Diary of John Counsell

1917 ~ 1921


Jan. 1st - Went with Wigan team to Barrow. Barrow 29, Wigan nil.

Mar. 31st - Wigan beat Huddersfield at Huddersfield, 19 points to nil.

Apr. 6th - At Central Park, Wigan. Wigan 25, St. Helens 5. Gate £128

Apr. 7th - At Central Park, Wigan. Wigan 30 points, Oldham 5. Gate £128.

Apr. 9th - Easter Monday at Central Park. Wigan nil, Leigh 5. Gate £106. Match played half-gate terms.

Apr. 28th - At Leigh. Wigan 5, Leigh 2. Half-gate terms. £64 less tax.

May 15th - Attended Football Clubs' Relief Committee in connection with N.L. in Manchester.

Aug. 28th - Attended Lancashire County Committee meeting. Clubs to play 12 aside during current season.

Sept. 25th - Attended N.L. Relief Committee at Huddersfield.

Sept. 29th - At Central Park. Wigan 41, Salford 6. Gate about £27.

Nov. 3rd - At Wigan. Wigan 8 points, Warrington 10. Gate about £19.

Nov. 20th - Attended Lancashire County Football Committee re 12 aside. No definite decision.

Dec. 25th - Christmas Day, at Central Park. Wigan nil, Barrow 16. Gate £68.


Jan. 5th - Wigan 6, New Zealand 9. Rugby Union rules, 15 aside. New Zealand team all army men. Gross gate £46 odd.


Jan. 14th - Attended Wigan Football Committee meeting and sold grandstand for £452 to W. Johnson, J.P.

Mar. 29th - good Friday, at Central Park. Wigan 5, St. Helens Recs. nil. Gate £105. Half-gate terms.

Apr. 12th - Air raid over Wigan by German Zeppelin.

(Below, Harper St. Wigan)

June 13th - Attended first annual meeting of the Northern Union under the new arrangement, viz., election of Council by ballot, and headed the poll of the Lancashire section with 22 votes out of a possible 24.

Dec. 25th - Present at football match at Central Park. Wigan 11, Navy team 6. Gate about £60.


Feb. 20th - Thursday. Attended Wigan Football Club Committee meeting and met the players who asked for £1 per man or they could not go to Oldham on Saturday. The few committee who were there declined to accede to their request.

Feb. 22nd - Wigan players on strike. They should have gone to Oldham.

Feb. 24th - Attended Wigan Football Club Committee meeting and arranged terms with the players, viz., 15s. win, 12s. 6d. draw or lose; 7s. 6d. reserves.

Apr. 11th - Attended special meeting of Wigan Football Committee regarding terms with S. Jerram (below) from Wales.

Aug. 28th - Specials meeting of Wigan Football Club Committee. Gwyn Thomas and Percy Coldrick refused to sign for this season.


Jan. - Messrs. John Wilson and Sid. Foster appointed Australian Tour managers.

Jan. 29th - Attended Wigan Football Club Committee meeting. The forwards intimated they would not play on Saturday unless they got the same pay as back players.

Jan. 31st - The Wigan back players refused to go to Swinton with the emergency forwards the Committee had called upon. The "A" team match took place at Central Park, Wigan "A" winning easily.

Feb. 7th - At Rochdale. Rochdale nil, Wigan 5. Wigan "A" 29, Rochdale nil.


Feb. 11th - At arbitration case; Wigan Committee v. Wigan Forward Players. Award given in club's favour.

Mar. 3rd - Before 32,000 spectators at Wigan. Wigan 12 points, Huddersfield 8. Gate £1,700 16s. 0d.

Mar. 17th - Wigan 11, Rochdale H. 3. Gate £560.

Mar. 20th - Wigan 6, Widnes 7. Gate £760.

Mar. 27th - At Halifax. Semi final for N.U. Cup. Wigan 12, Hull 5. Gate £1,600

Apr. 10th - At Leeds. Final for N.U. Cup. Wigan 10 points, Huddersfield 21 points. Gate £1,938.

Aug. 20th - Selling season tickets; a big number being sold.

Sept. 4th - Before a big crowd at Central Park. Wigan 16, Warrington 5.

Sept. 13th - Monday. Committee meeting. Signed Messrs. Howley (below) and Roffey; two Welshmen.

Sept. 25th - At Central Park before 20,000 spectators. Wigan 18, Rochdale 5. Gate £925.

Sept. 27th - Put Walford on transfer list, and on 30th withdrew him from transfer list.

