Blackpool Borough were a
rugby leagueteam based in Blackpool, Lancashire.
The team wore tangerine, black and white.
A Blackpool club were members of the Northern Union Lancashire Second Competition in 1898/99. The first unsuccessful application for a Blackpool team to join the Rugby League was made by a in December 1950. "Blackpool Borough" were accepted into the Rugby League for the 1954/55 season. In their early days, they were known as "the babes".
Borough played at Blackpool St Anne's Road Greyhound Stadium but larger fixtures were played at Blackpool FC's Bloomfield Road Stadium. Their record attendance was 12,015 on 10 September 1955 when they drew with the New Zealand tourists 24-24 at Bloomfield Road. The record attendance was set in 1957 at 22,000 for the third round Challenge Cup match against Leigh.
In the first eight years of their existence, they had never finished above 21st. Blackpool Greyhound Stadium was sold for housing and in April 1962
Blackpool Borough Councilgranted a 21-year lease on a new ground - Borough Park - on the former gas works and coach park site at Rigby Road and Princess Street. The first match at Borough Park was played on Saturday 31st of August 1963 when Blackpool beat Salford 36-16. The record defeat came on 26 October 1963 when Wigan won 77 points to 8.
Rugby League Hall of Fame member
Brian Bevanplayed for Blackpool Borough between 1962 and 1964 having retired from playing for Warrington Wolves. In Bevan's first year Blackpool finished fourth in the Second Division. Fellow winger and Hall of Fame member Billy Bostonalso ended his career at Blackpool between 1969-71.
In 1978-79, Blackpool won promotion to the First Division for the first and only time by finishing fourth in the Second Division. However the next season, they finished bottom and were relegated back to the Second Division.
In April 1982, Borough were put into liquidation less than nine months after being taken over by a Cardiff businessman. A new company, Savoy Sports and Leisure Ltd, then bought the club and a new Blackpool Borough RLFC was formed on 4 August 1982 and accepted into the Rugby League for the new season. The club was ordered to carry out safety measures on the ground by Lancashire County Council by 1 February 1987 or quit the ground. Blackpool failed to get grant aid from Blackpool Borough Council and were forced to leave. The final game at Borough Park being on the 4th of January 1987 when a crowd of 386 saw the club lose 8-5 to Whitehaven. Their final six home games were played at Bloomfield Road.
Another consortium took over the club in April 1987 on condition that Borough left Blackpool.Their first new home was Springfield Park, the then home of Wigan Athletic. Wigan RLFC were rumoured to have objected to the proposed 'Wigan Borough' name and so 'Springfield Borough' was adopted.
Springfield Borough beat
Sheffield Eagles11-10 in the final rugby league match at Springfield Park. Despite good performances on the field the move was not successful; the pitch was suffering from overuse and in January 1988 Wigan Athletic gave Borough six months to quit.
The club played as "Chorley Borough" in the 1988-1989 season and finished sixteenth out of twenty teams in the Second division.
Borough then became "Trafford Borough" when they moved to
Moss Lane, Altrincham(sharing with Altrincham F.C.) for the 1989-90 season. This, however, caused a boardroom split leading to five Blackpool based directors resigning to form a new club based in Chorley (now Blackpool Panthers).
Trafford Borough survived three seasons before returning to Blackpool as "Blackpool Gladiators" for the 1992-93 season, playing at the Blackpool Mechanics FC ground. However, the season was a disaster which culminated in their final home game when they were beaten 90-5 by Dewsbury. Their last game as a professional club was on 11 April 1993 when they lost again to Dewsbury 56-0. They were demoted to the National Conference for the following season and the professional game in Blackpool disappeared.
* [http://members.tripod.com/peterflower/table.htm http://members.tripod.com/peterflower/table.htm]
* [http://www.blackpoolborough.com/ The history of Blackpool Borough]
* [http://www.blackpoolrlsupporters.com/ Blackpool rugby league supporters' club]
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