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150 years of Rugby in Leeds

With the 150th anniversary of rugby in Leeds in 2014 following on from Rugby League World Cup matches held here in 2013, the sport has come a long way since its beginnings back in the Victorian era. The first recorded match in the city was played in April 1864. Rugby soon became a popular sport with over 40 clubs formed in the area during the next few years. In 1895 the Northern Rugby Football Union broke away from the national Rugby Football Union in a dispute over payments to players; by 1922 this had become known as Rugby League and had developed some different rules from the traditional Rugby Union game.
Leeds rugby club (originally formed as Leeds St. John's in 1870) was one of the original 22 that broke away from the establishment and quickly became one of leading clubs in the Rugby League. This photograph shows a match between Leeds and Warrington at Headingley on 7th October 1961. Ratcliffe, the Leeds winger, is seen scoring a try with Edwards of Warrington unable to stop him.

150 years of Rugby in Leeds
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