Diary of John Counsell

1931 ~ 1932


Jan. 1st - At Wigan. Wigan v. Featherstone Rovers match postponed on account of fog.

Jan. 10th - At Wigan. Wigan 19 points, Salford 2. 10,000 spectators. Gate about £500.


Jan. 12th - Monday. W. Highton bet me that Wigan and Warrington would be drawn together in the first round of the Rugby League Cup. I had to lay 20 to 1 in cigars.

Jan. 14th - Warrington and Wigan were drawn together in the first round and W. Highton won his cigars.

Feb. 7th - At Warrington. First round Rugby League Challenge Cup. Result: Warrington 1 goal 4 tries, 14 points, Wigan 3 goals 2 tries, 12 points. Gate £1,650. Spectators 27,000.

Feb. 28th - Wigan and Leeds match postponed. Central Park covered with snow.

Mar. 4th - The above postponed match played. Wigan 3 goals 2 tries, Leeds nil. 14,000 spectators. Gate about £700.

Mar. 14th - Presented Counsell Cup to Wigan Rangers who beat West End Stars 11-3.

Apr. 11th - Presented Lancashire League Cup to Swinton, after Swinton and Warrington match. Mr. Eddie Conroy went with me.

Apr. 20th - Went with a few members of the Rugby League Council to London and Wembley and met representatives of the London papers re publicity of the forthcoming final at Wembley. The Hon. J.R. Clynes was present and spoke..

Apr. 25th - At Headingley, Leeds. Supplementary Competition of the Northern League. Leeds 13, Wigan nil. Wet day. Gate £1,150. Leeds to meet Swinton in final, 9th May.

May 2nd - A Wembley. Final for Rugby League Challenge Cup. A good match. Halifax 22, York 8. J. Eddon was referee.

May 9th - At Central Park. Final for the Northern League Championship Cup. Swinton 14, Leeds 7, 31,000 spectators. Gate £2,101 11s. 9d.

Sept. 5th - At Central Park. Wigan 48, Castleford 9. Poor attendance.

Sept. 9th - With other directors went round the Wigan district to find private posting board places to advertise the Wigan football matches.

Sept. 9th - A. Falwasser (below) injured in the first few minutes in the Warrington v. Wigan match. The former wo by 12 points to 8.

Sept. 16th - Meeting of clubs' representatives re compensation payment on signing players from Australia and New Zealand, and it was carried by 16 votes to 8.

Oct. 10th - On Broughton Rangers' ground. First round for Lancashire Cup. Wigan 2 goals 3 tries, 13, Broughton Rangers 1 goal 2 tries, 8. Gate £214.

Oct. 16th - Went with Mr. Harry Ball to interview W. Belshaw, a promising junior player at Hindley, but made little headway with his father.

Oct. 22nd - At Widnes. Second round for Lancashire Cup. Widnes 2 goals 1 try, 7, Wigan 2 tries, 6. Gate about £397.

Nov. 21st - On Broughton Rangers' ground. Final for Lancashire Cup. Salford 10, Swinton 8. 26,471 spectators. Big gate of £1,654.

Nov. 28th - Following heavy rainfall, the front of the stand was flooded and water extended well into the field of play. However, when the rain ceased it left the ground fairly quick and we played an "A" team match in the afternoon with Broughton "A" team.

Dec. 17th - Completed transfer of W. Howarth from Broughton rangers to Wigan club.

Dec. 25th - Christmas Day, at Central Park. Wigan 13, Salford 3. 17,000 spectators. Gate £760.


Jan. 1st - At Central Park. Wigan 32 points, Hull Kingston Rovers nil. Gate approximately £375.

Jan. 9th - With H. Lowe and Alderman J. Walkden went to Keighley, Yorkshire, to watch a certain player. He was disappointing.

Jan. 27th - With a few Wigan football directors went to Salford. England 19, Wales 2.

Feb. 1st - Transferred Hogan to Swinton for £105.

