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Rugby League Challenge Cup

848 of 1170 nominations


Rugby League Challenge Cup

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Rugby League Challenge Cup

The most prestigious trophy in rugby league began life in the 1896-7 season, following the breakaway of the northern teams from the Rugby Football Union to form the Northern Union. The first ever Challenge Cup final was played in 1897 between Batley and St Helens, with Batley enjoying the thick end of a 10-3 scoreline. For most of its life confined to English (mostly Lancashire and Yorkshire) clubs, the Challenge Cup is now open to foreign sides, including French and Russian ones. In 2005, the Cup became a summer tournament, with the first summer final being played in late August at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.

It’s fair to say the rivalry between the two rugby codes, League and Union, has been anything but friendly over the years. This derives largely from the practice the non-professional RFU carried out of banning any player who had ever gone near a rugby league pitch, even if the game in question was being played under amateur circumstances. Rugby league followers remained defiant under what they saw as official persecution, until rugby union itself turned pro after 1995.

The League Challenge Cup remains one of the highlights of the domestic sporting calendar.


Your comments

The most prestigous trophy, the most iconic trophy in a game spawned from the English Working classes. A game the establishment attemtped to be rid of by banning players, and yet the Challenge Cup still remains 100 years later.

Richard Pitchfork

Unlike other trophies, the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final is watched by fans of every team, not only the fans of the teams that have qualified for the final.
Steven James

I have been to two Wembley Challenge Cup Finals. 30 years apart. Both times my teams lifted the Cup - in 1968 Leeds and in 1998 Sheffield Eagles, probably the biggest upset in Challenge Cup Final history, Sheffield beating the mighty Wigan team 17 - 8. However, in addition to that, the Challenge Cup itself is the most beautiful trophy and most brilliant piece of silverware in the world, designed by a Bradford company, recently remade. It would grace any sport, but fortunately it is the property of the Greatest Game.
Stu Charmak

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I nominate the red pillar box.

Donna Spencer