Diary of John Counsell



Jan. 1st - The match at Central Park, Wigan v. Hunslet, was postponed on account of state of ground. It rained all day.

Jan. 7th - Paid a junior, J. Winstanley, 10s. 6d. on account of his having his leg broken during football match, Whelley Rangers.

Jan. 28th - Went with Alderman Walkden to see the Vicar of St. Michael's re Gordon Innes and his application for post as a teacher in the day school.

Jan. 30th - Went with E. Lauder, of Southampton, to Bellingham. He is giving Wigan club a few trials.

Feb. 1st - Met Mr. S.E. Parkes at Royal Automobile Motor Club Ball in London. He is interested in the Rugby League game being played in the South.

Feb. 23rd - Second round of the R.L. Cup at Central Park. Result: Wigan 25, Dewsbury 5. Bennett, of Wigan, and a Dewsbury player were sent off.

Mar. 6th - Attended R.L. Management Committee in Leeds and met Mr. S.E. Parkes, of London re starting our game in that part.

Mar. 20th - Attended special meeting of Northern League clubs and decided to admit two London clubs to Northern League. S.E. Parkes attended from London.

Mar. 27th - Left Wigan with Alderman Walkden and J.H. Green for Paris. We were held up for several hours outside Boulogne by fog.

Mar. 28th - Went to Buffalo Velodrome (below) A very good match ending in a draw of 15 each. Gate £2,010 and about 18,000 spectators. Reception Deputy Mayor for that part of Paris. In the evening a banquet given by President and members of the French Rugby League.

Apr. 6th - At Central Park. Wigan nil, Swinton 15. About 18,000 spectators who paid £812. J. Sullivan and J. Morley absent through injuries and Hathway off the field in the first ten minutes.

Apr. 18th - Went with R. Hough and E. Conroy to Peasley Cross, St. Helens, to watch some junior footballers.


Apr. 22nd - Went to Salford for last League game. Salford 8, Wigan 2. J. Sullivan broke down in second half.

Apr. 26th - J. Sullivan and Gwyn Davies cried off through injuries for match with Warrington to-morrow.

Apr. 27th - At Warrington. Semi-final Northern league Cup. Result: Warrington 9 points, Wigan nil.

May 12th - Arrived Dublin about 9 o'clock. Attended football match at Davy Mount Park. Wigan 12, Leeds 9. Splendid banquet at the Dolphin Hotel.

May 13th - Felt very hoarse and had no voice. I think I had a cold. Left Kingstown at 8-50 and arrived in Wigan at 4-20. Met by chara and went to Central Park and had a jolly time before our meeting.


June 25th - Attended Wigan Rugby Football Club annual meeting. Result of voting: Alderman Walkden 211, G. Hesketh 144, W. Highton 133, A. Simm, left off, 89. Dividend of 2.5 per cent. declared.

July 10th - Attended Referees' Examination in Manchester.

July 17th - At Central Park nearly all day expecting a telegram from Mr. A. Peacock and Alderman Walkden, who were in Bristol, but none came.

Aug. 17th - First practice match at Central Park.

Aug. 31st - Wigan lost at Leeds by 12 points to 7.

Sept. 4th - At Central Park. Leigh beat Wigan by 12-10. Gee, the Wigan half-back, was injured in first half and did not resume. Our supporters were greatly disappointed.


Sept. 6th - The Wigan club transferred A.V. Twose, three-quarter back, to Streatham and Mitcham for £200.

Sept. 14th - At Central Park. First round Lancashire Cup. Wigan 6 points, Widnes 5 points. Wigan's play was disappointing.

Sept. 17th - Went with Wigan team to Rochdale. Very windy day. Result: Rochdale 19 points, Wigan 7. Wigan played a poor game.

Sept. 19th - Went with George Taylor and Alderman Walkden to Belle Vue re getting the transfer of Garvey, but failed.

Sept. 21st - Went with directors and team to Hull. Result: Hull 20 points, Wigan 3 points. Wigan were now bottom of the League table having played 5 and lost 5 games.

Oct. 5th - Went to see Wigan Old Boys v Kendal play at Prospect Park, Standish, and was pleased with the play of a Kendal wing three-quarter named Hooton.

Oct. 15th - Was interviewed by two persons who were getting information for an issue of the history of the Wigan Football Club.

Oct. 22nd - Went with Alderman Walkden to Kendal to see Bruce Hooton, the Kendal Rugby Union wing three-quarter, with a view to him coming to play for Wigan as we had secured a job for him in Wigan,

Oct. 30th - Went with other directors to meet Ian Crockett, the New Zealand footballer, at the L.M.S. Station.

Oct. 31st - Bruce Hooton, of Kendal, after interview at Central Park, refused to sign for Wigan unless he received £500 and a good job. The Wigan deputation could not see their way to pay him that amount.

Nov. 6th - Visited St. Patrick's football ground and decided it did not conform to the Challenge Cup rules, the tie having to be played at St. Helens.

Nov. 11th - Went to St. Helens re Alf. Ellaby and the Wigan club. Decided to retain him.

Nov. 13th - Examined Hindley Rugby football ground re cup-tie and found it in an unfit state. Reported same to Cup Committee. Mr. Anderton and I to go again to-morrow and finally decide.

Nov. 14th- Went with R.F. Anderton to examine the Hindley football ground and decided it was unfit for cup-tie.

Nov. 20th - Attended a Cup Committee meeting at Manchester to hear a protest by Manchester Ship Canal against Hindley for playing ineligible men. They sustained their protest and Hindley were struck out of the competition.

Dec. 4th - Interviewed Hector Gee (below) re his re-signing for Wigan.

Dec. 18th - Attended Rugby League Council meeting. Messrs. Anderton an Popplewell were appointed managers for the coming Australian Tour.

Dec. 25th - Went to Central Park and examined ground but found it too hard, and match with Salford was cancelled.