Former professional club become third team to confirm League 1 application for 2025

Aaron Bower
Bramley RLFC

Bramley Buffaloes have become the third team to declare their intention to apply for a place in League 1 in 2025 as the West Yorkshire-based side plot a route back to the professional game.

Bramley have a long and rich history in rugby league, having been part of the Northern Union as far back as 1896. Their existence pre-dates the sport of rugby league, having been founded in 1879.

However, they resigned from the then-named Northern Ford Premiership in 1999 after significant financial issues, re-forming as Bramley Buffaloes shortly after. They have tried to apply to return to the professional game on several occasions since, but have been unsuccessful.

But they have now confirmed that they are once again launching a bid to join League 1 in 2025, joining the likes of Goole Vikings in going public with their bid to become the sport’s newest professional side next season as the third tier gears up to expand in size.

“The decision to express our interest in becoming the 12th team in the Betfred League 1 competition hasn’t been taken lightly, and we understand there will be many challenges associated with this bid,” the chair of the Buffaloes, Martyn Cheney, said.

“Nevertheless, the due diligence carried out by our working group will ensure the club takes the best option for all parties as we embark on this exciting new venture.

“We look forward to the weeks and months ahead, and are hopeful that a strategy can be put in place which allows professional rugby league to return to Bramley.”

Bramley currently play in the Yorkshire Men’s League, and have won five of their first six games to start the new season.

If their bid is successful, it would mark a return to the professional game for a name synonymous with the sport. Bramley were so famous they hosted touring sides from Australia and New Zealand in the early part of the 20th century, and they won the Floodlit Trophy in 1973.

Players including Barrie McDermott, Terry Newton and Garry Schofield have played for the club in the past – and they are now plotting a return to the professional ranks. Having resigned from the professional game in 1999, they attempted a return in 2000 – but were snubbed in favour of a bid from Gateshead Thunder.

Further bids in 2001 and 2003 were rejected due to their proposed venue failing to meet minimum ground standards.

READ NEXT: Assessing 5 possible locations for new League 1 club including France and Yorkshire