London: Rugby League's Lost Heartland

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Paragon Publishing, 2010 - History - 174 pages
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Rugby League is a northern Working Class sport. Since its inception, when breaking away from the Rugby Football Union in 1895 over the issue of "Broken Time Payments," it has been entrenched in what is now known as its "Northern Heartlands." The sport has tried to break away many times from these heartlands and establish itself in other areas of the country. This is the story of one of these attempts when it attempted, and very nearly succeeded, to establish itself in the Capital. The 1930s was the decade to try and break into London. Only years after the Empire Stadium at Wembley opened and hosted, for the first time, the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final. The Northern Working Class was moving around the country to find work and professional sport was growing in popularity. Using letters from the owners of the clubs in London, supporters and from the Rugby Football League the book shows how close Rugby League came to establishing itself in London with initially 2 well run teams and eventually what could have been, as originally planned, a 6 team Southern Division. The Rugby League landscape and the sporting landscape of Britain as a whole could have been very different.
 

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Contents

A Working Class Sport a Working Class City
7
The Rise of Professional Sport
16
To Make a Northern Community
31
Rugby League to Build a Community in London
46
How Much Does a Rugby League Club Cost?
54
A Business
94
Too Many Sports in London?
105
Nonsporting Influences
124
A Lost Heartland?
146
Bibliography
169
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