mark cain

York City Knights

York City Knights Rugby League Club are a British rugby league team hailing from York. They play at the Huntington Stadium, situated to the north of York city centre.


Early years

York Football Club was formed in 1868, for the first few seasons they had portable goal posts as they did not have their own ground and would play wherever they could find a pitch. Eventually a permanent pitch was secured on Knavesmire.

It took three years for the club to record their first victory - and that was in an association football match against York Training College. Results picked up in the mid 1870s as the club attracted a higher standard of player. In 1877, York were among several leading Yorkshire clubs who inaugurated the Yorkshire Challenge Cup. In the first season 16 teams battled it out for the T'owd Tin Pot, with York eventually losing out to Halifax in the final.

Financial problems in the early 1880s forced the club out of the Yorkshire Gentlemen's Ground in Wigginton Road and in 1883 the club amalgamated with York Melbourne Club.

After playing on Poad's Fields for a short time, the York Lunatic Asylum leased the club a plot of land at the end of the Clarence Street in 1885. The first game at the new site was between a York XV and 20 players from the city.

The club made great strides with the team of 1895, which won virtually all their home matches. Off the field the club paid £85 for the Waterman's Mission Hut in Fishergate and converted it into their first grandstand, incorporating dressing rooms.

Northern Union

There were also changes on a wider scale as northern teams broke away from the Rugby Football Union to form their own Northern Union. York initially stayed with the Rugby Football Union but as the better clubs began to join the new order, it became a financial necessity to follow suit. The decision to join the Northern Union was taken at a meeting at the Bar Hotel, Micklegate, on Monday, April 25, 1898 and five days later they played their first Northern Union match against Hull KR losing 29-2.

York Wasps were first admitted to the Rugby Football League in 1901. In 1902/3 The Lancashire and Yorkshire leagues were combined to form a second division. York was one of the new teams to join the second division. After World War I, they became known as the Dreadnoughts.

York's best moment came in 1931 when they reached the Challenge Cup Final for the first time, only to be beaten 22-8 by Halifax.

10 Feb 1934, the York's record attendance was set when 14,689 turned up to watch a Challenge Cup match against Swinton, which ended in a 0-0 draw. In 1933/34 York beat Hull Kingston Rovers 10-4 in the Yorkshire Cup final.

Financial problems forced the club to sell their training pitch for £200,000 in 1986. Three years later faced with a large bill for safety work, the rest of the stadium was sold to a housing developer for £705,000, less than half what the ground was worth. York's last match at Clarence Street produced a 26-17 victory over Hunslet in front of a crowd of 2,904 spectators. When plans to ground share with York City F.C. broke down, York relocated to the Huntington Stadium (originally Ryedale Stadium) two miles to the north of the city at Monk's Cross. As the stadium was financed by Ryedale District Council the club became known as Ryedale-York.

Huntington / Ryedale Stadium's record attendance for a rugby league match was set on 5 Jan 1990 when 4,977 turned up to watch a division two match against Halifax (Division 2).

In 1991, York and Fulham toured Russia. An act that caused many Russian rugby union clubs to switch to rugby league.

York Wasps

Following the move to summer rugby in 1996, the club was renamed York Wasps.

York made an approach to Virgin to buy the London Broncos in August 2001 and form a merged club under a new name, York Wasps Ltd, to play in Super League.

On 19 March 2002, after completing 11 games , York Wasps announced that they had folded. After a last-ditch take-over deal to save the Wasps collapses, the RFL accept the club’s resignation on 26 March.

A supporters’ trust working party was formed on 27 March and applied to the RFL to continue the 2002 Northern Ford Premiership fixtures. After hearing it would be impossible to meet requirements to return that season, on 5 May fans backed new proposals for a new club to apply for admittance to the league for 2003.

The RFL accepted York's bid to play in the newly-formed National League Two on condition that they had £75,000 in the bank by August 31. York RL decided that the best way to raise cash was through a fans’ membership scheme. Former Great Britain star Paul Broadbent was revealed as prospective player-coach. With the total standing at £70,000, John Smith’s brewery came in with £5,000 as the club hit the target just hours before the deadline.

York City Knights

The full name of the new club was revealed to be York City Knights RLFC, following a competition in the Evening Press. John Guildford, majority shareholder of York building firm Guildford Construction, was revealed to be the majority shareholder. Richard Agar was appointed head coach. The Knights played their first game at home against Hull KR in the National League Cup on January 19.

In their first year, the Knights made the National League Two play-offs. The following year they were narrowly beaten in the play-off final by Halifax. Agar left York to join Hull FC as an assistant coach.