Feb. 4th - Wigan F.C. directors promised players £1 bonus to beat York next Saturday in first round R.L. Challenge Cup at Wigan.

Feb. 6th - First round R.L. Cup. Result: Wigan 10, York 4. Gate £970. About 19,000 spectators.

Feb. 20th - At Central Park. Second round R.L. Challenge Cup. Wigan 34, Barrow 2. Gate £800. 16,000 spectators.

Mar. 5th - At Central Park. Third round R.L. Challenge Cup. Wigan 2 points, Halifax 8. Gate £1,245. 21,000 spectators.

Mar. 11th - At Central Park in forenoon, Mr. George Taylor transferred Bob Brown, a local footballer, to Salford for £150. Mr. Lance Todd represented Salford.

Mar. 18th - Mr. George Taylor went to see the Grand National run at Aintree.

Mar. 19th - At Rochdale. R.L. Cup semi-final. Swinton 7 points, Wakefield 4. Spectators 21,400. Gate £1,367.

Mar. 25th - Good Friday, at Central Park. Wigan 1 try, St. Helens 4 tries. 23,000 spectators. Gate £1,150.

Apr. 9th - At Central Park, Wigan. Final for the Rugby League Challenge Cup. Leeds 11, Swinton 8. 29,000 spectators. Gate £2,450.

May 7th - At Wakefield. Northern Rugby League final. St. Helens 9, Huddersfield 5. Disappointing gate of £980. 20,500 spectators. Francis Fairhurst (Wigan) referees.


May 24th - Tom Naughton, Widnes club secretary, killed i motor accident.

May 28th - Went with H. Lowe, A. Peacock and George Taylor to Tom. Naughton's funeral at Widnes.

June 6th - England won first Test match in Australia by 8 points to 6.

Aug. 9th - With Alderman Walkden and George Taylor went to interview Bailey, the St. Helens Recs. footballer, but he said he wasn't playing for any club next season.

Aug. 28th - Sunday. Special meeting at Central Park. John Morley, from Wales, was there.

Aug. 29th - John Morley of Newport, Wales, signed on for Wigan Football Club.

Sept. 14th - With H. Lowe and George Taylor attended Dr. E.H. Monk's funeral at Birkdale.

Sept. 23rd - Met the returning Football Tourists at Southampton about 6-45, and came altogether to the Russell Hotel, London. We were met next day at Wigan by the Mayor and Wigan directors.


Sept. 28th - Special meeting of Wigan Football Club, Ltd., and decided to offer Jim Sullivan the position of coach to the Wigan teams.

Oct. 8th - At Central Park. First round Lancashire Challenge Cup. Wigan 1 goal 4 tries, Leigh 1 try. Second round - no record.

Oct. 12th - Wigan directors met Mr. Tom Brown at Wigan Station, with Hector Gee and Joe Wilson (below), two Australians he had brought back with him.

Oct. 24th - Wigan directors came to terms re greyhound racing at Central Park.

Nov. 3rd - At Warrington. Semi-final for the Lancashire Challenge Cup. Warrington 21, Wigan 10. Gate £655.

Nov. 8th - Directors again met representatives of the Trust, arranging for the projected greyhound track. Col. Williams was present. Mr. H. Lowe nominated to be a director of the Greyhound Co.

Nov. 11th - E. Spillane transferred to Keighley.

Nov. 18th - At Central Park. Final-tie for Lancashire Cup. Warrington 10 points, St. Helens 9. 28,500 spectators. Gate £1,675.

Nov. 23rd - Prince of Wales visited Central Park.

Nov. 30th - At Headingley, Leeds. England 14, Wales 13. J. Morley scored one try for Wales.

Dec. 14th - Went with Wigan directors and players to White City, London, to see football by floodlight. Result: Leeds 18, Wigan 9. A good time.

Dec. 31st - At Central Park. Wigan 38, Leigh 10. Poor gate.