Longton RUFC

Playing History

1991/92 Champions Staffordshire/Warwickshire
1996/97 Champions Midlands West One
1996/97 Staffordshire Cup finalists
1997/98 Staffordshire Cup winners
1998/99 Champions Midlands 2
1999/2000 Staffordshire Cup finalists
2001/2002 Powergen Intermediate Cup quarter finalists
2002/2003 Champions Midlands 1 - Promoted to National 3
2003/2004 Staffordshire Cup Winners
2004/2005 Staffordshire Cup Finalists
2005/2006 Staffordshire Cup Winners
2006/2007 Staffordshire Cup Winners
2007/2008 Staffordshire Cup Winners

Longton RUFC hail from Stoke-on-Trent, one of the Six Towns made famous by the author Arnold Bennett, and are currently playing in Midlands 1. They support three senior teams, a veteran's side plus a selection of junior teams including a Colts side.

Longton are currently enjoying their third season in Midlands 1; the previous two seasons finishing joint second on both occasions. In the 2001/02 Season they have qualified for the Powergen Intermediate Cup, together with, the Staffordshire County Cup. In previous seasons they have consistently played well in the senior cup (previously Tetley Bitter Cup) and in the 2000/01 season they progressed as far as the Third round knocking out West Hartlepool in the process finally losing to Tynedale in a close encounter.

Longton (North Staffs) are currently vying with South Staffs neighbours Walsall for the mantle of best side in the Staffordshire region following Walsall's relegation to Midlands 1 last season. No other Staffordshire clubs play above Midlands 1 in the National League structure.

Longton's League history is somewhat varied. At the formation of the National leagues in 1987 Longton started off in the Staffs / Warwicks league with neighbours Trentham, Newcastle and Leek but spent a number of seasons in the wrong half of the table staving off relegation. In 1991/92 they eventually climbed to the top of the table to win the championship coinciding with the brief return of second row Clive Cooper from Liverpool St Helens, only to find the league was being restructured whereby the top half of the league was combined with the one above to form Midlands West One. The following years saw a period of consolidation when although Longton fared better than previously they always missed out on promotion finishing just outside the promotion places and watching sides like Luctonians, Broad Street and Kenilworth pass through.

Longton eventually secured promotion from Midlands West One to Midlands 2 in 1996/97 after coach and stalwart player Tom Wainwright had taken up the reins. Their stay in Midlands 2 was relatively short lived winning promotion at their second attempt in 1998/99. Having climbed from their starting point, five leagues down, they could have been excused feeling apprehensive, but there were no such feelings when the promotion came. They have showed themselves more than able to meet the challenge of playing at a senior regional level in the Midlands leagues and have showed a consistent finish in the last two seasons. On both occasions they finished level on league points with the second place side only to lose out on points difference for the third spot to Scunthorpe and Leicester Lions respectively.

With the foundation of the team which has taken Longton to these heady heights breaking up and being replaced by the younger generation. It remains to be seen whether they can retain the consistency shown in recent seasons and continue to strive for improvement and aspire to further heights.

Richard Bailey

A Potted History
Playing History
Old Farts Tale
Newsletter June 1973