Looking back at the history of Rugby League side Mansfield Marksman to Nottingham City RL

The story starts in the 1980s when Rugby League was undergoing an expansion outside of its conventional northern setting.

Mansfield was chosen as an area in the heartland of the Nottinghamshire coalfields, with great access to Yorkshire and surrounding Counties and therefore a great contender for spectator sport.

IMG_1255 2.JPG

With the Mansfield Brewery’s popular lager as the main sponsor it was thought that support would flood in and so planted roots at Field Mill.

2427678531.jpg

Their pre-season games in the midst of the ongoing miners’ strike saw the team play the biggest names in rugby league including St Helens and Wigan, but suffered heavy defeats.

t was also reported that during the pre-season games, the most prominent names in the team were on holiday, creating opportunities for local players to take stage.

Already there was doubts that professional rugby league wasn’t being taken seriously in the town.

The first Division Two match for the Marksman saw an attendance of 2,291 against Wakefield in a 15-0 win.

IMG_1254 2.JPG

When it mattered most the Marksman could pull off the results to keep media support rolling in even if it was scarce.

However, despite the Marksman success on the field, attendances declined weekly.

In the second half of the season when results weren’t consistent attendances dropped to just a few hundred.

3608352147.jpg

Of course the slump in the Marksmen’s first season of existence had financial implications. It was reported that the team had suffered a loss of a staggering £90,000.

In their first season (1984/85) they finished a respectable 9th in the table

Screenshot 2017-04-06 13.22.51.png

In 1986 the Marksmen made the move from Field Mill to Alfreton Town FC, but then later moved to Sutton Town’s ground. Finally the Mansfield Marksmen made their resting place at Nottingham’s Harvey Hadden stadium in 1989, but soon became Nottingham City RLFC. Just how did it go so wrong for a team who had so much potential?

IMG_1255 2.JPG

The move to an area where the sport is virtually non-existent was a great risk. Much more could have been done make Mansfield more aware of the sport and educate people in what rugby league is all about. Perhaps there was no room in Mansfield for two professional sports teams or perhaps it was just the wrong time to drop a team in Mansfield during a period of conflict in the area. If there had been a thriving amateur scene in the area there’s a possibility it may have taken off better.

IMG_1253 2.JPG

Mansfield Marksman RLFC

Mansfield Marksman was founded in 1984 and joined the Second Division along with Sheffield Eagles, in 1984-85. Mansfield was chosen as it was in the heartland of the Nottinghamshire coalfields, and close to Yorkshire where rugby league was much stronger.

Their General Manager was Dave Parker, a rugby league journalist. They played initially at Mansfield Towns Field Mill, and were sponsored by Mansfield Brewery and named “Marksman” in the singular after a lager the brewery produced. The club colours were predominantly sky blue and dark blue shirts with yellow trim, however towards the end of their existence the club colours became a more basic blue and amber. The team was composed of northern, mainly West Yorkshire based players, who travelled down to play for Mansfield.

Mansfield’s pre-season friendlies saw them play some of the strongest teams in British rugby league, including St Helens and Wigan. Unfortunately Mansfield’s big name players were on holiday and a weakened team, including many local players, went down to heavy defeats.

Mansfield first home game in the Second Division attracted 2,291 spectators and they defeated Wakefield Trinity 15-0. They won eight of their first nine games; the only defeat being 7-6 at Dewsbury. However, they struggled after this and attendances declined steadily. Their final home game of the season against Rochdale Hornets was watched by 321 spectators and they were beaten 9-8. The club lost £90,000 in this first year and could not afford the rent at Field Mill. The final game there was on 2 February 1986 when Marksman lost 32-2 to Leigh.

The club then moved to Alfreton Towns North Street stadium. The first game at the new venue was on 23 March 1986 when Mansfield were beaten 42-18 by Workington Town in front of a crowd of 290.

The club moved once again for the 1988-89 season to Sutton Towns Lowmoor Road ground at Kirkby in Ashfield

Table for 1985/86 where the Marksman finished bottom

Screenshot 2017-04-06 13.26.13.png

1986/87 below

Screenshot 2017-04-06 13.28.46.png

1987/88 below

Screenshot 2017-04-06 13.29.55.png

1988/89 below

Screenshot 2017-04-06 13.30.49.png

Nottingham City RLFC

A boardroom split occurred over the decision to move the club to Nottingham  in June 1989. The move also led to the loss of sponsorship by Mansfield Brewery and the club was renamed Nottingham City RLFC. They played at the Harvey Hadden Stadium and their initial club colours were sky blue shirts with a dark blue and gold vee, carrying over the Mansfield Marksman colours. Later the club colours changed to myrtle green, yellow and white shirts (see 1991/92 shirt in these colours below under the 91/92 table). In later years the shirts were myrtle green with purple trim. One season the team adopted the name Nottingham City Outlaws RLFC, a name that would later be used by the city amateur side.

