Diary of John Counsell

1926 ~ 1928



Jan. 19th - Attended special meeting of Wigan directors for a straight talk to players.

Feb. 13th - At Central Park. 1st round Rugby League Cup. Wigan 45 points, York 10. £510.

Feb. 20th - At Central Park. Wigan "A" 13 points, Widnes "A" nil. Gate over £100. Hall and Ellis, half backs from Millom, turned out.

Feb. 27th - At Headigley, Leeds. 2nd round Rugby League Cup. Leeds 17 points, Wigan 10.

Mar. 13th - At Tunstall Lane, Highfield. 3rd round Rugby League Cup. Wigan Highfield 11 points, Leeds 2.

April 6th - At Tunstall Lane, Highfield. Wigan Highfield 38 points, York 8.

April 10th - At Central Park. Wigan "A" 4 points, Wigan Highfield 15.

April 12th - At Pontypridd, Wales. Wales 22 points, England 30. Gate £2,300. Over 22,000 spectators.

May 1st - Challenge Cup Final at Rochdale. Swinton 9 points, Oldham 3. Gate £2,540. 28,000 spectators. O', Pilling with me.

May 8th - At St. Helens Town ground. Final for Northern League Cup. Wigan 22 points, Warrington 10.

May 12th - Final for "Daily Dispatch" Shield at Central Park (below). Wigan St. Patrick's 6 points, Widnes St. Bede's 3. Gate nearing 20,000. £235 in cash. (source)

July 1st-Special meeting of Wigan Football Club directors and cam to an agreement with Halifax club for the transfer from Wigan to Halifax of D. Hurcombe, subject to him signing for them.

Aug. 16th - Mr. Geo. Taylor reported to directors that he had transferred Danny Hurcombe to Halifax.


Sept. 2nd - Went to Southampton to meet the New Zealand Football team, the All Blacks. The boat, Minnedosa (below), was late and had to sleep on board the night.

Sept. 23rd - Attended special meeting of Rugby League Council, at Harrogate, to meet managers and team of New Zealand regarding the misconduct of some members of the team.

Oct. 2nd - At Central Park, Wigan (below). First Test match. England 28 points, New Zealand (All Blacks) 20. Gate approximate £1,655. Two shillings minimum charge.


Oct. 9th - At Central Park. 1st round Lancashire Cup. Strong wind and rain during match. Wigan three goals by Sullivan, Swinton 10 points. Gate about £740.

Oct. 21st - Self and H. Ball to Newport, Wales, to watch Newport play the Maoris. Considered Maoris just a moderate side.

Oct. 23rd - Self and Ball went to Newport to Newport v. Aberavon to see Tal Harris, the Aberavon half back. Decided he was below Wigan's standard.

Nov. 3rd - Heard of more trouble amongst the New Zealand football team stationed at Harrogate.

Nov. 17th - At Highfield. Wigan Highfield 2 points, All Blacks 14.

Dec. 11th - At Central Park. Wigan 10 tries 3 goals, 36 points, New Zealand 5 tries, 15 points. All Blacks were handicapped by having two men off nearly all the second half.

Dec. 25th - Christmas Day at Central Park. Wigan 25 points, Leigh nil. Good football shown by both sides. Gate £936.



Jan.1st - At Central Park. Wigan 6 points, Wakefield Trinity 7.

Jan. 4th - Went with other directors to see an old St. Patrick's schoolboy named kirk, but he declined to sign on for the Wigan club.

Jan. 5th-Meeting of League clubs in Manchester. A proposition to remove ban on Colonial players was lost by 14 votes to 13. Alderman J. Walkden spoke on behalf of the Wigan club.

Jan. 22nd - More snow. Wigan "A" 21 points, Cadishead nil. The Lancashire County Committee had forbidden the playing of this match. Messrs. Oliver and Dowdall played.

Jan. 25th - Attended special meeting of Lancashire County Football Committee. H.Lowe and G. Taylor attended on behalf of Wigan Club to answer charge of playing the "A" team match v. Cadishead, against the ruling of the committee at a previous meeting. The Wigan club was fined £25.


Feb. 5th - At Central Park. Crooke Brass Band led mass singing before the match, and at the interval. Wigan 28 points, Broughton Rangers 10. Gate about £350.

