Plaque marks RL club's place in sport history

A CENTURY ago a crowd of six thousand turned up at Bramley, in Leeds, to see sporting history being made.

In 1907 the Barley Mow Inn, home to the Bramley Rugby League Football Club, hosted a game against the New Zealanders – known as the All Golds.

The Kiwis were the first ever overseas touring team to visit these shores and today Leeds Civic Trust will unveil a plaque at the pub commemorating the landmark match.

It reads: "The Barley Mow Inn ground was the home of Bramley Rugby League Football Club (now Bramley Buffaloes) from 1891 until its move to McLaren Field in 1965. Bramley played New Zealand All Golds here in 1907 in the Northern Union's first ever tour game."

Leeds Civic Trust chairman Peter Baker said: "We are delighted to help celebrate the centenary of such a famous event in Bramley's history."

The Bramley club had a considerable history even then, being formed in 1879, and going through the 1880-81 season unbeaten.

Local star Harry Bradshaw was the David Beckham of his day, playing six times for England, bringing swooning women on to Town Street when he was married in the local church.

Bramley joined the breakaway clubs in the Northern Union in 1896. In 1901 the club attracted a record official crowd of 12,000 to the Barley Mow for the Northern Union cup tie with Oldham, although observers at the time said it was more like 14,000.

When the New Zealand rugby tour was announced Bramley applied to host a game. The Northern Union awarded Bramley the honour of staging the first game on the agreement that the club had to pay a 50 guarantee.

On Wednesday, October 9, 1907 Bramley's Joe Sedgwick scored the first try ever against a touring side, but the fitter tourists eventually won the match 25-6.