Shirt below from 1989/90

IMG_1135.JPG

BUY THIS SHIRT NOW

The Nottingham team was led by player-coach Mark Burgess, several players were from Batley Boys RLFC and other local towns, Dave Parker took over as Managing Director at Huddersfield and the Nottingham City club was run by former Mansfield Director Paul Tomlinson and his mother Joan. As Nottingham they won only seven games in four years.

Their first season in the Second Division 1989/90 table below

Screenshot 2017-04-06 13.32.27.png

Chief Executive Maurice Lindsay wanted to reduce the number of clubs in the lower division of the league in 1993. The three clubs finishing bottom of the second division would be demoted to the National Conference League . Nottingham struggled and finished bottom of the Third Division at the end of the 1992-93 season, winning only one game. With both Nottingham City and Blackpool Gladiators both already relegated, the crucial last match at Nottingham on 12 April 1993, between Nottingham City and Highfield would determine the final relegation spot. Highfield won 39-6 and Highfield survived at the expense of Chorley Borough

The RLSA, the Rugby League Supporters Association, had called on fans to turn out at the Harvey Haddon Stadium in protest against the decision, City’s normal crowd of three hundred or so was boosted by this to a season’s best of 851.[The three expelled clubs plus Highfield RL pursued legal action against the RFL decision, but to no avail.

Nottingham could no longer afford Yorkshire-based players so imported local Nottingham Crusaders players who weren’t up to National Conference League standards and they were relegated in their first year and then resigned from the league the following year.

Table 1990/91

Screenshot 2017-04-06 13.34.06.png

For the 1991/92 season there were 3 divisions but Nottingham City came bottom again

Screenshot 2017-04-06 13.35.07.png

This season they used a Canterbury shirt

IMG_8643.JPG

Buy this shirt

The 1992/93 table, their last

Screenshot 2017-04-06 13.36.26.png

Sonny Bill Williams – Lets us know his sporting icon

Sonny Bill Williams has reflected on the achievements of his idol, boxer Muhammad Ali ahead of his quest for Olympic gold.

Williams already has a Rugby World Cup, Super Rugby and NRL title to his name along with a national heavyweight boxing championship but he believes winning Olympic gold would eclipse everything.

“To be able to say you’re an Olympian and get a medal, that’d just be another level,” the New Zealand Sevens star told ESPN.  

“It would be unbelievable. I get butterflies just thinking about it. God willing it all works out.”

Williams, a devout Muslim, added that former boxing legend Ali is an idol of his and draw much inspiration.

images-4

BUY RUGBY SHIRTS HERE

“From an athlete’s point of view, for me, there was no one bigger than Ali,” added the rugby league convert. 

“He’s my man. He won a gold medal, he was an Olympian and it would be awesome to say I am an Olympian as well.

“His faith [was inspiring] and I guess, though he didn’t always say the right things, he always backed it up. I appreciate that from an athlete. I can only imagine the scrutiny and amount of people that would want to see him fail. But he kept on trucking on.

“There was that fight against George Foreman where no one expected him to win, the odds were stacked against him but somehow he did. It showed the character of him, the man he was.

“It wasn’t just about his mouth, he had something deep inside him that allowed him to go to those dark places and come out on top.”

www.classicrugbyjerseys.com

Quade Cooper quits Toulon – Classic Rugby Jerseys

Toulon fly-half Quade Cooper has confirmed he is leaving the club in a message to supporters on Tuesday.

Cooper thanked his “brothers and the family I now have in Toulon who I will miss.”

The 28-year-old joined the three-time European champions last year and is now expected to return to Australia, with a return to the Reds speculated in recent months.

Cooper, who has 58 Test caps for Australia, last appeared for the Wallabies during the 2015 Rugby World Cup against Uruguay.

