York City Knights


York City Knights
York City Knights
YorkCityKnights.png
Full name York City Knights Rugby League Club
Founded 1868: York Football Club
2003: York City Knights
Location York, England
Ground(s) Huntington Stadium
Coach(es) Dave Woods
League(s) Championship
1st kit
2nd kit
Official website
www.yorkcityknights.co.uk

York City Knights Rugby League Club is a British professional rugby league club hailing from York. They play at the Huntington Stadium, situated to the north of York city centre. They currently play in the Championship, after winning promotion in the 2010 Championship One play-offs.

Contents

History

Early years

York Football Club was formed in 1868, for the first few seasons they had portable goal posts as they did not have their own ground and would play wherever they could find a pitch. Eventually a permanent pitch was secured on Knavesmire.

It took three years for the club to record their first victory, and that was in an association football match against York Training College. Results picked up in the mid 1870s as the club attracted a higher standard of player. In 1877, York were among several leading Yorkshire clubs who inaugurated the Yorkshire Challenge Cup. In the first season 16 teams battled it out for the T'owd Tin Pot, with York eventually losing out to Halifax in the final.

Financial problems in the early 1880s forced the club out of the Yorkshire Gentlemen's Ground in Wigginton Road and in 1883 the club amalgamated with York Melbourne Club.

After playing on Poad's Fields for a short time, the York Lunatic Asylum leased the club a plot of land at the end of the Clarence Street in 1885. The first game at the new site was between a York XV and 20 players from the city.

The club made great strides with the team of 1895, which won virtually all their home matches. Off the field the club paid £85 for the Waterman's Mission Hut in Fishergate and converted it into their first grandstand, incorporating dressing rooms.

Northern Union

There were also changes on a wider scale as northern teams broke away from the Rugby Football Union to form their own Northern Union. York initially stayed with the Rugby Football Union but as the better clubs began to join the new order, it became a financial necessity to follow suit. The decision to join the Northern Union was taken at a meeting at the Bar Hotel, Micklegate, on Monday, 25 April 1898 and five days later they played their first Northern Union match against Hull KR losing 29–2.

The York club was first admitted to the Rugby Football League in 1901. In 1902/03 The Lancashire and Yorkshire leagues were combined to form a second division. York was one of the new teams to join the second division. After World War I, they became known as "the Dreadnoughts". They beat the visiting Australasian team of the 1921-22 Kangaroo tour 9–3.

York's best moment came in 1931 when they reached the Challenge Cup Final for the first time, only to be beaten 22–8 by Halifax.

10 February 1934, the York's record attendance was set when 14,689 turned up to watch a Challenge Cup match against Swinton, which ended in a 0–0 draw. In 1933/34 York beat Hull Kingston Rovers 10–4 in the Yorkshire Cup final.

York team lifted the Division Two title in 1980–81, finishing above big-guns Wigan and big-spending Fulham beating Hunslet 53–7 to guarantee themselves the title with two games to spare. [1]

Financial problems forced the club to sell their training pitch for £200,000 in 1986. Three years later faced with a large bill for safety work, the rest of the stadium was sold to a housing developer for £705,000, less than half what the ground was worth. York's last match at Clarence Street produced a 26–17 victory over Hunslet in front of a crowd of 2,904 spectators. When plans to ground share with York City F.C. broke down, York moved to the Huntington Stadium (originally Ryedale Stadium) two miles to the north of the city at Monk's Cross. As the stadium was financed by Ryedale District Council the club became known as Ryedale-York.

Huntington/Ryedale Stadium's record attendance for a rugby league match was set on 5 Jan 1990 when 4,977 turned up to watch a division two match against Halifax.

In 1991, York and Fulham toured Russia. An act that caused many Russian rugby union clubs to switch to rugby league.

York Wasps

Following the move to summer rugby in 1996, the club was renamed York Wasps.

