Diary of John Counsell

1907 ~ 1909


Jan. 19th - J.C. Samuels died in the evening, Jan. 2nd - Went to funeral with W. Counsell, J. Underwood, S. Latham and Geo. Taylor.

Feb. 14th - Attended Football Committee meeting and suspended Windsor Jones sine die and Bert Jenkins over following Saturday; Coulthard taking his place in the Hull match.

Feb. 25th - Sam Latham and J.H. Prescott appointed to fetch Bert Jenkins back from Wales.

Mar. 18th - Committee decided to send players to Morecambe until Saturday in view of meeting Salford in second round N.U. Cup.

Mar. 23rd - Saturday at Salford - second round N.U. Cup. Salford 18, Wigan 5. Gate £376. Players again went to Morecambe to prepare for match with Swinton.

Mar. 25th - Monday at Swinton. Wigan 21, Swinton 3. Players again went to Morecambe.

Apr. 2nd - Jenkins, Moles and J. Thomas went home.

Apr. 13th - At Wigan. Semi-final for N.U. Cup. Warrington 21, Swinton nil. Gate £328.

May 29th - Attended annual meeting of Wigan Rugby Football Club; Mr. S. Swift in the chair. A little lively.

July 6th - Went with Mr. H. Bouchier and G. Taylor and signed Jas. Leytham and Jacky Mason, but W. Anderson refused to sign.

Sept. 15th - Football Committee-rooms broken into during Sunday morning. A few things were missing.


Nov. 5th - Went down to Wales with S. Latham for Bert Jenkins and Thomas to play for Wigan against New Zealanders. Brought them back the following day.

Nov. 9th - Saturday. Met along with Football Committee and Councillor S. Wood (Mayor elect) the New Zealand team at L. and Y. Station. Result of match - it being a beautiful day - Wigan 12 points, New Zealand 8 points. Gate about £1,300 and 30,000 spectators. It was the visitors' first defeat of the tour. Banquet at Tower Buildings.

Nov. 19th - W. Counsell, Jim Henderson and Sandy Wood went to Wales to see Dicky David play and on the 27th. Wednesday, self, Geo. Taylor and Washington Hargreaves went to Cardiff and signed him on - £200 and usual playing terms.

Dec. 12th - Thursday. Our forwards were informed of 2s. 6d. advance per match.


Jan. 11th - At Wigan. England 18 points, New Zealand 16. J. Leytham played. Dined with representatives and players after match. Wigan beat Broughton at Broughton same day, 10 points to 8.

Mar. 27th - Friday. Made sandwiches at home for Wigan team travelling to London to-morrow.

Mar. 28th - Match in London. Huddersfield 14, Wigan 3.

Apr. 7th - Went with S. Latham to see Mr. Oldham at Estate Office of the Great Central Railway Co., Manchester, relating of football ground.

May 27th - Attended annual general meeting of Wigan Football Club in St. John's Hall. Elected chairman later.


June 14th - With deputation to Mr. Todd on ground. Nothing definite done.

June 16th - Attended special meeting of Football Committee and signed L. Todd, the New Zealander, on £250.

July 2nd - Thursday. Went with J.H. Prescott, H. Bouchier and G. Taylor to Great Central Railway Co. Estate Office re new lease of ground.

July 8th - Presided at smoking concert - the Mayor of Wigan, S. Wood, Esq., present - at which Jas. Leytham received wedding present and both Wigan teams medals.

July 29th - Wednesday. Went with W. Counsell, S. Latham, G. Taylor and Jas. Gibson (solicitor) to Liverpool Assizes and got verdict and £65 costs against Tommy Thomas for breach of agreement with Wigan Football Club.


Aug. 29th - Saturday. Massa Johnston arrived 9-24 train. Final practice match for Mayor of Wigan's (S. Wood, Esq.) Maypole Colliery Disaster Fund.

Oct. 15th - Deputation from Conservative Club came to Football Committee asking if I would be candidate for Victoria Ward.

Nov. 11th - For attempting to bribe L. Todd and Massa Johnston, two Wigan footballers, E. Croston was sent to gaol for two months.

Nov. 21st - At Leigh. Second round of the Lancashire Challenge Cup. Leigh 3, Wigan 3. Very big gate.

