All Four Cups

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Sincere thanks to David Gronow for permission to publish the following article and photographs.

In the past it was the ambition of every rugby league club to perform the extremely difficult feat of winning all four major trophies in a single season - the League Championship, the Challenge Cup, the Yorkshire or Lancashire Challenge Cup and the Yorkshire or Lancashire League Cup.

Only three clubs have achieved this distinction, they are:
Hunslet 1907-08
Huddersfield 1914-15
Swinton 1927-28

One player, J.W.Higson, was associated with both Hunslet and Huddersfield during their All Four Cups seasons.

He was a member of the famous Hunslet ‘Terrible Six’, as their pack was so called in 1907-08 and then joined Huddersfield in 1910 to become a member of the famous Fartown ‘Team of All Talents’.

Huddersfield’s All Four Cups season of 1914-15 was the last one before competitive football was ended for the remainder of the Great War years.

They were at the peak of their power, however, when the season began on 5 September 1914, they were without their six tourists who were returning from the Lions tour of Australia, and out of the first five games they had won two, drawn two and lost one - against Warrington at Fartown.

It was ironic that when the first full strength side was available for the game at Barrow on 10 October, it ended with their second defeat, however, this was to be the last game they would lose until 30 August 1919, a run of 38 games.

In November 1914, the Yorkshire Challenge Cup was the first of the four cups to arrive at Fartown, after Hull were demolished at Headingley 31-0.

The team was now starting to coast through the season, and in the seven games played in December the Fartowners rattled up 245 points against sides of which five were in the top ten at the end of the season.

With success continuing in the new year, the Yorkshire League Cup Championship trophy was assured a place in the pavilion at Fartown.

The League Championship Final took place at Belle Vue, Wakefield, with ‘Waggys' men completely outplaying Leeds by a score of 35-2, running in seven tries from Gronow (2), and one each to Moorhouse, Wagstaff, Rogers, Longstaff and Clark, Gronow kicking seven goals.

There was now just the Challenge Cup to capture.

St Helens proved to be no problem in the final which was played at Watersheddings, Oldham, as the Claret and Gold piled up 37 points against just 3.

The fourth cup had arrived to complete a fantastic season in which Huddersfield played 46 league and cup games, winning 40, losing 2, with 4 drawn games.
In the first full season (1919-20) of resumption after the war, Huddersfield won three of the four cups - they failed by a single point in the League Championship Final losing 2-3 to Hull at Headingley, Leeds, in which they were without the services of six of their leading players, five were on their way to Australia with the 1920 Tour Team, the other was nursing a broken arm!

Huddersfield 1914-15
The 'Team of All Talents' that won All Four Cups

Back (left to right): A.Bennett (Trainer), A.Lee, J.W.Higson, H.Banks, E.Jones, E.Heyes, F.Longstaff, D.Clark, A.Swinden, H.Bennett (Asst Trainer)
Seated: R.Habron, M.Holland, S.Moorhouse, H.Wagstaff (Capt), T.Gleeson, G.Todd, B.Gronow
Front: Yorkshire League Cup, W.H.Ganley, League Championship Cup, A.A.Rosenfeld, Challenge Cup, J.H.Rogers, Yorkshire Challenge Cup


All Four Cups - the trophies on show in Rozzy's (Albert Rosenfeld's) tobacconists shop next to the Empire Cinema in John William Street, Huddersfield.
From left - T.H.Grey, A.Bennett, Albert Rosenfeld

John Willie Higson

Played for both Hunslet and Huddersfield during their All Four Cups seasons.
A member of the famous Hunslet 'Terrible Six' in 1907-08, who joined Huddersfield in 1910 to become a member of the famous Fartown 'Team of All Talents'.

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