York won one game in the Northern Ford Premiership in 2000 and finished the campaign with a team of amateurs after almost folding. Lee Crooks took over as coach in August 2000. They attracted sponsorship from the New York Economic Development Council for the 2001 season. [2]

York made an approach to Virgin to buy the London Broncos in August 2001 and form a merged club under a new name, York Wasps Ltd, to play in Super League. [1]

On 19 March 2002, after completing 11 games,[3] York Wasps announced that they had folded. After a last-ditch take-over deal to save the Wasps collapses, the RFL accept the club’s resignation on 26 March.[4]

A supporters’ trust working party was formed on 27 March and applied to the RFL to continue the 2002 Northern Ford Premiership fixtures. After hearing it would be impossible to meet requirements to return that season, on 5 May fans backed new proposals for a new club to apply for admittance to the league for 2003.

The RFL accepted York's bid to play in the newly-formed National League Two on condition that they had £75,000 in the bank by August 31. York RL decided that the best way to raise cash was through a fans’ membership scheme. Former Great Britain star Paul Broadbent was revealed as prospective player-coach. With the total standing at £70,000, John Smith’s brewery came in with £5,000 as the club hit the target just hours before the deadline.

York City Knights

The full name of the new club was revealed to be York City Knights RLFC, following a competition in the Evening Press. John Guildford, majority shareholder of York building firm Guildford Construction, was revealed to be the majority shareholder. Richard Agar was appointed head coach.[5] The Knights played their first game at home against Hull KR in the National League Cup on 19 January.

In their first year, the Knights made the National League Two play-offs. The following year they were narrowly beaten in the play-off final by Halifax. Agar left York to join Hull as an assistant coach.[6]

York City Knights appointed Michael "Mick" Cook as their new head coach in 2005 as part of a partnership with Super League club Leeds Rhinos,[7] they were champions and promoted automatically in his first year as Knights coach.[8] As well as gaining promotion to National League One, 2005 saw the club reach the fifth round of the Challenge Cup, as well as having the highest crowd average for National League Two teams, of 1,986. Yorks's game against Hunslet on 25 May 2005 drew a crowd of 3,224 which was a record for National League Two.

Despite a good late run of form, York were relegated back to National League Two in 2006. However, it is to be hoped that their squad can be retained and a challenge for promotion back to National League One can be produced. They did however, win the Fairfax Cup, after beating Batley 14–10 in their first appearance in the York International 9s.

Mick Cook quit as coach in order to run his business. Paul March was appointed player-coach on a one-year rolling contract in September 2007, however was sacked in July 2009 due to disciplinary matters and then director of rugby James Ratcliffe has since taken over.[9]

On 26 September 2010, the Knights won the Co-operative Championship League 1 Play-Off Grand Final to earn promotion to the Championship. They beat Oldham Roughyeds 25–6 at the Haliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington. The Knights had finished the regular season 13 points behind their final opponents.[10]

Honours

2011 Squad

York City Knights 2011 Squad[11]

No Nat Player Position Former Club
1 England James Haynes Full Back Dewsbury Rams
2 England Dave Sutton Wing York City Knights
3 England Duane Straugheir Centre Bradford Bulls
4 England Lee Waterman Centre
5 England Danny Wilson Wing
6 England Chris Thorman Stand Off Huddersfield Giants
7 England Jonny Presley Half Back Keighley Cougars
8 England Nathan Freer Prop Hull
9 England Jack Lee Hooker
10 England Alex Benson Prop
11 England Rhys Clarke Second Row Gateshead Thunder
12 England Matt Barron Second Row Gateshead Thunder
13 England Ryan Esders Loose Forward Hull KR
14 England Jack Stearman Prop
15 England Brett Waller Hooker
16 England Mike Mitchell Prop
17 England Ian Bell Second Row Featherstone Rovers
18 England Sam Lynch Centre
19 England Matt Garside Second Row
20 England Tom Bush Wing Leeds Rhinos
21 England Dennis Tuffour Full Back Hull
22 England Ed Smith Half Back
23 England Paul Stamp Stand Off
24 England Mark Barlow Loose Forward
25 England Steve Lewis Second Row
26 England Davey Burns Hooker
27 England Anthony Thackeray Stand Off Widnes Vikings – On Loan
28 England Chris Williams Wing
29 England James Ford Centre Widnes Vikings – On Loan
30 England Jordan Rice Full Back
31 England John Davies Loose Forward
32 England Jack Aldous Prop Hull FC – Dual Reg
33 England Tom Holmes Prop
34 England Adam Howard Centre York City Knights
35 England Tom Lineham Centre
36 England Joe Dey Prop
37 England Ben Jones Prop Harlequins RL

