Diary of John Counsell

1909 ~ 1911

June 1909.

June 18th - Went with Mr. George Taylor to Manchester and met the Welsh train and brought Randall Davies (below) and Nichols-Gwyn Nichols' brother - to Wigan and put them up at the Temperance Hotel, and signed both on the following day. Both of Cardiff.


July 6th - Went with the committee and players and four cups to Hippodrome, at the invitation of Messrs. Worswick.

July 15th - Building of new brick pavilion at Central Park in progress.

Aug. 21st - Attended football practice match in aid of local charities. Gate £44 3s. 2d. Admission 1d. and 2d.

Aug. 27th - Selling season tickets at Central Park.

Aug. 28th - Final trial match. Not a good game to watch. Too keen and rough. Gate £54 2s. 7d. Both teams had tea, etc.

Aug. 30th - Committee meeting. Paid Garnett Nichols his fare and expenses home (Wales).


Sept. 2nd - Commenced to use new dressing rooms and baths at Central Park.

Sept. 3rd - Made sandwiches for "A" team, to Hunslet to-morrow.

Sept. 4th - Big increase of members this year.

Sept. 14th - Received cablegram from L.B. Todd, New Zealand. Called special meeting re same and sent him offer in reply.

Sept. 16th - Rees, the Flying Barber from Wales, interviewed the committee.

Sept. 18th - Went with Wigan third team to Bamfurlong ground. Wigan third 12, Spring View 3.

Sept. 30th - Received cablegram from LB. Todd stating he would sail from New Zealand on the 7th October.

Oct. 2nd - Wigan 5, Leigh 10. 20,000 spectators

Oct. 25th - Committee signed George Leonard Taylor as a professional player.

Nov. 13th - Self, H. Lowe, W. Hargreaves and Geo. Taylor went to London on way to Plymouth to meet L.B. Todd. Arrived Plymouth Sunday 14th.

Nov. 15th - Monday, at Plymouth. Left with tender and met steamer "Arawa" and brought L.B. Todd and Dave McPhail ashore and entrained for London at once. All went to Drury Lane Theatre in the evening.


Nov. 16th - Arrived from London at 6-50. Immense crowd in Wallgate to welcome Todd back.

Nov. 27th - At Broughton for Lancashire Cup Final tie. Wigan 22, Leigh 5. Moderate gate.

Dec. 3rd - Made sandwiches for "A" team, to Halifax.

Dec. 17th - Ned Jones came to see me re his indifferent form on the field and promised to do better.


Jan. 18th - Went with H. Bouchier to Dog and Partridge Hotel and signed Charley Seeling on, the New Zealand forward, of All-Black fame.

Jan. 24th - About 10 o'clock, self and H. Bouchier left committee meeting to see Joe Miller.

Feb. 26th - At Wigan. First round N.U. Cup. Bad day through snow. Wigan 16, Swinton 5.

Mar. 3rd - L.B. Todd complained, on behalf of players, about sandwiches for match with Hunslet next Saturday. Committee would not give way.

Mar. 4th - Assisted in making sandwiches for players to-morrow.

Mar. 5th - At Hunslet. Hunslet 10, Wigan 11.

Mar. 12th - Went to Salford. Second round N.U. Cup. Salford 12, Wigan 5. Gate £600

Mar. 21st - The selected for Australian Tour opposed a probable side at Central Park, Wigan, the former winning by 13 points to 11. Jas. Leytham, Bert Jenkins and Dick Ramsdale were accepted.

Apr. 4th - At committee meeting handed £20 to W. Smith for him to send to Massa Johnston. Probably his fare.

Apr. 6th - Attended Jacky Mason's benefit match at Central Park. Only a fair crowd.

Apr. 9th - Wales v. England in Wales. Jas. Sharrock, J. Leytham, R. Ramsdale, Bert Jenkins and Johnny Thomas took part.


Apr. 12th - Presented cabin trunks, etc., to Messrs, Leytham, Sharrock, Ramsdale, Jenkins and J. Thomas on occasion of them being selected to tour Australia with English side.

Apr. 16th - Semi-final Northern League at Salford. Salford 6, Wigan 17.

Apr. 23rd - At Broughton. Final Northern League. Oldham 13, Wigan 7.

Apr. 27th - With committee saw our tourists off from Manchester.

June 17th - With H. Bouchier met Charley Seeling and settled financial matters with him.

July 2nd - Wrestling match at Central Park. Irstlinger gained one fall over Bob Berry for Middle-weight Championship. Gate about £75. To wrestle again.

July 4th - Bob Berry gained victory over Irstlinger.

July 19th - With A. Laing went to Manchester and arranged with Broughton Rangers for transfer of Andy Hogg.

July 22nd - Went with G. Taylor to Blackpool, but failed to get Andy Hogg's signature.

Aug. 3rd - With other committeemen went with Messrs. Renwick and Williams to Dog and Partridge for short time. They signed for Wigan club August 9th.

Aug. 10th - Andy Hogg (below) still refused G. Taylor and I to sign him on at Blackpool, but he signed for us on the 19th.

Aug. 24th - Went with Mrs. Counsell to London to meet Massa Johnston, from New Zealand, and brought him back to Wigan the following day.

Sept. 2nd - Transferred McPhail to St. Helens club.

Sept. 17th - Saturday. Carnival in Central Park in aid of King Edward Memorial and Million Sixpences Fund. About 10,000 present. The Mayor (S. Wood) inaugurated the event.


Sept. 24th - Football Committee gave welcome home dinner, in the Masonic Rooms, to the Wigan tourists on their safe return from Australia.

Nov. 7th - Attended County match at Central Park, Wigan (Lancashire v. Yorkshire) and dined with County Committee at Masonic Rooms, Wallgate.

Nov. 25th - Went with Jim Henderson to Kirkby Lonsdale to interview Pluto Harrison, a wing three-quarter. He did not sign for us.

Dec. 15th - Ned Jones signed on for Broughton Rangers and Massa Johnston for Warrington. The former played for Wigan about six seasons and the latter a little over one season.

Dec. 26th - Boxing Day, at St. Helens. Record crowd. Sat with Lord Derby during the match. Wigan 18, St. Helens 6 points.