|About the Book|
Rugby League is a northern Working Class sport. Since its inception, when breaking away from the Rugby Football Union in 1895 over the issue of “Broken Time Payments”, it has been entrenched in what is now known as its “Northern Heartlands”.The sportMoreRugby League is a northern Working Class sport. Since its inception, when breaking away from the Rugby Football Union in 1895 over the issue of “Broken Time Payments”, it has been entrenched in what is now known as its “Northern Heartlands”.The sport has tried to break away many times from these heartlands and establish itself in other areas of the country. This is the story of one of these attempts when it attempted, and very nearly succeeded, to establish itself in the Capital.The 1930s was the decade to try and break into London. Only years after the Empire Stadium at Wembley opened and hosted, for the first time, the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final. The Northern Working Class was moving around the country to find work and professional sport was growing in popularity.Using letters from the owners of the clubs in London, supporters and from the Rugby Football League the book shows how close Rugby League came to establishing itself in London with initially 2 well run teams and eventually what could have been, as originally planned, a 6 team Southern Division. The Rugby League landscape and the sporting landscape of Britain as a whole could have been very different.Richard Pitchfork was born in Sheffield before going to School at Malvern College, Worcestershire and the University of Birmingham. He graduated with a BSocSc in Economic and Social HistoryHis working life has seen him working in the City of London for many years in sales and latterly as a European Project Manager before moving back home to Sheffield to take over the family firm with his brother Chris.After playing school boy Rugby Union he turned to Rugby League at University before playing amateur Rugby League at South London Storm and latterly at Hillsborough Hawks. While at South London Storm he also took on the role of Media Manager writing the press releases and match reports as the club grew.His interest in the History of London Rugby League started at University during a course on 20th Century British Cultural History which fuelled firstly his dissertation on Rugby League in London and now on to this book.