Non Numbered

  • Ben Hepworth
  • Jon Fallon
  • Giles Smith
  • Dan Fairclough
  • Tyler Craig
  • Derrick Chatt
  • Sean Carmody
  • Ash Winstanley
  • Kristian Brinning

Players earning International Caps while at York


  • Barry Banks won caps for England while at York in 1979 France (sub)
  • David Bates won caps for Ireland while at Gateshead Thunder, Halifax, and York 2003…2006 3-caps + 3-caps (sub)
  • Craig Booth won caps for Scotland while at York in 1998 I(i)reland, F(f)rance
  • Danny Brough won caps for Scotland while at York, Hull, Castleford, and Wakefield Trinity 2004…present 7-caps + 1-cap (sub)
  • David "Dave" Buckley won caps for Ireland while at York 2007 1-cap
  • Edgar Dawson won caps for Great Britain while at York in 1956 1-cap
  • Norman Fender (#11/#12) won caps for Wales (RU) while at Cardiff RFC in 1930 against Ireland, and France, and in 1931 against England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, represented Great Britain (RL) while at York on the 1932/33 tour to Australasia playing in 14 tour (non-Test matches), scoring 11-tries, and won caps for Wales (RL) while at York 1932…1938 9-caps.[2]
  • Harry Field won caps for Great Britain while at York in 1936 Australia, New Zealand (2 matches)
  • Lee Hanlan won caps for Ireland while at York in 1996 S(s)cotland, in 1997 F(f)rance


  • Arthur Lloyd won a cap for Wales while at York in 1931 1-cap
  • Neil Lowe won caps for Scotland while at Featherstone Rovers, Doncaster, York, and Keighley 1999…present 3-caps + 4-caps (sub)
  • F. W. Oliver (#4) won caps for England while at York (1907…1914 Pld=204 T=48 G=26 P=196) in 1909 against Wales
  • Gary Pearce won caps for Wales while at Scarborough Pirates in 1991 against Papua New Guinea, in 1992 against France, and while at Ryedale-York in 1992 against France. 1991…1992 1(3?)-caps + 3-caps (sub) (3-goals? 1-drop-goal? 7-points?)
  • Dai Prosser won caps for Wales (RU) while at Glynneath RFC in 1934 against Scotland, and Ireland, won caps for Wales (RL) while at York, and Leeds 1936…1944 8-caps, and won a cap for Great Britain (RL) while at Leeds in 1937 against Australia at Fartown Ground, Huddersfield
  • Wayne Reittie (#1) won caps for Jamaica while at York 2009 USA
  • Jordan Ross won caps for Scotland while at York City Knights 2010…present 4-caps
  • Mel Rosser won caps for Wales while at Leeds (2-caps), and York (3-caps) 1926…1933, 5-caps 3-caps 2-tries


  • G. E. Saddington won caps for England while at Hull K.R. in 1934 Australia, while at York (1933…1934 Pld=144 T=3 G=10 P=29) in 1934 against France
  • Geoffrey "Geoff" Smith won caps for Great Britain while at York in 1963–64 3-caps
  • Jeff Stevenson won caps for Great Britain while at Leeds in 1955 New Zealand (3 matches), in 1956 Australia (3 matches), in 1957 France (4 matches), Australia, New Zealand, France (2 matches), in 1958 France, while at York in 1959 Australia (2 matches), in 1960 France (2 matches) (World Cup in 1957 3-caps 1-try).
  • Michael "Mick" Sullivan won caps for England while at Huddersfield in 1955 Other Nations, in 1956 France, while at St. Helens in 1962 France, and won caps for Great Britain while at Huddersfield in 1954 France (2 matches), New Zealand, Australia, in 1955 New Zealand (3 matches), in 1956 Australia (3 matches), in 1957 France (3 matches), France, Australia, New Zealand, while at Wigan France (2 matches), in 1958 France, Australia (3 matches), New Zealand (2 matches), in 1959 France (2 matches), Australia (3 matches), in 1960 France (3 matches), France, New Zealand, Australia, while at St. Helens in 1961 France, New Zealand (2 matches), in 1962 France (3 matches), Australia (3 matches), New Zealand, while at York in 1963 Australia (World Cup in 1954 3-caps, 1-try, in 1957 3-caps, 3-tries, in 1960 3-caps, 1-try)


