Remembrance Sunday, which falls on 12 November in 2017, is a day for the nation to remember and honour those who have sacrificed themselves to secure and protect our freedom.
Our Club has it’s own story and connection with the two World Wars and this year Salford RLFC Supporters’ Trust are inviting members to attend the Service of Remembrance at The Crescent, Salford.
The service and wreath laying commences at 10.30am at The Cenotaph. If you would like to attend representing Salford RLFC Supporter’s Trust please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details. It would be great to see fans of all ages coming together on this important day.
Supporters’ Trust member Paul Whiteside has written the following piece in honour of those Salford RLFC Players and Staff who have served.
Salford Football Club at the time of the First World War
Salford won the Rugby Football League Championship in 1913-14. The club was in real financial problems and in the hands of an official receiver – but somehow in the Championship final they managed to beat Huddersfield and their team of “all talents” 5-3 on the 24th April 1914. This was our first major honour.
In August 1914 the Salford Football club was finally wound up and a new company were formed, Salford Football Club (1914) Limited. During the First World War the club continued to function but it was a real struggle. Thirty-two Salford players volunteered of which seven were killed.
Thomas Williams – Salford’s captain at the time – played Rugby league when it was at a huge height of popularity in the area. Immediately after joining the Northern Union at the end of the 1895-96 season Salford Football Club succeeded in securing a number of expert Welsh players who helped bring the first honours to the club. Born in Cardiff and then a resident of Pendleton – when war broke out Williams, 40 years of age, joined the Duke of Lancaster’s Own Yeomanry as a sapper and went with his regiment to Egypt. He died in hospital at Alexandria in October 1915. He made 140 appearances for the Club.
Jimmy Cook, E Brown, Fred Hope, Dave Preston, George Thom and N Shaw also died in the conflict along with assistant trainer J Hopkins.
Toddy’s Toddlers and the Second World War
In 1928 The Great Lance Todd became team manager. In his first season in charge (1928–29), “Toddy’s Toddlers” went from 26th to fourth place in the table with virtually the same set of players.
Salford’s highest attendance was set on 13 February 1937 when 26,470 turned up to watch Salford versus Warrington in the first round of the Rugby League Challenge Cup. The 1937 Australian touring team was beaten by Salford 11–8 at the Willows. Despite heavy rain that created muddy playing conditions, 12,000 attended.
Salford beat Barrow 7–4 in the final of the 1938 Challenge Cup at Wembley, the Club’s first ever win. In 1939, Salford became the first rugby league club to make successive visits to Wembley but were well beaten 20–3 by Halifax.
On 3 September 1939, the Second World War began and the 1939–40 season was abandoned. A wartime Emergency League was organised but, at the beginning of January 1941, Salford decided to cease playing, due to poor gates. In November 1942, Lance Todd was tragically killed in a car crash. He was serving his country in the Home Guard.
Today we think about these men and their families along with everyone who fought in conflicts around the world – some making the ultimate sacrifice.
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