1895 A Brave New World – The Birth of Rugby League


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Rugby League 1895 – A Brave New World



Old Yorkshire Maps is very proud to bring you this unique work which dates back to Thursday 29th August 1895 and the creation of the Greatest Game. Created by a true Ruby League fan this piece recreates the famous meeting at the George Hotel, Huddersfield and a struggle born out of class. Many working class players in the North loved the game of Rugby but many worked in the mills, the pits and industry of the North of England. They simply wanted not to be out of pocket to play their game. Because they needed to take time off work to play they wanted to receive “broken time” payments so they could continue to afford to feed their families – not pay for playing the game. The Rugby Football Union disagreed with this form of “professionalism” and wanted the game to remain truly amateur. Many of their members were from the more prosperous middle classes who could afford to take time off work without pay. This culminated in the historic meeting at the George Hotel where the 22 clubs and their representatives agreed to break away from the RFU and found their own game – the Northern Union. Initially very much a Northern institution drawn from teams in Cheshire, Lancashire and Yorkshire this game evolved in to the modern day Rugby League – a game that wanted to place less of an emphasis on kicking the ball and instead run with it and play “open rugby”. The Greatest Game was born. Other clubs soon followed – the following season saw the addition of Bramley, Castleford, Heckmondwike, Holbeck, Leeds Parish Church, Morecombe, Swinton and Salford and the game grew year upon year. Rugby League has a very proud, tradition and heritage, some nearly 124 years later the game continues to innovate and seek to expand.

A must for all Rugby League Fans!!!



This vibrant and unique work brings to life the Greatest Game. Lovingly created and crafted by a lifelong RL fan this work is printed on premium quality 180 gsm heavyweight paper and uses the finest quality inks that will not fade or smudge. This classic piece would look stunning mounted and form a striking centre piece of any room. Our prints are always rolled – never folded – and delivered in a sturdy cardboard tube to ensure your map arrives in pristine condition. A sample of the quality of the work can be viewed in the image gallery below.



  • A beautiful contemporary vignette of the George Hotel, Huddersfield – setting for the famous meeting
  • Three lists of the teams from Cheshire, Lancashire and Yorkshire
  • A trading card depicting each of the 22 founding¬† teams that played in the inaugural 1895/96 Northern Union competition
  • A stirring title of “1895 A Brave New World – The Birth of Rugby League” with the oval ball insignia
  • All set against a beautiful map of Northern England from the mid 1890s

Dimensions and packaging:

A1 and A2 print editions

  • This stunningly crafted piece comes in FULL A1 and A2 size prints ideal for mounting
  • All maps will be dispatched in sturdy cardboard tubes via Royal Mail next working day latest

Additional information


A1 print, A2 print, Framed Print (50x70cms)


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