Rugby League plaque relaid after Manchester bombing


A plaque commemorating the first meeting of the Northern Rugby Football Union, which was destroyed in the Manchester bombing, has been re-laid.

The old plaque was a piece of sporting history, and remembered the first ever full meeting of the Northern Union at the Spread Eagle Hotel on September 3, 1895, days after the historic vote to split form the Rugby Football Union at the George Hotel in Huddersfield.

On the 16th anniversary of the bombing, the person responsible for evacuating Manchester city centre on June 15, 1996, unveiled the replica.

Ian Seabridge was the chief inspector of Greater Manchester Police on that day, and is also a trustee of the Rugby League Foundation which helped fund the new replica plaque alongside Mancunians RL.

Mr Seabridge said: “It is a pleasure to emphasise the great work that the Rugby League Foundation and Mancunians RL do and to be here today to see the city of Manchester returned to its vibrant self.”

The new plaque is sited on the wall of the Selfridges Department store in Exchanqe Square, Manchester. 

Manchester Councillor Rosa Battle said: “Passion for Rugby League runs deep here in its north-west heartland.

 “This commemorative plaque celebrates more than 100 years of Rugby League heritage and we are very glad to have played our part in restoring it to its rightful place, after the original was sadly lost in 1996.

“When the World Cup final is played at Old Trafford Stadium next year, a game now loved worldwide will be proudly returning to its roots.”

The Rugby League Foundation works at the heart of Rugby League to provide small-scale awards specifically in the areas of disadvantaged young people, universities, schools and the development of their local communities.

From left to right: Stefan Hopewell, Chairman, Mancunians RL. Ian Seabridge, Trustee, Rugby League Foundation. Councillor Pat Karney, Executive Member for Manchester City Council. 


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