Classic Rugby Shirts

South Africa Players Moving to Northern Hemisphere – Classic Rugby Jerseys

After the Super Rugby season finishes the following are moving to new clubs away from South Africa:

Vodacom Bulls
Dean Greyling (Oyonnax), Marcel van der Merwe (Toulon),Werner Kruger (Scarlets), Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg (Montpellier), Le Roux Roets (Racing Metro), Lappies Labuschagne (Kubota Spears),
Deon Stegmann (Honda Heat),Grant Hattingh (Kubota Spears), Jacques Potgieter (Fukuoka Sanix Blues),Duhan van der Merwe (Montpellier)

Toyota Cheetahs
Maks van Dyk (Toulouse), Coenie van Wyk (Toshiba Brave Lupis), Henry Immelman (Montpellier),
Willie Britz (NTT Shining Arcs), Francois Uys (Toyota Verblitz)

DHL Stormers
Vincent Koch (Saracens), Schalk Burger (Saracens), Nic Groom (Northampton Saints), Louis Schreuder (Kubota Spears), Jean Kleyn (Munster)

Cell C Sharks
Marcell Coetzee (Ulster), JP Pietersen (Leicester Tigers), Paul Jordaan (La Rochelle), Joe Pietersen (Kamiashi Seawaves) Kyle Cooper (Newcastle Falcons)

Emirates Lions
Franco Mostert (Lyon), Derick Minnie (Zebre), Marnitz Boshoff (Connacht), Warren Whiteley (Docomo Red Hurricanes), Jaco Kriel (Kubota Spears), Lionel Mapoe (Kubota Spears)
Elton Jantjies (NTT Shining Arcs) Lloyd Greeff (Zebre), Warwick Tecklenburg (Kamiashi Seawaves)

Southern Kings
Steven Sykes (Oyonnax), Schalk Oelofste (Mont-de-Marsan), Philip du Preez (Mont-de-Marsan), Louis Fouche (Kubota Spears), Aiden Davids (Toulon), James Hall (Oyonnax), Shane Gates (NTT Shining Arcs), Jurgen Visser (Docomo Red Hurricanes)

SA 7sS
Francois Hougaard (Worcester)

Leopards
Bart Le Roux (Zebre)

Uncontracted (ex-Stormers)
Gerbrand Grobler (Racing Metro)

There are a number of reasons behind this drain of quality players but what will this mean for rugby in South Africa and the Springboks?

Let us know

 

 

Rugby Attendances Last Season – Classic Rugby Jerseys

In conjunction with Classic Rugby Shirts check out your clubs jerseys!!

Union Bordeaux Begles (UBB) had the highest average crowds last season amongst the clubs of the three European leagues: the Top 14, the Celtic League and the Premiership, see table below.

This table was unveiled by The Rugby Paper.

The podium is also the same as last year. UBB are top for the second consecutive year. Les Girondins increased from 23 766 to 25 539 fans on average last season. Leicester Tigers are 2nd  (21,769) and Harlequins 3rd (19 307). Toulon 4th (18795)  are once again outside the Top 3. Toulouse 5th (17,153) and Clermont 6th ( 17 047) are also in the top 10 before Saracens, Ulster, Wasps and Northampton.

French Champions, Racing 92 rose from 27th to 21st place.

The full top 30 clubs average crowds are below:

Position Club Average attendance Last years position
1 Bordeaux-Bègles 25 539 1
2 Leicester 21 769 2
3 Harlequins 19 307 3
4 Toulon 18 795 4
5 Toulouse 17 153 8
6 Clermont 17 047 7
7 Saracens 16 135 6
8 Ulster 15 601 9
9 Wasps 15 501 12
10 Northampton 15 451 10
11 Leinster 15 101 6
12 La Rochelle 14 744 13
13 Gloucester 13 885 15
14 Grenoble 13 657 11
15 Bath 13 225 14
16 Munster 12 598 17
17 Pau 12 354
18 Stade Français 11 577 18
19 Montpellier 11 552 19
20 Exeter 11 169 22
21 Racing 92 10 497 27
22 Brive 10 271 20
23 Oyonnax 9 908 24
24 London Irish 9 892 21
25 Castres 9 584 26
26 Worcester 9 042
27 Cardiff 8 834 25
28 Ospreys 8 597 28
29 Agen 8 316
30 Newport 7 931 29
31 Llanelli 7 352 30
32 Glasgow 6 787 33
33 Newcastle 6 742 32
34 Sale 6 169 31
35 Connacht 5 638 34
36 Edinburgh 5 479 35
37 Trévise 3 480 37
38 Zebre 2 375 38

 

 

 

British Lions Proposed Squad 2017

The Daily Telegraph has got the ball rolling already with its proposed squad for the Lions 2017 tour to New Zealand

The squad in full is as follows:

FORWARDS:

Prop: Jack McGrath (Ireland)
Prop: Mako Vunipola (England)
Prop: Mike Ross (Ireland)
Prop: Rob Evans (Wales)
Prop: Dan Cole (England)
Prop: WP Nel (Scotland)
Hooker: Dylan Hartley (England)
Hooker: Rory Best (Ireland)
Hooker: Jamie George (England)
Lock: Alun-Wyan Jones (Wales)
Lock: Maro Itoje (England)
Lock: Devin Toner (Ireland)
Lock: George Kruis (England)
Lock: Courtney Lawes (England)
Back row: Chris Robshaw (England)
Back row: CJ Stander (Ireland)
Back row: James Haskell (England)
Back row: Sam Warburton (Wales)
Back row: Taulupe Faletau (Wales)
Back row: Billy Vunipola (England)
Back row: Jamie Heaslip (Ireland)

