Working Clause was abolished.

June 24th - Went with Mr. G. Taylor to Morecambe but could not get either Leytham or Mason to re-sign on last season's terms.


July 6th - Went with Mr. Jas. Walkden to Hawick, in Scotland and signed Anthony W. Little, international Scotch forward, by candle light in the attic.

Aug. 10th - Went with Councillor W. Lowe to Lancaster and Morecambe and re-signed Jas. Leytham and Jacky Mason for next season.

Aug. 18th - Went with Andrew W. Little to theatre ad a full-back on appro.

Aug. 31st - The landlord of the Princess of Wales, our headquarters, being dead in the house, the players dressed for training at W. Anderson's, the White Horse Hotel, Standishgate.

Sept. 11th - Committee decided to pay players: backs £2 10s., £2 5s. and £2, and forwards £1 7s. 6d., £1 5s., £1 2s. 6d.

Sept. 27th - J. Leytham, J. Thomas and R. Tyrer took part in County trial match.

Oct. 2nd - S. Latham informed the committee we had £1,116 15s. 3d. in bank.

Oct. 9th -Attended committee meeting an was informed it was the intention of committee to present me with a medal.

Oct. 25th - Received medal; also Jim Henderson one, from Football Committee, for services past and present.

Nov. 3rd - Attended with Geo. Taylor and S. Latham the valuation of the White Horse Hotel. W. Anderson having the leave.

Nov. 9th - Went to Royal Hotel, Ince, with Geo. Taylor and S. Latham, and advanced £150 to W. Anderson to take possession.


Nov. 16th - Attended Football Committee and promised players £1 each extra if they beat Oldham - semi-final Lancashire Cup.

Dec. 2nd - At Broughton - final for Lancashire Cup. Wigan nil, Leigh nil (427 16s. 11d.)

Dec. 5th - Went with W. Lowe, J. Walkden and Geo. Taylor to Manchester to answer charge of inducing, etc., a Broughton player. Case dismissed.

Dec. 11th - Went to Broughton to Lancashire Challenge Cup final. Wigan 8, Leigh nil. Tremendous number of people waiting arrival of team with cup at Wigan.

Dec. 20th - Went with Geo. Taylor to Bee Hotel, Liverpool, to assist in the formation of an N.U. club there. Good meeting.


Jan. 1st - Attended international match at Central Park. Had tea with N.U. Committee at Dog and Partridge Hotel.

Feb. 8th - Went with Geo. Taylor and J. Walkden and signed Harry Price of Runcorn; £132, and £20 for himself.

Feb. 27th - Went with J.H. Prescott and S. Latham and put £500 in the Wigan Corporation on behalf of Wigan Rugby Football Club.


Apr. 12th - Had water carts on football ground to keep dust down.

Apr. 18th - Jack Brown's benefit match. Poor attendance.

May 3rd - Went with Geo. Taylor and S. Latham to W. Anderson's to settle financial matters.

May 26th - At Football Committee and presented Drs. Monks and Lindsay hot-water jugs and salad bowl, for services to injured players.

No date - Thirteen players a side instituted.

May 29th - Attended Wigan Rugby Football Club annual meeting and re-elected on board. Rather stormy meeting through medals.

June 16th - Went with Geo. Taylor and Jim Henderson to Morecambe and signed Jas. Leytham and Jacky Mason.

July 21st - Attended wrestle at Central Park between Carrol and Foster. No falls. Gate £50.

Oct. 26th - Went with S. Latham and Sandy Wood to Cardiff for Billy Moles, and brought him back Sunday.

Nov. 6th - Attended special meeting of Wigan Football Committee and suspended Windsor Jones 2 weeks, Voisey 1, Watkins 1, and Tresize sine die.

Nov. 26th - Attended Football Committee who decided to admit members free to ground only, next Saturday being final for Lancashire Cup.


Dec. 1st - Lancashire Cup. Broughton 15, Warrington 6. Jack Fish injured first few minutes.