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Batley Bulldogs
Batley bulldogs.png
Club information
Full name Batley Bulldogs Rugby League Football Club
Colours White, burgundy and gold
Founded 1880
Current details
Ground(s) Mount Pleasant
Coach(s) Karl Harrison
Competition Co-operative Championship

Batley Bulldogs are a British professional rugby league club, from Batley in West Yorkshire. They currently play in the Co-operative Championship. Batley is also one of the original twenty-two rugby clubs that formed the Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895, making them one of the world's first rugby league clubs.




Early years

The local cricket club was to invite the winner of a game between Batley Mountaineers and Batley Athletic to join them at their Mount Pleasant ground. Both sides claimed victory but the cricket club chose the Athletic to join them and formed 'Batley Cricket and Athletic Football Club' in 1880. Their first game was against Bradford Zingari.

They won the Yorkshire Challenge Cup five years later.

Batley was one of the original twenty-two clubs that met at the George Hotel, Huddersfield on 29 August 1895 and formed the Northern Rugby Union.

Sixth in the Yorkshire Senior Competition of 1896/97, they battled their way to third spot come the end of the next season. Where knock-out competitions was concerned, they were peerless. In 1897, the 'Gallant Youths' became the first winners of the Challenge Cup beating St Helens 10-3, in front of a crowd of 13,492 at Headingley. Batley retained the trophy by beating Bradford Northern on the corresponding weekend the following year. They won it again in 1900/01.

Wharton 'Wattie' Davies set club records for most appearance, goals and points between 1907-1912.

Batley won the Yorkshire Cup in 1912/13, were Yorkshire League winners in 1898/99 and 1923/24 and were crowned champions for the only time that same season.

The record attendance was set at 23,989 for the visit of Leeds for a third round Challenge Cup match on 14 March, 1925.

Post World War Two

The club's name changed from Batley Cricket, Athletic & Football Club Ltd to its present official name of Batley Football Club Ltd in June 1979.

The club celebrated its centenary in 1981 with a win over the league's new London team, Fulham.

In the 1960s the league was restructured into two divisions for two seasons before the single-division format was finally ditched in 1973 (there was also a three-season experiment with two divisions at the beginning of the twentieth century). Batley are one of only a few teams never to make it into the top flight, although they came very close in 1993/94. The last match of the season against Doncaster came down to being a play off for a spot in the first division, but Batley lost this memorable game 10-5 and their chance disappeared.

Batley looked set to join the elite in 1995 when they held off Huddersfield to finish in second place, just two points behind champions Keighley. The club succeeded in winning the Second Division Championship in the 1994–95 season. However, when the Super League was created for the following year, Batley along with Keighley were excluded. The club estimated that the decision cost them around £500,000. [1]

Batley added 'Bulldogs' to their name for the 1995/96 season. The newly named Batley Bulldogs finished 1996 at the foot of Division One. Batley won the Trans-Pennine Trophy in 1998.

In 2003, Barry Eaton broke the world record for consecutive goals kicks.

The club underwent a major shake up in the coaching staff with the resignation of head coach David Ward due to pressure from some supporters in the form of derisory comments in the local press. The new coaching first team set up involved Gary Thornton (Head Coach) and Paul Harrison.

After a tough season in 2005 Batley were into National League One relegation play-offs, facing bitter rivals and neighbours Dewsbury. Victory in the final saw Batley stay up against increasingly well funded sides with Super League ambitions.

2006 saw Batley start the campaign with little promise after a series of dismal performances in the Northern Rail Cup and the early rounds of National League One. However, coach Gary Thornton turned the side round and Batley made their way into the end of season play-offs. Jay Duffy's late drop goal sealed a 23-22 victory at Leigh to end the Lancastrians' own hopes of promotion and ultimately earn Thornton the honour of National League coach of the year. Batley failed to replicate this success in the next round, crashing to a 30-0 defeat at Whitehaven to put an abrupt end to their season.

