Diary of John Counsell

1928 ~ 1930


Aug. 8th - Northern League Management Committee meeting held at Bellingham Bowling Green, Wigan-lane. All members attended.

Aug. 25th - Went to Carlisle with Messrs. Wood and Kennedy. Opening of new Rugby League club there. Wigan Highfield 10, Carlisle 3. Poor attendance.

Sept. 29th - Met our Football Tourists at Liverpool Landing Stage. The boat they came back on was the "Duchess of Atholl" (below).

Oct. 3rd - Rugby League Council meeting in Leeds. Decided to play Rugby League final in London, May 5th, 1929.

Oct. 13th - At Central Park. First round Lancashire Cup. Wigan 37, Barrow 13. Gate £250.


Oct. 18th - Jim Sharrock appointed secretary-manager to Rochdale Hornets Football Club.

Oct. 24th - Cup Committee decided to play final at Wembley, May 5th, 1929. Second round Lancashire Cup. Wigan 21, Swinton 3. At Swinton.

Nov. 5th - Semi-final Lancashire Cup at Oldham. Oldham 5, Wigan 5.

Nov. 7th - Semi-final Lancashire Cup at Central Park. Replay. Wigan 21, Oldham nil.

Nov. 14th -At Sloper-road ground, Cardiff. Wales 15, England 39. £500.

Nov. 24th - At Warrington. Final for the Lancashire Challenge Cup. Wigan 5 points, Widnes 4 points. 19,000 spectators. Gate £1,150.

Dec. 1st - At Barrow. Barrow 6, Wigan 12. Brown (below), Kinnear, Ring and Mason try each.

Dec. 25th - At Central Park. Christmas Day. Wigan 17, Leigh 5. Just over £1,000.


Jan. 1st - At Central Park. Wigan 22 points, Wakefield Trinity 11. Gate £430.

Feb. 9th - At Central Park. First round Rugby League Challenge Cup. Wigan 25 points, Batley nil. Gate £315.

Feb. 16th - All Rugby League games were declared off on account of frost.

Feb. 23rd - At Central Park. Wigan 16, Hunslet nil. Gate £455.

Mar. 2nd - Opening of Swinton's new ground near the station. Swinton 9 points, Wigan 3 points. Big gate £1,060. Hodgson kicked first goal and Roy Kinnear (below) for first try.

Mar. 9th-Third round at St. Helens. St. Helens 2, Wigan 2. Gate £1,632.

Mar. 13th - At Central Park. Third Round R.L. Challenge Cup replay. Wigan 25, St. Helens 5. Ellaby and Lewis retired during the game. Gate £1,752. 31,500 spectators.

Mar. 20th - The following Wigan players took part in the England v. Other Nationalities match at Leeds: Messrs. Sullivan, Binks, Mason, Kinnear, and Stephens.

Apr. 6th - At Swinton. Semi-final Rugby League Challenge Cup. Wigan 7 points, St. Helens Recs. 7 points.

Apr. 10th - At Leigh. Semi-final replay for R.L. Challenge Cup. Wigan 13 points, St. Helens Recs. 12. About 22,500 spectators. Gate £1,500. Len Mason sent off.

Apr. 20th - At Central Park. Wigan 5 points, Leeds 28 points. Wigan's display was disappointing. Wigan dropped out of first four and Leeds went in.


May 4th - First Rugby League Challenge Cup final at Wembley. Wigan 13, Dewsbury 2 42,000 (?) spectators. Gate £6,000 (?)

May 6th - Wigan directors and players arrived in Wigan at 6-50 with the Rugby League Challenge Cup. We took the cup to Central Park where a junior final was taking place, which swelled the gate to over £100.

June 19th - Annual meeting of shareholders of Wigan Football Club, Ltd. H. Lowe in the chair. Rowdy at times.

June 25th - R.F. Anderton, of Warrington, was elected hon. secretary to the Lancashire County Football League Committee.

Sept. 7th - At Central Park. Wigan 33 points, Leeds 18. About 13,000 spectators. Gate £600.

Sept. 24th - Special meeting of Wigan Football Club directors. Decided to send for Prentice, a New Zealand Rugby footballer.

Sept. 26th - At Warrington. Australians 29, Lancashire County 14. J. Sherrington, of Wigan, played in match.


Oct. 12th - At Wigan. First round Lancashire Cup. Wigan 5, Oldham 10. Wigan's play was disappointing.