York City Knights have appointed Mick Cook as their new head coach in 2005 as part of a partnership with Super League club Leeds Rhinos. , they were champions and promoted automatically in his first year as Knights coach. As well as gaining promotion to National League One, 2005 saw the club reach the fifth round of the Challenge Cup, as well as having the highest crowd average for National League Two teams, of 1,986. Yorks's game against Hunslet on the 25th of May 2005 drew a crowd of 3,224 which was a record for National League two.

Despite a good late run of form, York were relegated back to League Two in 2006. However, it is to be hoped that their squad can be retained and a challenge for promotion back to League One can be produced. They did however, win the Fairfax Cup, after beating Batley Bulldogs 14-10 in their first appearance in the York International 9s.

Mick Cook quit as coach in order to run his business. Paul March was appointed player-coach on a one-year rolling contract in September 2007.

2008 Squad

No Nat

Player Position Former Club

1 Danny Ratcliffe Full Back Dewsbury Rams

2 Lee Mapals Wing York City Knights

3 John Oakes Centre Dewsbury Rams

4 Steve Lewis Centre Wakefield Wildcats

5 David Leeke Wing Leeds Rhinos

6 Scott Rhodes {C} Stand Off Dewsbury Rams

7 Danny Grimshaw Half Back York City Knights

8 Scott Woodcock Prop Doncaster RLFC

9 Chris Hepman Hooker York Knights

10 Dave Buckley Prop Newtown Jets

11 Mark Applegarth Second Row Wakefield Wildcats

12 Ross Divorty Second Row Hull FC

13 Rob Kelly Loose Forward Dewsbury Rams

14 Gareth Greenwood Hooker York City Knights

15 Stephen Grundy Loose Forward York City Knights

16 Andy Bailey Centre Rochdale Hornets

17 Adam Endersby Prop York Acorn

18 Jack Stearman Prop York City Knights

19 Danny Ekis Second Row Keghley Cougars

20 Matt Danville Centre Skirlaugh

21 Rob Spicer Loose Forward Wakefield Trinity Wildcats

22 Johnny Waldron Wing York Acorn

23 Ryan Esders Loose forward Hull Dockers

24 David March Half Back Wakefield Wildcats

25 Paul March Hooker Wakefield Wildcats

26 Kyle Palmer Prop York City Knights

27 Luke Watling Wing York City Knights

28 Andy Gargan Prop Batley Bulldogs

29 Sam Blaney Centre York City Knights

30 Oliver Wilcox-Harrison Second Row York City Knights

31 Tom Hodgson Hooker York City Knights

32 Tom Wilcox-Harrison Centre York City Knights

33 Dale Ferris Wing York City Knights

34 Danny Walton Back Row York City Knights



  • Match records

Goals: 11 by Danny Brough at London Skolars, 20 July 2003 (Goals: all time York RL record: 13 by Jamie Benn v Oldham 29 Aug 1999). Tries: 5 by Mark Cain at home to Workington Town, 3 October 2004 (Tries: all time York RL record: 7 by Brad Davis v Highfield 17 Sep 1995) Points: 28 by Danny Brough at home to Dewsbury Rams, 22 August 2004 - 3 tries and 8 goals (Points: all time York RL record: 30 by Jamie Benn v Oldham 29 Aug 1999 - 1 try and 13 goals)

  • Season records

Goals: 178 (174 goals and 4 drop goals) by Danny Brough, 2004 Tries: 25 by Peter Fox, 2005 (Tries: all time York RL record: 35 by John Crossley, 1980-81) Points:412 by Danny Brough, 2004

  • Highest score for

74-12 at home to Dewsbury Rams, 24 April 2005 (all time York RL record: 84-0 at Nottingham C., 4 Oct 1992)

  • Biggest win

74-12 at home to Dewsbury Rams, 24 April 2005 (all time York RL record: 84-0 at Nottingham C., 4 Oct 1992)

  • Highest score against

62-0 at St Helens, Powergen Challenge Cup, 6 May 2005 (all time York RL record: 98-0 at Rochdale Hornets, 8 April 2001)

  • Biggest defeat

62-0 at St Helens, Powergen Challenge Cup, 6 May 2005 (all time York RL record: 98-0 at Rochdale Hornets, 8 April 2001)

  • Highest home attendances

3,509 v Leeds Rhinos, Friendly, 3 January 2005 (at Bootham Crescent) 3,224 v Hunslet Hawks, NL2, 22 May 2005 3,105 v Hull KR, ATC, 19 January 2003 (all time York RL record - Clarence Street: 14,689 v Swinton (Challenge Cup), 10 Feb 1934. (all time York RL record - Huntington Stadium: 4,977 v Halifax (Division 2), 5 Jan 1990 - Then Ryedale Stadium.


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