This week we have used records from the Rugby League collection to solve two mysteries about the playing colours of former rugby league clubs.
In the early 20th century there were a number of professional or semi-professional rugby league teams who no longer exist and about which very little is known.
Two mysteries we have come across concern the playing colours of Wigan Highfield (who played from 1880-1895 and from 1902-1933) and Runcorn (who played from around 1876-1918).
Rugby league historians have speculated that Wigan Highfield’s colours were yellow and blue, and that Runcorn’s may have been yellow, green and white. But as no colour photographs survive of either team it has, until now, only been possible to speculate.
While cataloguing the Official Guides to the season (a yearly volume which include information for rugby league administrators such as laws of the game, club contacts, and fixtures) a section at the back of the books was discovered which lists club headquarters and club colours…
So (drumroll please!) we are pleased to announce that the official colours for Wigan Highfield were a dark blue jersey with a red band, and blue shorts. Runcorn changed their colours on more than one occasion. In 1911 the club’s colours were myrtle green, but then in 1911 they changed their colours to cherry and white, and in 1913 they changed again to royal blue with a white collar.