Nov. 1st - Attended Selection Committee and selected team to meet Australia at Leeds in the second Test match.

Nov. 9th - At Leeds. Second Test match. England 9, Australia 3.


Nov. 23rd - At Central Park. Final tie for Lancashire Challenge Cup. Warrington 15, Salford 2. 21,012 spectators and gate £1,250. Lord Derby presented cup and medals.

Dec. 4th - At Central Park. Northern League team 18, Australians 5. 11,000 spectators. Gate £920.

Dec. 25th - Christmas Day. Wigan 29, Leigh 5. The attendance was disappointing. About £380.

Dec. 28th - At Central Park. Wigan 9 points, Australia 10. March spoiled by heavy rain.


Jan. 1st - At Central Park. Wigan 23, Wakefield Trinity 6. Only about 5,000 spectators.

Jan. 4th - At Swinton. Third Test match. After a hard, gruelling game nothing was scored. Australia was rather the better side but the English forwards tackled them well. 34,709 spectators: £4,179.

Jan. 11th - With the Wigan "A" team at St. Helens Recs. ground. E. Spillane, of the Wigan team, had his leg broken. We brought him back safely in the chara. The doctor was very good and made him comfortable to travel.

Jan. 15th - After the draw at Swinton another Test match was arranged and took place on this date at Rochdale before 18,000 spectators with gate money £2,036. Result: England 1 try (Smith), Australia nil. Australian managers, Sunderland and L. Dargan.

Jan. 22nd - Saw the Football Tourists off at Southampton.

Feb. 8th - At Central Park. Wigan 19 points, Broughton Rangers nil, being the first round of the Rugby League Cup. Gate just over £400.

Feb. 22nd - Second round Rugby League Challenge Cup. Wigan 14, Halifax 5. Gate £650.

Mar. 8th - At Wigan. Third round RL. Cup. Wigan 2 goals 4 tries, 16, Warrington 5. 39,007 spectators and money £2,216. Swift, referee.

Mar. 29th - At Swinton. Semi-final for Rugby League Cup. Wigan 5, St. Helens 5. 37,169 spectators, cash £2,667.

Apr. 2nd - At Leigh. Semi-final for R.L. Challenge Cup. Replay. Wigan 10, St. Helens 22.

May 3rd - At Wembley, London. Final for Rugby League Challenge Cup. Widnes 10, St. Helens 3. Disappointing gate.

Sept. 3rd - Made sandwiches for Wigan football team on their visit to Featherstone. Wigan 12, Featherstone 9.


Sept. 13th - Wigan first team's first defeat by Wigan Highfield. Wigan 3 points, Highfield 9 points. Poor gate.

Sept. 27th - Attended Mr. Joe Platt's funeral at Oldham.

Oct. 8th - Met E. Gwyn Davies (below), the Welsh international player, at the station. He played in the afternoon with Wigan "A" team and did well. Wigan "A" 29, Widnes "A" nil.

Oct. 11th - At Central Park. First round Lancashire Challenge Cup. Gate £870. Wigan 24 points, St. Helens 7 points. St. Helens had a player off injured all the second half.

Oct. 22nd - At Central Park. Second round Lancashire Challenge Cup. Gate £680. Wigan 14 points, Swinton 9. Bob Brown scored two tries.

Oct. 25th - At Wigan, and Jim Sullivan's benefit match. Wigan 10, Halifax 8.

Oct. 29th - At a special meeting directors transferred Lou Brown, the New Zealand footballer, to Halifax for £500. His agreement with the Wigan club would have terminated at the end of this season.

Oct. 31st - Wigan club transferred to Batley F. Stephens and Dai Jones for a total of £175.

Nov. 4th - George H. Bennett (below), a player from Weston-Super-Mare, arrived in Wigan. A dark complexioned youth, 20 years of age.

Nov. 5th - At Central Park. Semi-final Lancashire Challenge Cup. Wigan 3 tries 9 points. Broughton Rangers nil. Gate only £330.

Nov. 29th - At Swinton. Final for Lancashire Challenge Cup. Wigan 3, St. Helens Recs. 18. 17,000 spectators. Gate £1,030 17s. 0d.

Dec. 27th - At Central Park. Harold Jones, of Wigan, and a Batley player named Litt, each had leg broken and both were taken to Wigan Infirmary.

Dec. 27th - Christmas, at Central Park. Wigan 51, Rochdale 5. Gate £380.