Wed 06 Nov 2019 23:29

Formed 1907

Club Colours - Home Kit - Royal Blue, Sky Blue, Navy Blue and White Hoops, Navy Blue Shorts and Hooped Socks. 

                     Change Kit - Red and Navy Blue Hooped top, Navy Shorts and Hooped Socks.

Club Badge - The Cheshire Wheat Sheaves, the ICI Lion and the Brunner Mond Crescent.

Grounds - The Paddock 1907-1914

                 The Tank Field 1920-1923

                 The Jubilee Field 1923 -1947

                 Moss Farm 1947 -1976

                 Burrows Hill 1976 - Present

Early Days Between 1892-94 a chemical plant at Lostock Gralam had been established by Bowman Thompson, this being eventually bought out by Brunner Mond and Company in 1900. Many of the first workers came from either Runcorn or Widnes, where rugby was the dominant winter sport. A sports club was formed and a rugby team was started, playing most of its games in the Merseyside area. When the 1895 union/league split occurred, this Lostock team sided with the rugby league code, but they too had disbanded by the time of the Brunner Mond takeover. Contemporary with this was the expansion of the Winnington Recreational Club, which was centred around the chemical plants at Winnington and Wallerscote. Here a ‘state of the art’ recreational facility was established, providing a range of sporting and intellectual activities. All the major sports were represented and as early as 1892 it was suggested that a rugby section should be organized. However this idea failed to take root and it was not until 1907 that a Winnington Rugby Club was formed. The Recreational Club’s archives show no details of a rugby section and it is to be presumed that this club was independent from the ‘Rec’, although it did use the pavilion to change in and to use the social facilities. Matches were played on ‘The Paddock’, adjacent to the Recreation Club ground and rugby shared this playing area with the hockey section and the horses of the company. This green field site later became the location of the Low Caustic Plant Boiler. The first reported match took place on 22nd October 1910, when Winnington lost 23-3 to Sale ‘A.’ Two hundred spectators witnessed the next fixture, when Broughton Park won 15-0, while the first win came in late November – a 11-0 victory over Horwich. 

Winnington officially opened their new £52 000 clubhouse on Sunday 4th April 1976. The process of the move started in 1973 when ICI Limited decided, as part of their centenary, to donate the Moss Farm Complex to Cheshire County Council. The area was developed over a period of time, with the addition of a new town swimming baths, the arrival of Northwich Cricket club and eventually the acquisition of the old rugby clubhouse by Mid-Cheshire Rugby Club (who became Northwich Rugby Club in 1990-91) Winnington negotiated a separate lease for the eighteen acres of land to the west of the enclosed football pitch – this contained the existing four rugby pitches, but resulted in the clubhouse being isolated from them and now on county land. In 1973 the club began the process of designing and building a new two storey club, with its changing facilities on the ground floor and its bars and social areas on the first floor and overlooking the two main playing areas. 

1985 saw the start of regional leagues and as hoped for and anticipated Winnington were put in the top echelons on the junior rugby circuit, along with other Cheshire clubs – Chester, Lymm and Davenport(Stockport).Three championships on the run enabled Winnington to climb the through the league system and the acquisition of the Cheshire Cup, which they won five times in seven years between 1986 and 1994, meant automatic qualification into the national cup – The Pilkington Cup (formerly the John Player Trophy). For a number of reasons the season 1986-87 could be regarded as the best of the previous eighty and better than any of the twenty seasons which followed it. The first team won an unsurpassed 33 games, they won all ten league games to retain their title, they were promoted to the Area North Division (effectively one of the National League Division 4’s) and on a different level the club ran seven teams on some Saturdays – at least 105 adults playing rugby. Three hundred yards away Mid-Cheshire College were also turning out a minimum of five teams per week. In effect the town saw a boom in rugby with nearly 200 adult rugby players and as many again youth, junior and mini rugby players indulging in the sport and its social benefits. In 1997 Park made the decision that they were not in a position to have a fully professional 1st XV and accordingly they struggled to retain their National status eventually being relegated to North 2 West (Level 6) in 2000. The team consistently finished in the top six culminating in a play-off spot in 2006 where they lost to Beverly. They were gradually overtaken in league status by the ‘local’ Cheshire clubs, who were able to attract new players with financial incentives and finally in 2008 were relegated to South Lancs Cheshire 1.