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The Willows was a rugby league stadium in Weaste, Salford, England. It had a final capacity of 11,363 with 2,500 seats.

The Willows
The Willows North Stand - geograph.org.uk - 43344.jpg
The Willows North Stand
Full nameThe Willows
LocationWillows Road, Weaste, Salford
M5 5FQ
Coordinates53°29′11″N 2°18′34″W / 53.48639°N 2.30944°W / 53.48639; -2.30944Coordinates: 53°29′11″N 2°18′34″W / 53.48639°N 2.30944°W / 53.48639; -2.30944
OwnerIain Watson
Capacity11,363 with 2,500 seats
Record attendance26,470 vs Warrington (Challenge Cup), 13 February 1937
SurfaceGrass
ScoreboardElectronic
Construction
Built1900
Opened1901
Renovated1966, 1971, 1975, 1989
Closed2011
Demolished2012
Tenants
Salford RLFC (1901–2011) Swinton RLFC (2011)

Contents

HistoryEdit

In 1900, Salford agreed a 14-year lease on 5 acres (20,000 m2) of land belonging to the Willows Estate Company, named after the abundance of willow trees in the area. They made their debut at the Willows on 21 December 1901, beating Swinton 2–0 in front of 16,981 fans.

In the 1960s, the terrace was flattened at the Willows Road end to make way for the Salford Football and Social Club which was officially opened on 16 June 1966.

The Willows switched on its floodlights for the first time in the match with Widnes on Friday 11 March 1966. On 26 November 1989, Salford unveiled a new £50,000 electronic scoreboard above the Willows Variety Centre.[1]

Salford City Reds moved to the Salford City Stadium in Barton-upon-Irwell at the start of the 2012 season.[2] The last match at the Willows saw them lose to the Catalans Dragons 18–44 in front of 10,146 fans, a record for a Salford City Reds home match in the Super League.[3]

RedevelopmentEdit

In 2013, a proposal to redevelop the site for housing was put forward by City West Housing Trust.[4]

Rugby League Test matchesEdit

List of international rugby league matches played at The Willows.[5]

Game# Date Result Attendance Notes
1 14 January 1922   Great Britain def.   Australia 6–0 22,000 1921–22 Ashes series
2 27 January 1932   England def.   Wales 19–2 8,000
3 7 November 1968   Wales def.   England 24–17 6,002
4 23 October 1969   Wales def.   France 8–2 6,189 1969–70 European Rugby League Championship
5 25 September 1971   New Zealand def.   Great Britain 25–24 8,083 1971 Great Britain vs New Zealand series
6 25 January 1975   England def.   Wales 12–8 8,494 1975 European Rugby League Championship
7 6 November 1975   Wales def.   France 23–2 2,247 1975 Rugby League World Cup

Rugby League Tour MatchesEdit

The Willows also saw Salford and the county team Lancashire play host to various international touring teams from 1908–1978.

Game Date Result Attendance Notes
1 28 December 1907   New Zealand def.   Salford 9–2 12,000 1907–08 All Golds tour
2 17 October 1908   Salford drew with   Australia 9–9 6,100 1908–09 Kangaroo Tour
3 30 December 1911   Australasia def.   Salford 6–3 4,000 1911–12 Kangaroo Tour
4 29 October 1921   Australasia def.   Salford 48–3 9,000 1921–22 Kangaroo Tour
5 3 November 1926   New Zealand def.   Salford 18–10 3,500 1926–27 New Zealand Kiwis tour
6 11 January 1930   Australasia def.   Salford 21–5 8,000 1929–30 Kangaroo Tour
7 21 October 1933   Salford def.   Australia 16–9 15,761 1933–34 Kangaroo Tour
8 30 October 1937   Salford def.   Australia 11–8 12,000 1937–38 Kangaroo Tour
9 30 October 1948   Australia def.   Salford 13–2 16,627 1948–49 Kangaroo Tour
10 26 September 1959   Australia def.   Salford 22–20 11,008 1959–60 Kangaroo Tour
11 11 October 1967   Australia def.   Lancashire 16–7 9,369 1967–68 Kangaroo Tour
12 30 September 1973   Australia def.   Salford 15–12 11,064 1973 Kangaroo Tour
13 10 October 1975   Australia def.   Salford 44–6 5,357 1975 Australian Rugby League World Cup tour
14 14 November 1978   Australia def.   Salford 14–2 6,155 1978 Kangaroo Tour

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "The Willows". Manchester Evening News.
  2. ^ "The Willows: Salford Reds' field of dreams". Manchester Evening News. 10 February 2011.
  3. ^ "Salford 18-44 Catalans Dragons". BBC Sport. 11 September 2011.
  4. ^ "Multi-million pound plan to convert old rugby league ground into 120 homes". Manchester Evening News. 22 October 2013.
  5. ^ The Willows results @ Rugby League Project

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Headingley
Leeds
Challenge Cup
Final Venue

1902–03
Succeeded by
Headingley
Leeds
Preceded by
Fartown
Huddersfield
Challenge Cup
Final Venue

1910–11
Succeeded by
Headingley
Leeds
Preceded by
New Barnes
1878–1901
Salford Red Devils
Home Ground

1901–2011
Succeeded by
Salford City Stadium
2012–present