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

Yorkshire Rugby Union Challenge Cup Final (T'Owd Tin Pot)

Huddersfield v Wakefield Trinity
Played at the Hanson Lane Ground, Halifax, Saturday 5 April 1890

In 1876 the five clubs playing rugby football in Yorkshire - Bradford, Huddersfield, Hull, Leeds and York - presented the Yorkshire County Committee with a trophy, worth 50 guineas, for annual competition.

Thirteen years were to elapse before Huddersfield were to bring it home to Fartown.

Such was the interest in Huddersfield that the railway company provided four extra trains for spectators making the journey, however, with the day turning out to be fine, many decided to walk and some actually set off the night before and slept in the grounds to make sure they had a good vantange point in the 20,000 crowd.

Nevertheless, there were many people who were unable to go who were still very much interested in the outcome, and Huddersfield was alive with rugby fervour from early morning.

During the afternoon it became known that various premises in John William Street had arranged for telegrams to be delivered during the game and crowds gathered outside the shops to receive the news.

Gloom descended when the half-time telegram was received, for the score read:

Wakefield Trinity 2 minors - Huddersfield nil

As expected, the game was hard fought in the forwards, just before half-time Wakefield had camped on Huddersfield's line where Stafford had a chance of a scoring opportunity, but though he aimed at the goal his drop kick only realised a minor ('minors' were errors forced by the attacking side in the defending teams in-goal area).

This breaking of the scoring urged Trinity on, and a few minutes afterwards from a loose scrummage in the Huddersfield '25', Whiteley dropped at goal, with the outcome a second minor for Wakefield.

Early in the second half Huddersfield were back in the game, and from another loose scrummage Walker intercepted a Wakefield passing move and getting clear raced through the Trinity defence and then passed to Richmond who touched down under the posts for the only try of the game, Brooke converted.

It was now the Fartowners who were applying the pressure on Wakefield, Archer picked up a loose ball, and passing Stafford headed for the Wakefield line.

Archer clearly grounded the ball, but a maul had ensued and the referee surprisingly awarded Huddersfield a minor.

Trinity took play back into mid-field where a kick at goal by Stafford hit the post, Eagland who was awaiting the outcome of the kick caught the ball and touched down.

Trinity appealed and a five-yard scrummage was ordered where Huddersfield were penalised for off-side play, however, after consultation between the referee and umpire, a further scrum was put down and after a tussle on the Huddersfield line, Eagland kicked the ball dead giving Trinity the minor - this was to be the last of the scoring, Huddersfield winning the game by 1 goal, 1 minor to Trinity's 3 minors.


W H Eagland, back: J Dyson, F Richmond, A L Brooke, three-quarters:

J Kaye, H Archer (capt), half:

F Walker, W Lorriman, J Shaw, G Mitchell, O France, T Eagland, J W Thewlis, P Jackson,

J Schofield, forwards.


H Stafford, back: H Fallas (capt), J H Fotherby, M Varley, three-quarters:

H Dawson, J H Thompson, half:

P Booth, W Binks, R Dawson, J Latham, H Whiteley, A Garforth, J H Jones, A Thompson,

J E Gomersall, forwards.

Mr Mark Newsome (Dewsbury), Mr H Knaggs (South Milford)
Referee: Mr Holmes (Midland Counties)

At the conclusion of the match the cup was presented to Huddersfield by Mrs Newsome, wife of Mr M Newsome Jnr, the Yorkshire President.

In Huddersfield, church bells were set ringing, and a crowd of some 4,000 people assembled in St George's Square awaiting the arrival of the team.

Contrary to expectation, the team drove from Halifax in a waggonette, displaying the cup on the way.

When, after seven o'clock in the evening, they reached the Infirmary at the top of New North Road, the crowd disengaged the four horses and pulled the waggonette themselves.

At the junction of Fitzwilliam Street, the Borough Band went to the head of the procession and played 'See the Conquering Hero Comes' as they reaches St George's Square and the George Hotel, which was illuminated with Chinese lanterns.

Arriving in the square the team was cheered loud and long, and Archer the captain, was chaired into the hotel for the official reception.

Mr J P Crosland, the President of the Football Section of Huddersfield Cricket and Athletic Club, addressed the crowd from the windows of the hotel, with Archer summoned to the balcony on numerous occasions.

Afterwards there was an adjournment for tea, followed by a torchlight procession through some of the principal streets of the town, which included two waggonettes carrying the team and committee, accompanied by a large crowd.

It was slow progress, but they eventually reached the residence of Mr Crosland in Park Drive, where, on arrival, a firework display took place in front of the house.

The cup was then filled with champagne and each member of the team had his sip, followed by congratulatory speeches by the Rev Frank Marshall and others.

This was not the end of the celebrations, there was an illuminated tram, poems and a song written complimenting their victory.

The song 'Hurrah for the Claret and Gold' was composed by Robert Field and sung for the first time by Henry Wright in the pantomime ' Blue Beard' at the Theatre Royal, Huddersfield, on 18 April 1890:

The followers of football in Huddersfield are proud
Our team the Yorkshire Challenge Cup has won:
We've tried our very utmost to win that good old cup
For years we've in the finals been outdone,
And now we are successful to each member praise is due
For the gallant way he's fought for Huddersfield,
Let all stick to the colours of the Claret and Gold
And the Championship of Yorkshire never yield.


Then Hurrah for the Claret and Gold
Hurrah for the Claret and Gold
The Champions of the day
Long may each member play
'Neath the colours of the Claret and Gold
The long expected had come at last.

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