Diary of John Counsell

1924 ~ 1926


Feb. 20th - Australian Tour Trial match at Central Park, Wigan. Gate £700. Jim Sullivan and Danny Hurcombe of the Wigan club played well.

Feb. 27th - Sullivan, Ring, Howley, Hurcombe and Price, of the Wigan club, selected to go to Australia. (above)

Mar. 1st - At Central Park. Second round Rugby League Challenge Cup. Wigan 49 points, Broughton R. nil. About 23,000 spectators. Gate £1,140.

Mar. 12th - Completed the selection of players to tour Australia. Manchester meeting,

Mar. 15th - With directors and team went to Hunslet. Third round R.L. Cup. Hunslet 8, Wigan 13. About 25,000 spectators. Gate £1,740.

Mar. 29th - With directors and team went to Salford football ground to see semi-final for Rugby League Cup. Wigan 30, Barrow 5. 20,000 spectators. Gate about £1,500.


Apr. 12th - At Rochdale. Final tie for Rugby League Challenge Cup, before a record crowd who broke on the field before the start of the match. Nearly 41,000 spectators. Gate £3,600. Wigan 21 points, Oldham 4.

Apr. 14th - Monday. Went with Wigan directors and players to Springfield Park with R.L. Cup. Wigan Boro' v. Everton, in aid of War Memorial.

Apr. 16th - Went as far as Manchester with the five Wigan players selected for Australia.

Apr. 26th - Semi-final, at Central Park, for Northern League Cup. Wigan 27, Leigh nil, About 15,000.

May 3rd - Final for Northern League Cup at Broughton. Batley 13, Wigan 7, although Wigan finished easily at the head of the League table prior to playing off match.

May 26th - Attended Wigan Football Club directors' meeting. Mr. Alf. Peacock's resignation as a director was accepted.

Aug. 30th - Opening match at Central Park. Wigan 3, Swinton 8. The five Wigan tourists were absent.


Sept. 1st - Alderman Walkden and H. Lowe brought a footballer from South Africa.

Sept. 4th - Alderman Walkden and H. Lowe gave a report of their visit to South Africa.

Sept. 6th - At Warrington. Warrington 9 points, Wigan nil. Our five tourists were still absent.

Sept. 21st - Met the Rugby League tourists on their return from Australia and New Zealand at Liverpool.

Sept. 27th - Welcome home dinner at the Grand Hotel to the five Wigan football tourists from Australia.

Oct. 2nd - Attended Rugby League Council's official welcome home to the returned football tourists at the Griffin Hotel, Leeds. Only fourteen of the twenty-six players turned up.

Oct. 11th - St. Helens Recs. 17, Wigan 2. First round Lancashire Cup at St. Helens.

Oct. 13th - D. Booysen (below) arrived in Wigan from South Africa. Messrs. Walkden and H. Lowe secured his signature to play for Wigan. They had been searching for players over there.

Nov. 22nd - At Salford. Final for Lancashire Challenge Cup. Oldham 10, St. Helens Recs. nil. £1,100 gate.


Feb. 7th - At Workington. England 27, Wales 22. Gate over £700. Six Wigan players took part in the game.


Feb. 14th - At Central Park. First round Rugby League Challenge Cup. Wigan 116 points, Flimby and Fothergill nil. Gate £520. Sullivan kicked 22 goals. The Wigan club gave them £50 on account.

Feb. 28th - At Headingley, Leeds. Second round Rugby League Challenge Cup. Leeds 1 penalty goal, Wigan nil. About 30,000 spectators and £2,000 gate.

Mar. 25th - Attended meeting of Rugby League clubs in Manchester to consider application from Castleford club to join the Rugby League Northern competition. Twelve voted for and twelve against, thus failing to get a majority which is necessary.

Mar. 31st - J.H. Darnett, of Hull, gave an address on his travels with the Rugby League Football Tourists to Australia as manager of the party, in the Queen's Hall, Wigan.

Apr. 4th - At Central Park, Wigan. Semi-final for Rugby League Cup. Oldham 3 goals 1 try, Rochdale H. nil. 26,000 spectators. £1,800 gate.

Apr. 13th - Easter Monday, at Central Park. Wigan 57 points, Salford 19. Gate less than £100.

Apr. 16th - Alderman Jas. Walkden presented the Counsell Cup to St. Catharine's Schoolboys who beat Ince Central Schoolboys.

Apr. 25th - Final at Leeds for Rugby League Challenge Cup. Oldham 16, Hull K.R. 3. 29,000 spectators.

May 2nd - At Rochdale. Northern League final. Hull Kingston Rovers 3 goals 1 try, Swinton 5 points. Gate £1,500. 22,000 spectators.

May 19th - Wigan directors decided to get specifications, etc., for new covered stand at the pavilion end.



June 11th - Annual meetings of the Rugby League and Northern League in Manchester. Mr. R. Gale, the retiring chairman, and Mr. G. Holden, of Oldham, failed to secure seats on either body. Alderman Walkden attended the former meeting. J. Counsell headed the Lancashire sections on both bodies.

Aug. 18th - Attended with other Wigan directors the funeral of Mr. J.H. Prescott, who had been connected with the Wigan Football Club a good number of years. He was buried in Wigan Cemetery.

Sept. 24th - Wigan Football Club directors decided to offer on transfer Danny Hurcombe to a few leading clubs.

Sept. 30th - At Central Park. International match. England 18 points, Wales 14. Gate £700.

Oct. 10th - At Central Park. 1st round of the Lancashire County Challenge Cup. Wigan 14 points, Warrington 10. Gate £1,213; 25,000 spectators. Wigan £1 bonus.

Oct. 21st - At Central Park. 2nd round Lancashire Challenge Cup. Wigan 31 points, Broughton Rangers 8. Gate £305 2s. 2d.

Nov. 2nd - At Oldham. Semi-final for Lancashire Challenge Cup. Oldham 5 points, Wigan 5.

Nov. 11th - At Central Park. Re-play for semi-final Lancashire Challenge Cup. Wigan 52 points, Oldham 3. Gate £1,053 19s. 0d. About 22,000 spectators.

Nov. 21st - At Broughton. Lancashire Challenge Cup final postponed on account of frost.

Dec. 9th - At the Broughton Rangers ground. Final for the Lancashire Challenge Cup. Swinton 15 points, Wigan 11. Gate £1,115. Spectators about 18,000.


Dec. 9th - At Central Park after returning home from Broughton. Lively evening in the committee room.

Dec. 12th - At t. Helens Recs. ground. County match. Lancashire 26 points, Yorkshire 10. Gate £627. About 15,000 spectators.

Dec. 14th - Danny Hurcombe declined to leave Wigan for Halifax.

Dec. 17th - Wigan directors settled with Halifax Club representatives re Danny Hurcombe, but it depended on him whether he would leave Wigan or not.

Dec. 25th - Wigan 36 points, Leigh 16.

Dec. 26th - At St. Helens. St. Helens 5 points, Wigan 10. Gate £673.


Jan. 1st - Wigan 2 points, Batley nil. Rain; poor game and gate.

Jan 5th - Wigan directors' meeting sent two deputations one to Millom and one to near Manchester. Messrs. Walkden and Entwistle signed on two half-backs from the Millom Club. (below)

Jan. 9th - Great match at Central Park. Wigan 18 points, St. Helens Recs. 19. Angry demonstrations after the match against referee C. Denham. Police escorted him from ground the back way.

Jan. 11th - The Wigan directors granted £10 10s. 0d. to the "Wigan Examiner" subscription fund towards defraying the cost of damage done by the storm to the Wigan Boro' Association Football Club, Springfield Park.