Station Road, Swinton

Station Road

Australia perform their "war cry" before the 2nd Test, 9 November 1963
Full name Station Road
Location Station Road, Pendlebury
Coordinates 53°30′54″N 2°20′04″W / 53.51504°N 2.3344°W / 53.51504; -2.3344Coordinates: 53°30′54″N 2°20′04″W / 53.51504°N 2.3344°W / 53.51504; -2.3344
Owner Swinton RLFC (1929–1992)
Capacity 60,000
Record attendance 44,621 - Warrington v Wigan, Challenge Cup Semi Final, 7 April 1951
Surface Grass
Broke ground 1929
Built 1929
Opened 1929
Expanded References
Closed 1992
Demolished 1992

Station Road was a stadium in Pendlebury, near Manchester, England. It was the home of Swinton Rugby League Club between 1929 and 1992 and was widely recognised as one of the finest grounds in the Rugby League.

Swinton moved to Station Road when they were at their peak, having won all four major trophies ("All Four Cups") the previous season, one of only three clubs (plus Hunslet and Huddersfield) ever to do so. The decision to purchase the land, which stood alongside the railway line and Swinton railway station, was made after a breakdown in negotiations with their existing landlord at their Chorley Road ground, their home since 1887.

International venue

In its heyday it boasted a capacity of 60,000, although with a record attendance of 44,621 for Warrington v Wigan in the 1951 Challenge Cup semi-final this was never really tested. All in all 19 internationals (including 15 test matches), 5 Championship finals, 17 Lancashire Cup finals, 4 Premiership finals and 30 Rugby League Challenge Cup semi-finals were played at the ground. In addition two World Cup matches were played at Station Road.

The biggest win in any international match at Station Road was when Australia defeated Great Britain by 50-12 in the second Ashes test during the 1963 Kangaroo tour. Played in front of 30,843 fans, the match became known as the "Swinton Massacre" as the Kangaroos ran riot. Winger Ken Irvine crossed for 3 tries giving the British fans (and his opposite, Lions winger Mick Sullivan) a taste of his legendary speed, while other stars for Australia were Reg Gasnier and Peter Dimond who crossed for 2 tries each, and Gasnier's Centre partner Graeme Langlands scored 2 tries and kicked 7 goals. After winning the first test 28-2 at Wembley, the victory saw Australia regain the Ashes they had lost to the Lions at home in 1962.

1960 Rugby League World Cup

1 October 1960
Great Britain  33–7  France
Station Road, Swinton
Attendance: 22,923
Referee: Edouard Martung France

Britain's comprehensive victory over the French at Swinton was marred by the first double sending-off in World Cup annals, France's skipper Jean Barthe and Britain's second-rower Vince Karalius being despatched by Edouard Martung, a police inspector from Bordeaux.

1970 Rugby League World Cup

31 October 1970
Great Britain  27–17  New Zealand
Station Road, Swinton
Attendance: 5,609

Britain eliminated New Zealand from the tournament, cruising to victory with five tries to three.[1]

List of Great Britain matches played at Station Road

Date Result Competition Attendance
4 January 1930 Great Britain 0-0 Australia Test Series 34,709
16 December 1933 Great Britain 19-16 Australia Test Series 10,990
13 November 1937 Great Britain 13-3 Australia Test Series 31,724
8 November 1947 Great Britain 7-10 New Zealand Test Series 29,031
6 November 1948 Great Britain 16-7 Australia Test Series 36,354
10 November 1951 Great Britain 20-19 New Zealand Test Series 29,938
8 November 1952 Great Britain 21-5 Australia Test Series 32,421
8 October 1955 Great Britain 25-6 New Zealand Test Series 21,937
15 December 1956 Great Britain 19-0 Australia Test Series 17,542
17 October 1959 Great Britain 14-22 Australia Test Series 35,224
4 November 1961 Great Britain 35-19 New Zealand Test Series 22,536
9 November 1963 Great Britain 12-50 Australia Test Series 30,843
23 January 1965 Great Britain 17-7 France Test Series 9,959
25 September 1965 Great Britain 9-2 New Zealand Test Series 8,497
9 December 1967 Great Britain 3-11 Australia Test Series 13,615

Also five England internationals were played at Station Road

Date Result Competition Attendance
4 January 1930 England 0-0 Australia Test Series 35,000
16 December 1933 England 19-16 Australia Test Series 11,000
13 November 1937 England 13-3 Australia Test Series 32,000
23 February 1946 England 16-6 France European Championship 20,500
12 October 1946 England 10-13 Wales European Championship 20,213

Vandalism and closure

Fire damaged the disused Main Stand including offices and function rooms in July 1992, this was the last in a series of vandalism before the club moved out of Station Road. Station Road was sold at the end of the 1991–92 season by the club's directors to David McLean Homes for property development, part of the deal involved sponsoring the Lions in their first season post Station Road. The last match to be played at Station Road was a local derby versus Salford on 20 April 1992 with 3,487 witnessing Salford winning 26-18 and Ian Pickavance of Swinton scoring the last try.[2] The site is now a housing estate.


  1. AAP; Reuter (1970-11-02). "Britain has easy Cup win". The Age. p. 18. Retrieved 2009-10-06.
  2. "Salford v Swinton has it all". Oldham Advertiser. 16 January 2003.
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