Backs

Scrum-half: Rhys Webb (Wales)
Scrum-half: Ben Youngs
Scrum-half: Conor Murray (Ireland)
Fly-half: Dan Biggar (Wales)
Fly-half: Jonathan Sexton (Ireland)
Centre: Owen Farrell (England)
Centre: Jamie Roberts (Wales)
Centre: Robbie Henshaw (Ireland)
Centre: Jonathan Joseph (England)
Centre: Jared Payne (Ireland)
Wing: George North (Wales)
Wing: Jack Nowell (England)
Wing: Liam Williams (Wales)
Wing: Anthony Watson (England)
Full-back: Stuart Hogg (Scotland)
Full-back: Mike Brown (England)

What are your thoughts?  I am sure there will be some omissions

www.classicrugbyjerseys.com

Otago Highlanders Rugby Jersey 1998 1999 – Classic Rugby Jerseys

This is an Otago Highlanders Official Canterbury Rugby Union Shirt
from the 1998/99 seasons

BUY IT NOW

SHIRT CONDITION – Shirt is in excellent condition

CONDITION DETAILS – Colours are bright, badges are excellent, small mark left sleeve

SIZE –  Adults XXL, armpit to armpit 27 inches

MADE BY – Canterbury

FEATURES –  Player Issue Temex Shirt. Temex bottom front of shirt.
Super 12 Rugby patch on sleeve

DETAILS – Shirt as worn when the Highlanders were runners up in the Super 12 Rugby in 1999 losing to the Crusaders 24-19 in the Grand Final

PLAYERS INCLUDED – Lima, Wilson, Ropati, Chronicled

 

Wallabies Rugby Jerseys

Lots of Wallabies rugby jerseys brought together today on the website Classic Rugby Shirts

Some of the best e best shown below. Check out all the Australia rugby shirts here BUY AUSTRALIA RUGBY SHIRTS

100_1331

Rare 1992/93 shirt by Canterbury

 

100_1203

This is an Australia Official Reebok Long Sleeved
Rugby Union Shirt from 1999

SHIRT CONDITION – Shirt is in excellent condition

CONDITION DETAILS – Colours are bright, badges are excellent

SIZE –  Adults XL, armpit to armpit 25 inches

MADE BY – Reebok

FEATURES –  1899 100 Years 1999 wording embroidered across Wallabies Logo, celebrating 100 years of Tests played by the Wallabies.. The crest and the Sponsor are embroidered

100_1187

This is an Australia Official Canterbury Long Sleeved
Rugby Union Shirt from the 2002/03 season

SHIRT CONDITION – Shirt is in very good condition

CONDITION DETAILS – Colours are bright, badges are excellent, slight scuff to e on sponsor

SIZE –  Adults Large, armpit to armpit 22 inches

MADE BY – Canterbury

FEATURES –  Crest & Wallabies Logo are embroidered

PLAYERS –  included Gregan, Flatley, Larkham, Sailor

DETAILS – Home Jersey from 2002/03 when the Wallabies as World Champions lost the Tri Nations to the All Blacks in both years

http://www.classicrugbyjerseys.com

Classic Rugby Jerseys – Leinster Rugby Shirts

Leinster Official Canterbury Home Rugby Union Shirt from the 2002/03 season

Shirt ConditionExcellent condition, no pulls or bobbles

Size Adults Large, armpit to armpit 22 inches

Made by Canterbury

Features – Crest is embroidered

Details – Shirt as worn when the club reached the Semi Finals of the Heineken Cup losing to Perpignan 21-14

Players included Brian O’Driscoll, Girvan Dempsey, Leo Cullen, Reggie Corrigan, Denis Hickie and Aidan Kearney

 

BUY LEINSTER SHIRTS

2005 2006 Leinster Rugby Union Shirt Adults Large

101_0009

 

Leinster Official Canterbury Home
Rugby Union Shirt from the 2005/06 season

Shirt ConditionVery good condition, no pulls or bobbles

Size Adults Large, armpit to armpit 22 inches

Made by Canterbury

Features – Crest is embroidered

Notes – Shirt as worn when the club came 2nd in the Celtic League

On our associated site we sell soccer shirts from around the world

CHECK OUT GLOBAL FOOTBALL SHIRTS