History set to record a golden day

A CENTURY ago a team of Kiwis stepped off a plane and became the first rugby team from foreign shores to visit Britain.

They made their way to Leeds, where the honour of hosting those illustrious sporting visitors went to Bramley Rugby League Football Club's Barley Mow ground.

A crowd of 6,000 turned out to watch the game against the New Zealanders – known as the All Golds – and see history being made.

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The All Golds team used the changing rooms upstairs at the Barley Mow public house before the match which heralded the birth of International Rugby League.

Now, one hundred years on, the anniversary of the landmark clash is set to be marked by the unveiling of a blue plaque to celebrate Bramley Rugby League Football Club.

Before the 1907 tour, Bramley already had a proud rugby tradition, with local star Harry Bradshaw playing six times for England.

The club was formed in 1879, and went through the 1880-81 season unbeaten.

The Barley Mow Inn ground was the home of Bramley Rugby League Football Club from 1891, with dressing rooms belonging to the Barley Mow pub, which opened directly on to the pitch.

In 1942-3, Bramley dropped out of the wartime Yorkshire League, they did not return to league competition until 1945-6.

In the sixties, the club moved to a new ground on land next to the Barley Mow, which became known as McClaren Field.

The team had to battle hard to keep its head above water and almost went into liquidation in October 1983, but survived.

At the end of the 1999 season Bramley resigned from the Northern Ford Premiership but rose from the ashes and was reformed as a supporter-owned Bramley Buffaloes RL club

The blue plaque to celebrate Bramley Rugby League Football Club will be unveiled by Tony Collins, a rugby league historian, on Tuesday, November 27, at 3pm.

Blue plaques are awarded by the guardians of Leeds architectural heritage, Leeds Civic Trust.

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

Leeds Rhinos' New Zealanders Ali Lauitiiti and Clinton Toopi recently retraced the steps of the original 1907 All Golds touring squad when they visited the Barley Mow public house.

Ali Lauitiiti, said: "It was really interesting to visit the Barley Mow, I didn't realise this was where the original visiting All Golds team came to."