After a midtable finshes 2009 started as a bad season for Batley. Gary Thornton was sacked after 60-22 loss on Easter Monday against Toulouse Olympique and 72-0 vs Halifax. Karl Harrison was made coach until the end of the season and he saved Batley from relegation after wins against Barrow 44-18, Whitehaven 48-22, Halifax 32-28, Widnes 34-30 and a last day victory over Featherstone Rovers 30-24, in which Batley were 14-0 down at one stage.

Current Season

Current Table

# Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Bns Pts
1 Widnes colours.svg Widnes Vikings 2 2 0 0 116 40 +76 0 6
2 Fevcolours.svg Featherstone Rovers 2 2 0 0 76 20 +56 0 6
3 Faxcolours.svg Halifax RLFC 2 2 0 0 66 50 +16 0 6
4 Leigh colours.svg Leigh Centurions 2 1 1 0 54 32 +22 0 3
5 Haven colours.svg Whitehaven RLFC 1 1 0 0 34 20 +14 0 3
6 ToulouseRLcolours.PNG Toulouse Olympique XIII 2 1 0 1 46 56 -10 0 3
7 Barrowcolours.svg Barrow Raiders 1 0 1 0 46 56 -10 0 3
8 Sheffeagles colours.svg Sheffield Eagles 2 0 0 2 56 76 -20 1 1
9 Ramscolours.svg Dewsbury Rams 2 0 0 2 32 66 -34 1 1
10 Batley colours.svg Batley Bulldogs 2 0 0 2 34 70 -364 1 1
11 Cougscolours.svg Keighley Cougars 2 0 0 2 22 106 -84 0 - 9
  Teams qualifying for the Play-offs
  Teams in relegation position

Source: Co-Operative Championship Table [1]
Classification: 1st on competition points; 2nd on match points difference.
Competition points: For win = 3; For draw = 2; For loss by 12 points or fewer = 1.

Note: Keighley Cougars started the season on -9 points for going into administration.


In 2003 Barry Eaton broke the world record for consecutive goals kicks. Although Eaton left the club last year to join Keighley, his record of 38 looks as if it may stand for some time to come.

Players earning international caps while at Batley

  • Peter Armstead, for England whilst at Batley 1953 France
  • Joseph "Joe" Berry, for Scotland while at Batley 2003 Ireland, France
  • George Brown, for England while at Batley 1945 Wales
  • George Davidge, for England while at Batley 1924 Other Nations
  • William "Will" T. Davies (#5), for Wales while at Batley 1909 England
  • Norman Field, for Great Britain while at Batley 1963 1-cap
  • Ike. J. Fowler, for Wales while at Batley 1926 ?-caps, for Other Nations while at Batley 1921 ?-caps
  • Frank Gallagher, for England while at Batley 1923 Other Nations; 1924 Other Nations; 1925 Wales x 2; 1926 Wales, Other Nations; 1927 Wales; while at Leeds 1928 Wales, for Great Britain while at Dewsbury 1920 Australia x 3; 1921-22 Australia; while at Batley 1924 Australia x 3, New Zealand x 3; 1926-27 New Zealand x 2
  • Carl Gibson, for Great Britain while at Batley 1985 France (sub)
  • Nathan Graham, for Scotland while at Batley 2004 Wales, Ireland
  • Frederick "Fred" Hill, for England while at Batley 1909 Wales
  • William "Bill" Hudson, for England while at Batley 1946 Wales, France; 1947 France; while at Wigan 1949 France, for Great Britain while at Wigan 1948 Australia
  • Iain Marsh, for Scotland while at Batley 2005 Wales, Ireland
  • Martin McLoughlin, for Ireland while at Batley 2004 England
  • Joseph "Joe" Oliver, for England while at Batley 1928 Wales; Hull 1933 Australia; 1936 Wales, France, and won caps for Great Britain while at Batley 1928 Australia x 3, New Zealand
  • George Palmer, for England while at Batley 1951 Other Nations
  • Harry Rees, for Wales while at Batley 1923/25 ?-caps
  • Bryn Williams, for Wales while at Batley 1921/22 ?-caps, for Other Nations while at Batley 1921 ?-caps
  • F. Willis, for Wales while at Batley 1921 ?-caps, for Other Nations while at Batley 1921 ?-caps

Other notable players

Current squad

Batley RLFC 2010 Squad[2]


External links


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