This film is part of Free

Dewsbury v Manningham (1901)

Rare film of Manningham FC's days as a rugby club, in a hard-fought contest at Dewsbury's Crown Flatt ground.

Non-Fiction 1901 5 mins Silent


You might think an Edwardian rugby match would be a relatively gentlemanly affair, but not on the evidence of these torn shirts and bruised faces. After the players ceremoniously trot on to the pitch, the film is almost pure sporting action - unusually for Mitchell and Kenyon's productions, which typically presented a healthy portion of crowd shots to drum up interest in later film shows.

Manningham won the inaugural Northern Rugby Football Union season back in 1896, but the club's life in competitive rugby was to be shortlived. The Bradford side would play just eight seasons of the infant rugby league game before defecting to the round ball and re-inventing themselves as Bradford City Association Football Club in 1903. This film appears to be the only surviving footage of the club's rugby past.