Sheffield Eagles News
The Sheffield Eagles are a professional Ruby league team base din the South Yorkshire city of Sheffield who have unfortunately endured having to play for far too long out of their home city but who are now based back in Sheffield and are building for the future.
Although the Eagles are a relatively young club, the name and sport have a longer history in the city including playing in the Super League and pulling off one of the biggest shocks in the modern history of the cup when they went to Wembley and came back with the trophy in 1998.
Despite that past success and despite been based in one of the UK biggest cities, close to the sports heartlands, it can be difficult for fans of the club to keep up to date with all things Sheffield Eagles.
Thankfully there is now a simple way to read all of the latest Sheffield Eagles news headline sand that is by using our service at 13v13.
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The Eagles have had to contend with a nomadic lifestyle for much of their history but no more so since the closure of the Don Valley Stadium, which was home to much of their success.
The club currently play at the Olympic Legacy Stadium, which was built at the site of their former home and whilst current modest in nature, it has allowed them to move back to the city and to start to develop off of the field once again.
The ground is a mix of a main seating stand allow side terraces in a wider complex of many sports.
Upon their establishment in 1982, the plan was for them to play at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane stadium but that fell through and the club would start up a year late and playing out of the cities greyhound and stock car racing track in the Owlerton district.
The club are located in the Attercliffe area of the South Yorkshire city, close to Sheffield Arena and thanks to their new OLP home stadium, the club offer good access to the city centre (via tram) and to the M1 motorway.
The city of Sheffield is on the southern edges of the sports northern heartlands and helps to stretch the sports footprint towards the midlands.
Professional Rugby League in the city of Sheffield was first established in 1982 but the current Eagles club grew out of the failed ‘merger’ of the original Eagles and the Huddersfield Giants, with this version of the club been formed at the turn of the millennium.
He failed to get the job and decided to create his own club to become player-manager of and Sheffield was selected.
Initially it was thought the club would play out of Bramhall Lane stadium on the edge of the city centre but in the end, it was Owlerton Stadium, near to the cities Hillsborough area that was chosen.
Ahead of their inaugural seaosn, a competition was run in the cities local newspaper to choose a name for the club and in the end the Sheffield Eagles was chosen.
The first ever Eagles match took place on the 2nd of September 1984 when they faced off against the Rochdale Hornets in a winning effort by 29 points to 10.
In the early days, a number of established players from the ports heartlands were signed by the club but it was arguably the signing of Mark Aston who would go on to have the biggest impact on the club in just about every capacity going.
Despite that win in their first offing, things looked bleak from the off for the club as there main sponsor went bust at the start of the new season and left the club with financial woes but thanks to meeting the Leeds Rhinos in the John Player Special Trophy, the club managed to get through the season.
After that first season, the club continue to progress on the field and by the end of the 1988/89 season, they made it to the Second Division Premiership final and after beating Swinton at Old Trafford, they were promoted the top flight for the first time.
During that first seaosn in the top flight, a record crowd of 3,636 was set at the relatively small Owlerton Stadium in a cup match against Oldham but on the back of the Hillsborough disaster, the ground was declared not fit for professional Rugby League.
That led to the first nomadic period in the clubs history as they would go onto play out of 7 different home grounds over the next season or so including Bramall Lane, the Recreation Ground (Chesterfield), Oakwell Stadium (Barnsley),Belle Vue (Wakefield) and Hillsborough itself.
That coming and going off of the field was mirrored on the field as the club were soon relegated, before going on to win the 2nd Division title and then gaining promotion once more.
In 1990, the club found a new home for themselves at the Don Valley Stadium, which was built for the 1991 World Student Games.
That off of the field security seemingly impacted their on the field performances as the club soon established themselves as a top flight club and the would go onto reach the Yorkshire Cup Final, although they would lose to Wakefield.
The club were chosen to host the touring Kangaroos side in 1994 and despite been well beaten, it proved a big financial boost to the club and proved to a great boost to the clubs image in the city.
At the start of the ‘Summer Era’, the club were set up to be merged with Doncaster to form a South Yorkshire club, something that clearly happened on its own a year before due to financial problems with Donny, but both fans opposed and both carried on as separate clubs.
The club would go on to make history as not only were they to take place in the first ever Super League seaosn, but they would also take part in the first ever match of the new top flight in a game against Paris St Germain, held in the French capital city of Paris.
In November of that year Gary Hetherington, Chief Executive, and former player/coach of the Eagles, sold his controlling interest in the club and moved to Leeds.
Paul Thompson, of the Sanderson Group, became the majority shareholder and John Kear took over as head coach and they instantly came close to success with a run to the league semi-final and a record crowd of 110, 603 fans watching them against the Bradford Bulls.
In 1998, things would get even better as after a run of wins against Leigh, Egremont, Castleford and Salford, the club made it to Wembley Stadium for the first ever time where they faced off against the mighty and all-conquering Wigan Warriors.
With few giving the Eagles much hope, one of the biggest shocks in the sports history and Sheffield beat the likes of Andy Farrelll, Henry Paul, and Jason Robinson by 17 points to 8, thanks in no small part to a Lance Todd Trophy winning performances by Mark Aston.
Unfortunately, that moment that seemed like the beginning of a bright future for the club proved to be an ending and the club struggled the next season and with crowds plummeting, their finances were in dire straits and club would go on to announced that with no new money, the club would fold.
Hat coincided with the RFL ill-fated and even at the time ridiculous idea to offer clubs £1,000,000 to merge and with the club on the edge on not existing, they took the money and merged with the Huddersfield Giants.
To no ones surprise, the newly merged Huddersfield-Sheffield club soon reverted back to Huddersfield, played in the Giants colours and at the Giants stadium and by the end of the seaosn, they carried on as the former Huddersfield club, just with some money taken away from the grassroots of the sport.
Thankfully, Mark Aston and fans of the Eagles would quickly get together and start a new club to be based in the city and to carry on the Eagles name and legacy, although the new club would be a new identity and much of the good work done over the past 20 years was gone.
The Eagles were given the opportunity to take over from the Bramley Buffaloes and took their place in the 2nd tier of the sport in the year 2000.
Since then the club went onto establish themselves in the semi-professional ranks of the sport and even enjoyed some success and title winning seasons in the 3rd and 2nd tiers but things off of the field were starting to become a struggle once again.
Between 2010-2012, the club would play matches out of Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane stadium in a bid to increase crowds and push for Super League and that was helped by the club defeating Featherstone in the Grand Final to become Championship title winners in 2012.
In 2013, the club would reach the final of the Northern Rail Cup and would also win back-to-back Grand Finals but with the no automatic promotion in pace and with the announcement that the Don Valley Stadium would be demolished, the clubs fortunes changed and they would move back to the Owlerton Stadium.
The ground was still not up to standard and they were forced to move once again, this time heading out of the city and moving to the Keepmoat Stadium in Doncaster.
They soon moved back to play at the SHU Sports Park, but that also wasn’t up to standard at the club made the move to Wakefield to play at Belle Vue for the 2017 season.
The club made the move back to the city to play at their new Olympic Legacy Stadium in 2018, where they lost against the Toronto Wolfpack in their first match.
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