Nicknames: Wakey, Trinity, Dreadnoughts
Ground: Belle Vue
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Wakefield Rugby League
Based in the city of Wakefield, a true hot bed of Rugby League with no less than 3 professional clubs Wakefield, Castleford and Featherstone with Dewsbury and Batley also playing in a WF postcode) in the district.
The area also has successful amateur and junior teams who provide many of the stars of the professional game.
With so much Rugby League in the City, it’s no surprise that the Wakey faithful are amongst the most passionate in the league and after years of struggling towards the foot of the Super League table and financial difficulties off of the pitch, things are now on the up at Belle Vue and with the teams performances improving, gates on the up and the club working hard on securing a new stadium in the future, this is a great time to support the Trin!
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As you would expect the biggest rivals for Wakefield Trinity are the other teams from the Wakefield District, the Castleford Tigers and Featherstone Rovers.
After the death of former Trinity and Tigers player Adam Watene, a Maori Cook Island player, 1 match per year between the 2 local rivals is played in his memory with the Adam Watene trophy up for grabs.
With a wealth of local teams in West Yorkshire, Trinity also have a rivalry with the Leeds Rhinos and to a lesser extend with the Huddersfield Giants.
Wakefield Trinity have one of the most iconic colour schemes historically but in recent times the colours, designs and even the clubs branding has changed so often that the traditional Red, White and Blue colour scheme and predominately white playing kit with either a red or blue hoop or chevron has almost been forgotten.
The club have now decided upon a return to a more traditional design and branding that has helped bring the iconic Trinity brand back to the fore but it will take some time for the clubs colours and brand to become iconic once again.
Wakefield Trinity’s home ground is known to most as Belle Vue but over recent times it has changed names almost on a season by season basis due to sponsorship reasons.
The ground has been the only permanent home for the club with the current site been purchased in 1895, just after the formation of the Northern Union. Before that date the club played on fields around the city.
That makes the ground one of the most historic stadiums left in world rugby but unfortunately the financial constraints the club have found themselves under for almost all of their existence have led to the ground falling into disrepair with almost all of the moment spent on it simply keep it up to standards.
The stadium has struggled to keep up with safety laws and that has led to the capacity of the stadium been restricted.
Whilst some fans have a rose-tinted view of Belle Vue due to the history of the place for many the stadium is the worst in Super League and arguably one of the worst stadiums in the UK and although there have been plans for the club to move for much of their Super League existence the lack of finances have continued to see plan after plan disappear.
The ground offers little in the way of facilities and it can be difficult for all but the tallest supporters to see the action but the recent addition of a roof over the North stand has made the ground somewhat better on a wet day but it still remains a money drain on the club and a turn away for many fans.
Formed in 1873 and one of the founding members of the Northern Union current day Rugby Football League), Wakefield Trinity are on the oldest rugby clubs of either code in the world and have at times been amongst the most successful.
Wakefield were formed by a group of men from the Holy Trinity Church, with matches played on Heath Common, Manor Field and Elm Street before their move to Belle Vue.
The club first major trophy came in 1909 when the club won the Challenge Cup, defeating Hull 17-0 at Headingley Stadium.
That was it for the club before the war periods but the first Challenge Cup finals after the war saw Trinity defeat Wigan 12-13.
Trinity then went on another long run before enjoying national success with 2 Yorkshire Cups and 2 Yorkshire League titles the only return in the 1950’s.
The 1960’s are often thought of as the Glory Days for the club with the likes of Derek Turner and Neil Fox driving the club on to Challenge Cup wins and league titles.
The 1970’s couldn’t match the success of the period decade although the club did make it to the 1979 Challenge Cup final where they lost to Widnes.
The 1980’s saw a number of the greats from the 1960’s, including Derek Turner and David Topliss take over as head coach but the biggest thing to happen to Trinity in the 1980’s was the signing of Australia and Queensland star Wally Lewis although on the field the club continued to struggle and drop down a division.
In the 1990’s and with the start of the summer era and Super League the club changed to become the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and after a proposed merger between Wakefield, Castleford and Featherstone fell through, the club started life outside of Super League but that didn’t last long as under Andy Kelly in 1998 the club ironically defeated Featherstone Rovers to gain promotion.
The club have stayed in Super League ever since, sometimes only by the narrowest of margins and although success has been limited to cup semi-finals and play-off wins over the years a recent investment in the club’s academy seems to be setting the club up for a much better future.