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Station Road Anniversary

02 March 2023

Today, 2nd March 2023, marks the exact 94th Anniversary of the opening of our famous ground at Station Road – a stadium which would soon become synonymous with so many Test Matches, Challenge Cup semi-finals, and Lancashire Cup finals, not to mention four Championship successes of Swinton Lions in 1931, 1935, 1963 and 1964, to give us an overall tally of 6 titles.


Back on 2nd March 1929 a crowd of 22,000 assembled to see the opening game, which was against Wigan, on a frost-bound pitch. The honour of scoring the partially completed ground’s first points befell on Swinton legend Martin Hodgson, who booted two penalties to give the Lions a half-time 4-0 lead. However, the first try on the ground was scored by Wigan’s Roy Kinnear, father of the actor of the same name. When Kinnear scored there wasn’t much time left on the clock, and fortunately for the home side the usually dependable Jim Sullivan missed the conversion attempt. Swiftly play moved to the other end, and to deafening roars the Lions’ winger Frank Buckingham skipped over for a try, augmented by Hodgson. The Lions had won 9-3, to bring the curtain down on a memorable day in the club’s history.


Sadly of course we all know what happened to Station Road 63 years later in 1992, but our spirit continues to live on strongly, and we remain immensely proud of our fantastic history.


The Swinton line-up, pictured here on that historic day in 1929, was, back-row left to right, Jim Turner, Fred Butters, Dick Cracknell, Bert Morris, Miller Strong, Martin Hodgson. Front row, Bobby Scott, Harold Evans, Albert Atkinson, Hector Halsall (captain), Frank Evans, Frank Buckingham, Billo Rees.



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