The annual general meeting of the members of the Wigan Rugby Football Club was held at the head quarters, the Three Crowns Hotel, on Friday evening. Mr. Charnock was elected to the chair, and there was a good attendance of members. - The Secretary, in presenting his report for the season 1894-5, stated that there had only been one change on the committee to that elected at the last annual meeting. Mr. Cubbin having resigned the committee, according to the rule, elected Mr. Topping.
The first team owing to their suspension and frost had only played 30 matches in season, as against 42 last season, and scored 20 goals and 20 tries, or 157 points; to their opponents 9 goals and 8 tries, or 64 points. He presented a list of the matches played with results. The following were the scorers: - Flowers, 6 tries; Winstanley, 1 dropped goal, 1 penalty goal, and 3 tries; Roberts, 5 tries; Halliwell, 4 tries; Walkden, 2 dropped goals and 2 tries; Webster 1 drop goal, 1 penalty goal, 2 tries; Unsworth, 3 tries; Jago, 3 tries; Rigby, 2 tries; J. Seddon, 1 dropped goal; Horrocks, 1 try; Gore, 1 try; and Archer, 1 try. The A team had played 13 matches, won 9 and lost 4.
Owing to the dispute between the Lancashire County Committee and the Senior Cup Competition Committee, the clubs had not yet been able to arrange matters with each other. The fresh matches for the coming season are Leeds, Stockport, Lancaster, and Broughton, and matches had also been arranged with Runcorn, St. Helens Recs., and Pemberton. This was passed as read.
At this stage of the proceedings Mr. Charnock vacated the chair in favour of Mr. J. Knowles, president of the club. From the printed balance sheet it appeared that the total amount received as gate money was £490 4s. In the general cash account it appeared that £121 18s. was raised by subscriptions, and the total income for the year was £821 2s. After paying all moneys there was a balance due to the treasurer of £35 2s. 4d. The sum of £49 5s. had been expended on the insurance account. According to the balance sheet £265 15s. 11d. was due to sundry creditors, and this with capital account, £91 2s. 8d., and the balance due to the treasurer made up the liabilities to £392 0s. 11d. On the assets side there was the plant account £361, cash in secretary's hands, £10 18s. 5d., sundry debtors £20, and cash in bank 2s. 6d. The balance sheet was subjected to a rather sharp criticism, and it was pointed out that they had had an exceptional season, inasmuch as they had had three months' suspension, and another month when they were not able to play through frost. - Mr. Marsh, one of the auditors, said the whole of the books had been satisfactorily kept, and all vouchers were there for the respective accounts. - Mr. Charnock proposed a vote of thanks to the respective officers.
He said they had all been taught a severe lesson during the past season, and one which they would never forget. He trusted that they would not have such trouble again. - Mr. Mcgann seconded, and the resolution was passed unanimously. - The Chairman, in responding on behalf of the officials, said that they had all gone through a critical time, and it reflected great credit upon them that they had reduced their deficiency. He wished to refer for a few minutes to the matter of their suspension.
He was one who attended before the County Committee to oppose what they considered to be an unjust charge against the club. His opinion on the matter was so strong that he did consider that they had unjust treatment If they had been brought up on that evidence before any independent arbitrator or referee, they would have come out with flying colours. (Hear, hear) He had to leave that meeting before it was over, and he was never more surprised in his life when he heard the decision. If Rugby clubs were to be convicted on such evidence as that, Rugby football would find it hard to hold its own in future. (Hear, hear) So far as he was concerned, he did not think that they had brought an atom of evidence to prove Wigan's guilt. He must thank them for the manner in which they had carried a vote of thanks to the officials. They had worked like true men and done their best to promote the success of Rugby football in Wigan, and whatever committee was elected in future he had every confidence in them that they would faithfully discharge their duties. He himself had always been willing to take his fair share of the burdens, and so long as he was connected with them he would give them all the assistance he could. (Hear, hear) He had no wish to monopolise the position of president of the club, and would willingly have given place to another, but inasmuch as he had been returned unopposed, he desired to return his warmest thanks for their mark of continued confidence. (Hear, hear).
A discussion on the rules then took place. It resolved that in case any member of the committee absenting himself from four consecutive meetings without giving a valid excuse for absence, the committee have power to strike him off the committee, and re-elect the next member on the list in his place. - The election of officers was then proceeded with. The president, secretary, treasurer, and captain of the first team were elected unopposed. The voting on the election of committeemen was then taken, with the result that the following were elected: - Messrs. J. Kearsley, J.C. Samuels, E. Topping, R. Seddon, E. Birchall, W. McKenzie, T. Aspinall, J. McGann, S. Swift, and T. Critchley. Messrs. J. Underwood, J. Slevin, J.F. Ashton, J.W. Clegg, and W. Millington were elected vice-presidents, and Mr. Charles Marsh was appointed members' auditor. Mr. Percy Jago was elected vice-captain of the first team, Mr. Railton captain of the second team, and Mr. G. Ackers vice-captain. The meeting closed with a hearty vote of thanks to the chairman, which was carried with musical honours.
As reported in the Wigan Observer and District Advertiser, June 7th, 1895
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