Feb.12th - At Central Park. 1st Round Rugby League Challenge Cup. Wigan 51 points, Pemberton Rovers 11. Gate about £380. The following new men played for Wigan: Oliver (South Africa, below), Kinnear, Dowdall and Dai Jones.

Feb. 19th - At Headingley, Leeds. League match. Leeds 28 points, Wigan 2. Wigan overplayed.

(below: Wilf Hodder, Eddie Dowdall, Dai Jones, Bill Oliver, at Headingley 19.03.27)

Feb. 26th - At Headingley, Leeds. 2nd round Rugby League Challenge Cup. Leeds 13 points, Wigan 3 points. £5 bonus offered for a win. Wigan were rather over-played. Big disappointment at the result in Wigan. About 30,000 gate. £2,200.

Apr. 15th - Good Friday at Central Park. Wigan 8 points, St. Helens 10 points. 21,000 spectators. Nearly £1,000 gate.

Apr. 23rd - Semi-final for Northern League. Result, Swinton 23 points, Wigan 3. J. Ring and Oliver did not play, and Jim Sullivan was scarcely fit. Gate £849.

Apr. 27th - Attended special meeting in Manchester of Rugby League Clubs and decided by a big majority that the constitution of the Rugby League Council consist of one representative from each club, also two junior representatives from Lancashire and two from Yorkshire.

Apr. 30th - At Warrington. Final for Northern League Championship. Result: Swinton 13, St. Helens Recs. 8; 25,000 spectators; gate £1,800.

May 7th - At Central Park. Final tie for Rugby League Challenge Cup. Oldham 3 goals 6 tries, 26 points, Swinton 2 goals 1 try, 7 points. 38,000 spectators. £3,200 approx.

Aug. 31st - Wednesday, at Central Park. Wigan 41, Wigan Highfield 2. £290 gross.

Sept. 14th - At Central Park. Wigan 12, Hunslet 26. Big disappointment to the spectators.

Oct. 8th -At Central Park. First round of Lancashire Challenge Cup. Wigan 21, Leigh 8. 19,000 spectators. £955.

Oct. 19th - At. St. Helens Recs. ground. Second round Lancashire Challenge Cup. St. Helens Recs. 7, Wigan 10. Nearly £500.

Oct. 22nd - At St. Helens Recs. ground. Raining all day. St. Helens Recs. 8, Wigan nil. League match.

Oct. 26th - Rugby League Council meeting. Accepted resignation of Pontypridd Club, Wales, they being in financial difficulties.

Nov. 2nd - Wigan beat Warrington in the semi-final of the Lancashire Challenge Cup 12 points to 5 points.

Nov. 18th - Friday. Benny Davidson (below) appealed against being sent off and appeared before the Management Committee. He got off.

Nov. 19th - At Oldham. Final for the Lancashire Challenge Cup. Swinton 5, Wigan 2. Gate £1,275.

Dec. 21st - Meeting of Rugby League clubs in Manchester. Cardiff R.L. Club was admitted,



Jan. 4th - Special meeting of Wigan Football Committee. Transferred Dodger Owen to St. Helens.

Jan. 7th - Wigan teams no matches. Went to Wigan Highfield. Highfield 10, Broughton 3.

Jan. 11th - The draw for the Rugby League Challenge Cup took place at the Victoria Hotel (below), Wigan. (first round); Charles Preston, chairman R.L. Later International match at Wigan. England 20, Wales 12.


Feb. 11th - At Central Park. First round R.L. Challenge Cup. Wigan 2 points, Huddersfield 13. Wigan's team's play was disappointing.

Feb. 25th - At Wigan. Wigan 8, Leigh 15.

Apr. 14th - At Central Park. Final for Rugby League Challenge Cup. Swinton 5, Warrington 3. Mrs. Charles Preston presented cup to H. Halsall.

Apr. 19th - Went with Isaiah Pennington with Jim Sullivan, Walter Gowers and Nat Bentham to London to see them and other players off the Australia and New Zealand.

May 5th - At Oldham. Northern League final. Swinton 11, Featherstone Rovers 2. 15,000 spectators. Gate £1,135.

June 20th - Annual meeting of Wigan Football Club, Ltd. H. Lowe chairman. Messrs. A. Simm and T. Brown failed to get re-elected; E. Conroy and Johnny Thomas taking their places. A demand of fifty hands up for a poll did not reach that number and the ballot was taken at this meeting.