Nov. 23rd - At Wigan, before a big crowd. Replay second round Lancashire Cup. Wigan 11, Leigh 5. Talk of a protest and match to be replayed next Monday.

Nov. 25th - Wednesday, at Wigan. Australia 20, Lancashire 6. Poor attendance at match.

Nov. 30th - Monday, at Wigan. Second round for Lancashire Cup. This was the third time. Wigan 17, Leigh 3 points.

Dec. 5th - At Wigan. Semi-final Lancashire Cup. Wigan 15, Warrington 10. Big gate.

Dec. 19th - At Broughton Rangers' ground. Final for Lancashire Challenge Cup. Wigan 10, Oldham 9. Great reception on arriving in Wigan with cup.


New Year's Day - Wigan won a grand match at Swinton by 24 points to 5.

Jan. 10th - Sunday. Went with Jim Henderson and A. Laing to Blackpool to see Massa Johnston, the forward. Geo. Taylor and self went to see Bert Jenkins.

Jan. 14th - Went to Bert Jenkins and settled matters.

Jan. 16th - At Broughton. Broughton 15, Wigan 10. Second defeat this season.

Jan. 20th - At Wigan. Wigan 16, Australians 8. Poor gate, about £150.


Feb. 13th - L.B. Todd upset at being on reserve. Went the following Sunday with Jim Henderson and Geo. Taylor to see him and he said he would not play again for Wigan.

Feb. 16th - Tuesday. Same deputation went to see L. Todd re playing for Wigan next Saturday but could not get a definite answer.

Feb. 22nd - Presented medals to players for winning the Lancashire Cup, at Dog and Partridge Hotel. (below)

Feb. 27th - At Wigan. First round N.U. Cup. Wigan 20, York 7. Gate £200

Mar. 20th - At Oldham before a huge crowd. Very large number outside that could not get in. Gates closed at 3 o'clock. Oldham 2, Wigan 8.

Mar. 27th - At Huddersfield. Third round N.U. Cup. Huddersfield 10, Wigan 10. Record gate of £849 0s. 3d. Replay next Wednesday.

Mar. 31st - Wednesday, at Wigan. Gate £423 8s. 2d. Wigan 16, Huddersfield 3.

Apr. 10th - Saturday, at Broughton. Semi-final for N.U. Cup. Wakefield T. 14, Wigan 2.

Apr. 12th - At Wigan. Last League match. Wigan 28, Huddersfield 10. Wigan finished at head of league table.

Apr. 17th - Semi-final Northern League at Wigan. Wigan 18, Batley 2. Gate £222 0s. 10d. Presented caps to first team players.


Apr. 20th - Went with Sandy Wood to Huddersfield to explain to League Management Committee why we played our "A" team against St. Helens first team on Good Friday. They fined the Wigan club full penalty, £25.

Apr. 21st - Benefit match for Billy Atkinson, Was poorly attended. Mayor kicked off.

Apr. 26th - Committee decided players train on and off the ground for the final tie for the Northern League Cup with Oldham next Saturday.

Apr. 30th - Friday. Mr. Washington Hargreaves presented cup and medals to Swinley Hornets for winning the Wigan and District League.

May 1st - Went to Salford. N.U. League final. Very hard fought match. Wigan 7, Oldham 3; this being the fourth victory over Oldham this season. Tremendous crowds awaited the arrival of the team at the station with the Northern League Cup, and also the Lancashire League Cup. Finished up at the Dog and Partridge Hotel.


May 3rd - Attended Football Committee. Paid the players up. Noisy proceedings. Went with Geo Taylor to try and get one of our players out who had been locked up for being drunk, but we failed.

May 5th - Went with committee and team to headquarters at invitation of Mr. Alf. Higham, proprietor. Johnny Thomas in chair (Nice evening.)

June 1st - Attended first meeting of new committee after annual meeting, and again elected chairman. H. Bouchier, vice, G. Taylor and S. Latham secretary and treasurer.

June 7th - About 11.30p.m. Mrs. Bert Jenkins came to see me about her husband signing on for next season. She said he wanted £200. I had gone to bed.

June 10th - Went with other directors and Mr. G. Heaton, architect, to see Liverpool and Everton football clubs' dressing accommodation.

June 12th - With H. Bouchier met Mr. Howel Francis, from Wales, and took him to Dr. Monks who reported favourably.