St. Jude's Amateur Rugby League Football Club

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The following article appeared in the Easter 1995 Edition of St. Jude's Journal:
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ST. JUDE'S ARLFC - HOW IT ALL BEGAN

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Tommy Martindale, the Club's Rugby Manager, takes us back to the beginning

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"In the summer of 1981, the lads in the games room of St. Jude's Social Club decided to try their hand in the local Rugby League competition, the Ken Gee Cup. Being quite successful - they reached the semi-final - immediately after that game a decision was made to enter the North West Counties Leagues.

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Initially, they were entered into Division 5, and, in consecutive seasons, gained promotion, reaching the Premier Division in 1988, where they still compete.
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In their second season great strides were made. A second team was formed and also a junior section, with teams at Under 12 and Under 13 levels. In addition, there were changes in the club facilities, when a new pitch and dressing rooms at Parson's Meadow were allocated by Wigan Metro Leisure Department.

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Around this time, the Club adopted the motto, "Going Forward", and that is exactly what they have done. Through a hard-working and conscientious committee, coaching and playing staff, there is now a junior section which boasts teams from 8 and 9-year-olds upwards, through to the Under 18's and two Open Age sides. Along the way, over two dozen professional players have begun their careers at the Club.

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The set-up at Parson's Meadow now consists of three pitches. In 1991, a clubhouse was built adjacent to the ground. This provides a facility not only for young rugby players, but for the residents of all ages living close by in Worsley Mesnes."

 

In 2001, as a result of a 15,000 grant from the Coal Board Regeneration Trust, and an additional 27,000 windfall from the Foundation of Sports and Arts in Liverpool, a floodlight system was installed at the first team pitch at Parson's Meadow , at a total cost of 50,000.

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Club Secretary said: "We qualified for the Coal Board money because we play on old NCB land, but it has taken more than three years of hard slog to get it . . . Club Treasurer, John Jackson and I are indebted to Worsley Mesnes ward councillors, Wilf BRogan and Brian Baldwin who helped with all the red tape."

Right: Club Secretary Joe Fitzimmons (left) presents John Prescott, Deputy Prime Minister, with a St. Jude's shirt and tie.

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There is no doubt that St. Jude's ARLFC has been a resounding success, not just for the young people who progressed to professional ranks, but also for countless others who have been given the opportunity to take part in the discipline that is Rugby League. Hopefully, in so doing, not only have they enjoyed the game, but have learned the value of team work and a sense of fair play.