Diary of John Counsell

1922 ~ 1924


Jan. 11th - Sub-Committee of the N.U. met deputation from the Players' Union in Leeds.

Jan. 14th - Test match at Salford. England 2 tries, Australia nil. Fraser injured and carried off prior to half-time.

Jan. 23rd - Saw the Australian footballers off at Victoria Station, London.

Feb. 23rd - Appointed a trustee of the N.U. along with J.B. Crooke and W. Fillan.

Feb. 25th - At Wigan. First round N.U. Cup. Wigan 15, Wakefield Trinity 6. Nearly £900 gross gate.

Mar. 11th - At Wigan. Second round N.U. Cup. Wigan 52 points, Hunslet 6. Gate £1,000.

Mar. 25th - At Wigan. Third round N.U. Cup. Wigan 45 points, Keighley nil. Gate £600.

Apr. 8th - At Headingley, Leeds. Semi-final N.U. Cup. Rain and snow during match. Hull 18, Wigan 5. Hurcombe and Jerram did not play. Both were injured.

Apr. 22nd - League Management Committee inspected Wigan Highfield's ground.


Apr. 22nd - At Wigan. Semi-final for Northern League. Wigan 27, Hull 8. Gate about £1,000. Jim Sullivan kicked his 105th goal during the season.

Apr. 28th - Purchased Counsell Cup from E. Dickinson, to be played for annually by Wigan Juniors.

May 4th - Wigan Football Committee offered £5 per player extra if they won the final tie against Oldham on Saturday at Broughton.

May 6th - At Broughton. Final tie for Northern League Cup. Wigan 13, Oldham 2. Gate £1,826. About 25,000 spectators. Huge crowd waiting in Wigan for team with cup.

June 14th - Goals from marks abolished.

June 14th - Annual meetings of N.U. and N. Leagues, and headed the poll at both meetings.

June 29th - Voting for Wigan F.C. directors at the Football Pavilion. Resulted as follows: Messrs. A. Clarke, Simm and R. Sharrock elected. Mr. A. Peacock left off.


June 30th - The first conference of the Rugby League was held at Keswick at the Royal Oak Hotel. John Counsell was chairman that year.

Aug. 21st - Attended special meeting of the rugby League Council at Griffin Hotel, Leeds, re the threatened strike of players next Saturday.

Aug. 24th - Meeting in Manchester, when it was announced that the talked of players' strike was declared off.


Sept. 2nd - Opening of Wigan Highfield's new ground. Result: Wigan Highfield 10, Wigan 25. Messrs. J.W. Wood (Leeds), H. Darnott (Hull), J.F. Whitaker (Batley) and J. Counsell (Wigan), members of the League Management Committee were present.


Sept. 11th - J.H. Prescott presented with the long service medal at meeting of Wigan Football Club directors' meeting.

Sept. 22nd - Attended in official capacity of chairman of the Rugby League Council the formal opening of Hull Kingston Rovers' Football Club's new ground.

Oct. 14th - At Rochdale. First round Lancashire Senior Cup Competition. Hornets 2, Wigan 5. Gate £1,145

Nov. 11th - At Warrington. Semi-final. Warrington 2, Wigan 8. Gate £1,200

Nov. 25th - On Salford ground. Final tie for Lancashire Cup. Wigan 20, Leigh 2. Gate £1,200. Big crowd awaited arrival of team with Cup in Wigan.

Nov. 29th - Gave an address to Halifax juniors and intermediates, and stayed the night at Hebden Bridge.

Dec. 11th - At Herne Hill, London. England 12 points, Wales 7. Very disappointing attendance. Stayed with R.L. Council and teams at First Avenue Hotel (below).

Dec. 25th - Christmas Day at Leigh. Leigh nil, Wigan 22. Pools of water about.

Dec. 26th - At St. Helens. Wigan 9 points, St. Helens 3. Very big gate.



Jan. 1st - At Wigan. Wigan 38 points, Leigh 8. About 20,000 spectators.

Feb 7th. International football match at Central Park. A wet day. England 2 points, Wales 13. Gate just over £700. Councillor J.M. Ainscough kicked off.

Feb. 17th - At Central Park. First round Rugby League Challenge Cup. Wigan 47, Bramley nil. £325 gate.

Mar. 3rd - At Featherstone. Second round R.L. Cup. Featherstone 13 points, Wigan 14.

Mar. 17th - At Central Park. Third round R.L. Cup. Wigan 20, Dewsbury 12. Gate £960.

Mar. 30th - Good Friday, at Headingley. Leeds 32 points, Wigan 7 points. Wigan club annoyed at the fixture as we expected playing St. Helens at Wigan on God Friday.

Apr. 2nd - Easter Monday. Jim Sullivan at the Wigan v. Dewsbury match beat Ben Gronow's (Huddersfield) record of 147 goals by kicking 172 goals in a season. He also scored 11 tries from gull-back position.

Apr. 14th - At Huddersfield. Semi-final R.L. up. Hull 13 points, Wigan 9 points. Several Wigan players on injured list. Gate just under £2,000.

Apr. 28th - Final tie for Rugby League Challenge Cup in Wakefield. Introduced Mr. G. Ellis, M.P. for Wakefield, who presented cup to J.A. Bacon, captain of Leeds. Result: Leeds 28, Hull 3.

June 22nd - Attended Rugby League football conference in Llandudno. Friday until Tuesday.

June 27th - Annual meeting of Wigan Football Club, Ltd., in Queen's Hall. Alderman Jas. Walkden in the chair. Messrs. Walkden, Highton and Jas. Sharrock elected directors.

July 12th - Club representatives at special meeting in Leeds replaced ban on Australians or two years' qualification in this country.

Aug. 1st - R.L. Emergency Committee visited Wigan Highfield football ground re stand accommodation.

Aug. 18th - Final trial match at Central Park. Seven of the Wigan Welsh players failed to turn out owing to a dispute, but came to terms with them on Monday.


Oct. - Wigan club signed on Van Heerden (below) of South Africa.

Oct. 1st - Danny Hurcombe of the Wigan team got two tries in the England v. Wales match at Fartown, Huddersfield.

Oct. 6th - Van Heerden turned out with the "A" team at Central Park and played well. Gate over £140.

Oct. 13th - At Central Park. First round Lancashire Challenge Cup. Wigan 4 goals 1 try, Broughton R. 2 tries. First match that Van Heerden played in first team. Gate £870.

Oct. 27th - At Oldham. Second round Lancashire Challenge Cup. Oldham 15, Wigan 5.

Nov. 2nd - The Wigan club transferred G. Hesketh to Oldham for £700.

Nov. 24th - Final for the Lancashire Challenge Cup at Central Park, Wigan. St. Helens Recs. 17, Swinton nil. Gate about 26,000. Receipts £1,400.

Dec. 25th - Christmas Day. Ground unfit through frost. Wigan v. Leigh match was postponed.


Jan. 1st - Tuesday. Dull and wet day. Went to Central Park. Wigan 30 points, Wakefield 6.

Jan. 9th - In Leeds. Trial match for Australian Tour. A little snow. During the match J. Ring and T. Howley of the Wigan club played well.

Jan. 23rd - Went to Rugby League Council meeting by car to Leeds in consequence of railway strike.

Jan. 25th - Two Wigan directors went to Scotland to see half-back play.

Feb. 16th -At Central Park. First round Rugby League Challenge Cup. Wigan 7 points, Leigh 5. 33,000 spectators. Gate £1,800. £2 bonus.