Lost & Forgotten : Manchester Sporting Venues | Letter C

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We discover a lost cricket ground and a rugby stadium today, a nice small article.

Castleton Cricket Club Ground

Castleton Cricket Club Ground was a cricket ground in Rochdale, Lancashire, England. The first recorded match on the ground was in 1872 when Castleton played a team called An Eleven.

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In 1876, the ground held its only first-class match when Lancashire played Kent.[2]

The final recorded match on the ground came in 1891 when Castleton played Burnley. The ground was later required for building and built over. The ground was located to the south Sparth Bottoms Road, an area which is today covered by industrial units following the closure of the ground in 1965.

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Central Park [Wigan]

Central Park was a rugby league stadium in Wigan, England, which was the home of Wigan RLFC before the club moved to the JJB Stadium in 1999. Its final capacity was 18,000. The site is now a Tesco supermarket car park.

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On 6 September 1902, Wigan played at Central Park for the first time in the opening match of the newly formed First Division. An estimated crowd of 9,000 spectators saw Wigan beat Batley 14–8.

The first rugby league international was played between England and Other Nationalities at Central Park on 5 April 1904, Other Nationalities won 9-3 in the experimental Loose forward-less 12-a-side game, with Wigan players David “Dai” Harris, and Eli Davies in the Other Nationalities team.

On 7 October 1987, Central Park was the first English venue used for the World Club Challenge (WCC) between the English champions and the Winfield Cup premiers from Australia. The 1987 World Club Challenge between Wigan and Manly-Warringah saw the home side run out 8-2 winners in a try-less game in front of 36,895, though many who were there believe the attendance was closer to 50,000 on the night, far exceeding the 36,000 capacity of the ground at the time. The game was marred by several all-in brawls while Manly captain Paul Vautin was almost pushed over the fence and into the crowd by a group of Wigan players who had tackled him into touch, the incident sparking another all-in. Manly fullback Dale Shearer and second-rower Ron Gibbs were the main villains of the parochial Wigan crowd. Gibbs became the first player to be sent off in a WCC after hitting Wigan centre Joe Lydon with an elbow to the head after Lydon attempted a field goal while later in the game Shearer appeared to step on the head of Lydon while getting up from a tackle.

Despite the ugly on-field play, the success of the match and its high attendance saw the World Club Challenge made into an annual event between the English and Australian champions starting in 1989.

A week after the 1992 Rugby League World Cup Final (WCF) at Wembley Stadium which saw Australia defeat Great Britain 10-6, Central Park hosted the 1992 World Club Challenge between Wigan and the Brisbane Broncos. With twelve players who played in the WCF playing the challenge (5 from Wigan, 7 from Brisbane), the Broncos became the first Australian side to win the challenge in England with a 22-8 victory in front of 17,764 fans. Wigan would get their revenge just two years later when they defeated the Broncos 20-14 in the 1994 World Club Challenge played in front of a WCC record attendance of 54,220 at the ANZ Stadium in Brisbane. Showing the loyalty of the club’s fans, several thousand travelled to Brisbane to support the team, the win seeing Wigan become the first English team to win the Challenge on Australian soil.

The final game at Central Park was on Sunday 5 September 1999. Wigan beat St Helens by 28 points to 20, 96 years and 364 days after the first game against Batley was played. The Central Park site later became a car park for a Tesco supermarket.

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We have discovered 8 sports venues around Manchester and now the time come to rest the series and it will hopefully return next month with more sports venues.

I hope you enjoyed the series.

If you knew of anything that lost in the past and would like to tell me about just leave a friendly comment below and I will see what I can do for you.

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