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The Halton Stadium (historically known as Lowerhouse Lane and Naughton Park) is a rugby league stadium in Widnes, Cheshire, England. Widnes Vikings play their home games there. The stadium is all seater and has a total capacity of 13,350.
|Full name||Halton Stadium|
|Former names||Select Security Stadium (2014-2017)|
Stobart Stadium (2008–2013)
Halton Stadium (2001–2007)
Autoquest Stadium (1999–2001)
Naughton Park (1932–1999)
Lowerhouse Lane (1895–1932)
|Owner||Halton Borough Council|
|Opened||12 October 1895|
|Renovated||2 November 1997|
|Expanded||11 September 2005|
Widnes Football Club
During the 2011 Super League Season, St. Helens played their home games at the stadium. Since 2013, the Everton Ladies and Liverpool Ladies football teams have used this ground as their home ground. Local club Widnes Football Club of the North West Counties Football League also play their home games at the stadium. The Halton Spartans American football team have used the stadium to host their home matches, whilst competing in the BAFANL since 2015. Since 2013 the stadium has also been used as the venue for the Drum Corps United Kingdom "British Drum Corps Championships".
Widnes Football Club had a number of grounds before settling at Lowerhouse Lane in 1884/85 on a site a few hundred yards north of the current location. That land was leased on behalf of the rugby organisation by Widnes Cricket Club but, to coincide with the breakaway from the Rugby Football Union in 1895, Widnes F.C. obtained a lease for land on which they laid out a new ground (the Naughton Park/Halton Stadium site). The first game on the new field was against Liversedge on 12 October 1895.
In the late 1920s it was proposed that the land would be compulsorily purchased to make way for a new council housing scheme. After much lobbying the club were finally given an option to purchase the site for the not inconsiderable sum of £3,250.
Club secretary Tom Naughton was instrumental in raising the necessary funds but before the formal completion of the purchase in 1932 he died in a car crash, leading to the ground being renamed in his honour.
During the 1978 Kangaroo tour Widnes defeated Australia at Naughton Park before a crowd of 12,202.
Naughton Park stadium was owned by Widnes F.C. (later Widnes RLFC Ltd) but when financial difficulties set in they sold the ground to Halton Borough Council in 1995.
Halton Borough Council in partnership with Widnes Vikings agreed to build a new stadium on the site of Naughton Park. This stadium would provide a multi-purpose complex including a social club, conference facilities, recreational facilities and catering/function facilities.
The stadium was officially reopened on 2 November 1997. A new stand was built in 1998 with funding from Halton Borough Council and on 29 January 1999 the club's remaining 40% share in the ground was sold to the council.
The stadium became known as the AutoQuest Stadium in 1999 due to sponsorship.
In 2000, Runcorn F.C. sold their Canal Street ground and moved to the Halton Stadium. The club renamed itself Runcorn F.C. Halton to reflect its new location.
AutoQuest's sponsorship ended in 2001 and the stadium became known as the Halton Stadium.
In 2005 the East Stand was completed making the Halton Stadium a complete four-stand all seater stadium. Runcorn F.C.'s precarious financial state caused them to move out of the Halton Stadium and into Valerie Park.
In December 2007 a sponsorship agreement was made with Stobart Group Limited and the stadium was renamed Stobart Stadium Halton. In February 2008 the North stand seats were changed to spell out Vikings, West stand seats are sponsored by Stobart and East stand seats are sponsored by Halton Borough Council as part of the stadium sponsorship deal.
The Widnes Rugby League Museum was opened in 2007.
Since 2013 the Stadium has been the host venue for the British Drum Corps Championships which are held each September. The Championships feature the top UK Marching Bands and is organised by Drum Corps United Kingdom - www.dcuk.org.uk
The Widnes Rugby League Museum is situated in the East Stand of the Halton Stadium. It is home to a collection of memorabilia much of it donated by members of the public, and displays a history of Widnes RLFC.
Rugby League Test MatchesEdit
List of rugby league test matches played at Naughton Park.
|1||15 January 1978||Wales def. France 29–7||9,502||1978 European Rugby League Championship|
|2||16 March 1979||England def. Wales 15–7||5,099||1979 European Rugby League Championship|
|3||26 January 1980||France def. Wales 21–7||2,804||1980 European Rugby League Championship|
|4||19 June 1998||England def. Wales 15–12||5,154|
|1||12 November 2000||Wales def. Papua New Guinea 13–12||5,211||2000 Rugby League World Cup Quarter-final 3|
|5||12 November 2006||England def. Tonga 32–14||3,000||2006 Federation Shield Final|
|6||9 November 2007||Samoa def. United States 42–10||753||2008 Rugby League World Cup qualifying|
|7||Lebanon def. Wales 50–26|
Rugby League Tour MatchesEdit
Other than Widnes club games, the stadium also saw Widnes play host to various international touring teams from 1907–1990. Widnes' 11–10 win over Australia in 1978 was their only win over the touring Kangaroos. It also remains (as of 2017) the last time a British club or county side has defeated Australia in any match.
|1||17 October 1907||New Zealand def. Widnes 26–11||8,000||1907–08 All Golds tour|
|2||6 January 1909||Australia def. Widnes 13–2||1,000||1908–09 Kangaroo Tour|
|3||11 October 1911||Australasia def. Widnes 23–0||5,000||1911–12 Kangaroo Tour|
|4||6 October 1921||Australasia def. Widnes 28–4||11,000||1921–22 Kangaroo Tour|
|5||27 December 1921||Australasia def. Widnes 17–8||12,000|
|6||28 September 1926||New Zealand def. Widnes 15–5||6,000||1926–27 New Zealand Kiwis tour|
|7||19 September 1929||Australasia def. Widnes 37–13||6,400||1929–30 Kangaroo Tour|
|8||26 October 1933||Australia def. Widnes 31–0||6,691||1933–34 Kangaroo Tour|
|9||21 October 1937||Widnes drew with Australia 13–13||4,201||1937–38 Kangaroo Tour|
|10||11 December 1948||Australia def. Widnes 18–8||10,761||1948–49 Kangaroo Tour|
|11||6 December 1952||Australia def. Widnes 18–7||7,411||1952–53 Kangaroo Tour|
|12||1 October 1959||Australia def. Widnes 45–15||9,381||1959–60 Kangaroo Tour|
|13||21 November 1963||Australia def. Widnes 20–9||6,509||1963–64 Kangaroo Tour|
|14||11 November 1967||Australia def. Widnes 13–11||9,828||1967–68 Kangaroo Tour|
|15||14 October 1973||Australia def. Widnes 25–10||5,185||1973 Kangaroo Tour|
|16||25 October 1978||Widnes def. Australia 11–10||12,202||1978 Kangaroo Tour|
|17||9 November 1980||Widnes def. New Zealand 14–7||6,416||1980 New Zealand Kiwis tour|
|18||23 November 1982||Australia def. Widnes 19–6||9,790||1982 Kangaroo Tour|
|19||12 November 1986||Australia def. Widnes 24–4||10,268||1986 Kangaroo Tour|
|20||18 November 1990||Australia def. Widnes 15–8||14,666||1990 Kangaroo Tour|
- "Stobart Group maps out road to success for Vikings". Halton Borough Council. Retrieved 7 December 2007.[dead link]
- "Saints shifting to Widnes". skysports.com. 18 July 2010. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
- Halton Stadium @ Rugby League Project