Dewsbury Rams News
The Dewsbury Rams are a West Yorkshire based professional Rugby League club who have enjoyed success on both the national and regional level.
The club’s playing strip is predominately black with a red and amber on the shirt with touches of white found elsewhere which makes them easy to recognise whenever they take the field.
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The club play at Crown Flat, known to many at the Tetley’s Stadium due to sponsorship reasons, which can hold around 5,000 fans.
Dewsbury’s home ground of Crown Flatt is located at the far eastern boundary of the town which sees them draw fans from the western side of Wakefield including the nearby town of Ossett.
It will therefore come as no surprise that the clubs biggest rivals are the Batley Bulldogs, with matches between the 2 sides been known as the Heavy Woollen derby.
The club have enjoyed success on the national level down their history although most of their trophy cabinet is filled with regional silverware.
The club were known simply as Dewsbury RLFC before becoming the Rams at the start of the ‘Summer Era’.
A meeting was held at the Little Saddle Inn in 1875 about starting up a new Rugby club in the town and upon completion of that meeting, the Dewsbury Athletic and Football Club was formed.
Their first match took place on the 20th of November in 1875, where Dewsbury lost to the Heckmondwike Church Society XV.
In 1879 the club colours changed from their original blue and cardinal to black, crimson, and yellow and it didn’t take long for the club to enjoy success in their new strip as they won the Yorkshire Challenge Cup, by defeating Wakefield in the final.
In 1888, the club built a new stand at their Crown Flatt home and amalgamated with the Saville Cricket Club and United Clerk’s Cricket Club to form the Dewsbury and Saville Cricket and Football Club.
At the end of the 1890-91 season, the leading Yorkshire clubs decided that they wanted to form their own version of the Yorkshire League, something that the RFU were against but a Yorkshire League was formed.
Dewsbury struggled during this period, which in part explains why they were one of the few leading Northern clubs to not breakaway from the RFU and join the Northern Union.
That decision didn’t go down well with their fans and it was no surprise that the original Dewsbury club resigned from playing Rugby Union in 1897 and concentrated on playing Association Football instead.
Rugby fans in the town wanted to watch Northern Union action and by 1898, a new club was formed, joined the Northern Union, and travelled to Normanton to play their first match.
Further success came in both the 1915-16 and 1916-17 season when they won back to back league championships before going on to defeat a touring Australasian side in the 1921-22 season.
After the conclusion of the 2nd World War, Dewsbury broke the transfer record when they paid Huddersfield £1,650 for Bill Davies before the record was broken soon after when they sold James Ledgard to Leigh for £2,650.
The clubs only top tier title came in the 1972-73 season when they defeated Leeds in the play-off final, which came on the back of a disappointing season originally that saw the club finish 8th in the league.
A fire saw the main stand at the ground burn down and much of the clubs records and memorabilia lost in 1988 but that did allow them to re-group and rebuild there stadium at a cost of around £1.5 million.
The new ground opened in 1994, in front of packed house, and has put them in a solid footing for the sports ‘Summer Era’, which saw the clubs name change from Dewsbury RLFC to the Dewsbury Rams.
The new era of Rugby League has seen the Rams play most of their fixtures in the 2nd tier and whist much of that time has seen them struggling to keep up with teams with Super League ambitions, the did managed to enjoy some success in the 1999 season.
After spending heavily in the off season, Dewsbury went on to finish top of the then Northern Ford Premiership but they lost to Hunslet in the Grand Final at Headingley.
The next seaosn, they would go on to reach the Grand Final again and thanks to a last minute drop goal from Richard Agar, they would go on to win the final but their promotion to the Super League was denied as their ground was thought of as not up to standard.
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