  • Wiiliam "Billy" Thomas won a cap for Wales while at York in 1931 1-cap
  • Richard "Dick" Wallace won a cap for Wales while at York in the in 1975 Rugby League World Cup against France
  • Basil Watts won caps for England while at York in 1953 Other Nations, and won caps for Great Britain while at York in 1954 France (2 matches), New Zealand, Australia, in 1955 New Zealand (World Cup in 1954 4-caps)
  • Leslie "Les" White won caps for England while at York in 1946 France (2 matches), Wales (2 matches), in 1947 France (2 matches), Wales, while at Wigan in 1947 Wales, in 1948 France, while at Halifax in 1951 Wales, and won caps for Great Britain while at York in 1946 Australia (3 matches), New Zealand, while at Wigan in 1947 New Zealand (2 matches)

Other Notable Players





  • Stephen "Steve" Quinn
  • Gary Smith (Testimonial match 1982)
  • Graham Steadman
  • Nigel Stephenson
  • Malcolm "Mal" Storey Second-row
  • Graham Sullivan
  • John Swift
  • John Taylor
  • Charles "Charlie" Taylor circa-1940s/50s
  • Dave Watson
  • Billy Welsh Loose forward
  • Brendan White
  • Ronald "Ron" Wilemen
  • Geoff Wriglesworth
  • Ian Wrigglesworth
  • Victor "Vic" Yorke

Records

  • Match records

Goals: 20 by Chris Thorman at home to Northumbria University, 6 March 2011 (Goals: all time York RL record: Chris Thorman v Northumbria University, 6 March 2011)

Tries: 6 by Jonny Presley at home to Northumbria University, 6 March 2011 (Tries: all time York RL record: 7 by Brad Davis v Highfield 17 Sep 1995)

Points: 56 by Chris Thorman at home to Northumbria University, 6 March 2011 – 4 tries and 20 goals (Points: all time York RL record: 56 by Chris Thorman at home to Northumbria University, 6 March 2011 – 4 tries and 20 goals)

  • Season records

Goals: 178 (174 goals and 4 drop goals) by Danny Brough, 2004 Tries: 25 by Peter Fox, 2005 (Tries: all time York RL record: 35 by John Crossley, 1980–81) Points:412 by Danny Brough, 2004

  • Highest score for

132–0 at home to Northumbria University, 6 March 2011 (all time York RL record: 132–0 at home to Northumbria University, 6 March 2011)

  • Biggest win

132–0 at home to Northumbria University, 6 March 2011 (all time York RL record: 132–0 at home to Northumbria University, 6 March 2011)

  • Highest score against

62–0 at St Helens, Powergen Challenge Cup, 6 May 2005 (all time York RL record: 98–0 at Rochdale Hornets, 8 April 2001)

  • Biggest defeat

62–0 at St Helens, Powergen Challenge Cup, 6 May 2005 (all time York RL record: 98–0 at Rochdale Hornets, 8 April 2001)

  • Highest home attendances

3,509 v Leeds Rhinos, Friendly, 3 January 2005 (at Bootham Crescent) 3,224 v Hunslet Hawks, NL2, 22 May 2005 3,106 v Oldham, CC1, 25 June 2009 3,105 v Hull KR, ATC, 19 January 2003 (all time York RL record – Clarence Street: 14,689 v Swinton (Challenge Cup), 10 February 1934. (all time York RL record – Huntington Stadium: 4,977 v Halifax (Division 2), 5 January 1990 – Then Ryedale Stadium.

References

Sources

External links


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