Oct. 2nd - Wigan "A" 10 points, Highfield 5. A big gate. Approx. £156 gross.

Oct. 16th - First round Lancashire Cup at Swinton. Swinton 11, Wigan 18.

Oct. 30th - At Widnes, Second round Lancashire Cup. Widnes 13, Wigan 12.

Dec. 4th - Lancashire Cup final at Salford. Broughton R. 6, Leigh 3. £1,800 gate.



Jan. 1st - At Central Park. Wigan 5, Leigh 5. Gate approximately £1,250

Jan. 5th - Northern League Management Committee in Manchester. H. Lowe attended re R. Jones, the referee, in the Wigan v. Swinton match.

Jan. 8th - Benefit match at Central Park for Messrs. J. Thomas, B. Jenkins and R. Ramsdale. Wigan 14, Widnes 3. Big crowd.

Feb. 6th - Special meeting of Wigan Committee on ground re the floating of the club as a limited liability company.

Feb. 16th - Attended with sub-committee of the Northern Union meeting with Messrs. McKenna and Sutcliffe of the Association Football Management re rules of the N.U. Players' Union.

Feb. 21st - Monday. last qualifying round for the N.U. Cup at Central Park. Highfield 10, Pemberton Rovers nil. Gate over £300.

Feb. 26th - At. St. Helens. First round N.U. Cup. St. Helens Recs. 9 points, Wigan 6.

Mar. 5th - At Central Park. Wigan 9 tries 0 goals (27 points), Bramley 5 points. Gate £600.

Mar. 16th - In Queen's Hall, Market-street. Special meeting of members of the Wigan Football Club. Unanimously decided to float the club as a limited liability company.


Mar. 25th - Good Friday, at Central Park. Wigan v. St. Helens. Gate £1,000 approx.

Mar. 26th - At Central Park. Wigan v. St. Helens Recs. Gate approx. £1,000

Mar. 28th - At Central Park. Wigan 21, Leeds nil. Gate £1,300

Apr. 6th - Wednesday, at Central Park. Wigan 23, Huddersfield 10. Gate £1,300.


Apr. 8th - The Wigan club's secretary, Mr. G. Taylor, received more cash for shares in the new company than was asked for.

May 30th - Wigan Football Committee. A little lively.

June 8th - Attended last annual meeting of the Wigan Football Club and the first meeting of the Wigan Football Company, Ltd., at the Queen's Hall. Mr. H. Lowe presided at the first meeting. At the company's meeting Jas. Walkden presided.

June 18th - Attended first meeting of the directors of the Wigan Football Company, Ltd. H. Lowe elected chairman and Jas Walkden vice-chairman. Ald. Baucher, solicitor, was present.


June 18th - Jas Sullivan signed on for the Wigan club and played his first match against Widnes, Aug. 27th.

June 23rd - Thursday. In Huddersfield. Northern Union meeting. Messrs. H. Wagstaffe, Gwyn Thomas and W. Thomas attended on behalf of the Players' Union.

June 12th - Jas. Entwistle, on behalf of the Wigan Football Club, arranged fixtures in the Lancashire Senior Competition for Wigan "A" team.

Aug. 20th - Final practice match at Central Park. The proceeds for local charities were £150.

Aug. 27th -Opening football match of the season at Central Park before a big attendance. Over £700 gate. Result: Wigan 21 points, Widnes nil. Jim Sullivan, the new full-back, played a good game. He kicked five goals. The forwards did well. The weak positions were the wingmen Coles and Llewellen, who performed moderately.

Sept. 5th - Met the boat "Scandanavia" at Southampton with the Australian football team on board.

Sept. 20th - George Hesketh, the Wigan half-back, was selected to play in the forthcoming County match, Lancashire v. Yorkshire, at Rochdale.

Oct. 1st - Attended first Test match in Leeds. England 2 tries, 6 points, Australia 5 points. Gate nearly £4,000.

Oct. 4th - Yorkshire County 5 points, Lancashire 2.

Oct. 15th - Australian Football Team at Wigan. Wigan 3 goals, 6 points, Australia 4 goals 2 tries, 14 points. Gate money £2,627. Entertained both teams at Grand Hotel.

Nov. 5th - Second Test match at Hull. England 2, Australians 16.

Nov. 30th - On the Everton football ground, kindly lent for the occasion. Lancashire League 6 points, Australia 29.


Dec. 17th - Jerry Shea turned out with the Wigan "A" team against Salford "A" and he created a good impression.