Woolston Rovers Rugby League Club was founded at the Lido Country Club on Manchester Road, Woolston in 1959. The first game played by Woolston Rovers was against Cadishead in the 1960–61 season with Woolston losing 58–8. For the first two seasons of their existence Woolston had no pitch and played all of their games away from home. At the start of the third year they acquired a pitch on Victoria Park, Latchford where they played until they moved to Bennett Recreation Ground, Padgate.
The Jubilee Pavilion at Bennett Recreation Ground was opened in 1978 following extensive fundraising by several of the committee. Along with the clubhouse and changing facilities, Rovers had three playing pitches. These playing facilities were used to the full when the Junior Section got into full swing in 1978. From 1978 up to 2002 Rovers had in excess of 10 teams per season.
Woolston Rovers were one of the original ten clubs invited to join BARLA’s National League in 1986 and this later became the National Conference League in 1993. Rovers were champions for the first three years and then runners-up for the next three.
In January 2001 Woolston defeated professional opposition for the first time when they won 22-8 at Chorley Lynx in the Silk Cut Challenge Cup 3rd Round and were rewarded with a fantastic 4td Round tie at super League neighbours Warrington Wolves. On a great afternoon for the club the players’ did themselves proud against a full time team that included Australian International half back duo Alan Langer and Kevin Walters along with fellow Aussie Andrew Gee, New Zealander stars Tawera Nikau, and David Kidwell along with a young Lee Briers who played at full back that day. The score finished 48-6 to the Wolves with Rovers points coming courtesy of a try and conversion from scrum half Steve Martin. At the end of the game the 6,600 crowd in attendance all stayed behind to give the Rovers lads a richly deserved standing ovation on their lap of honour.
The Woolston club suffered heartbreak in October 2002 when arsonists destroyed the Jubilee Pavilion; sadly all the memorabilia, including many International jerseys that had been collected over the past 40+ years was lost.
In the summer of 2003 the Rugby Football League formed a summer competition for the amateur game and like in 1986, Rovers were selected as one of the founder members. To increase the profile of the league each team had the name of the town they were from at the beginning so we became Warrington Woolston Rovers, and due to having no facilities at Bennett Rec Warrington Wolves kindly allowed us the use of Wilderspool Stadium. This competition, to be known as National League Three and sit underneath the Professional league, was launched in a blaze of publicity at the House of Commons. As they did at the beginning of the NCL, Rovers were Champions in the 1st year defeating Teesside Steelers 42-6 at Winnington Park Rugby Union Club; the following year they again made the Final but this time fell short losing 48-24 to Coventry Bears at the Halton Stadium, Widnes.
In 2005 it was agreed that to enable Woolston Rovers to rebuild back at Bennett Rec, the summer team would become Warrington Wizards and breakaway from Woolston.
By this time there were only 4 Junior sides left and with the one open age team we now had 5 teams playing in the Green & Gold. Woolston Rovers open age returned to the North West Counties and started in Division Six and became Champions in their first season back; this was the start of the re-immergence of Rovers as they recorded back-to-back promotions for 4 successive years by finishing in the top two league positions.
In 2011 Rovers Open Age side and the 3 remaining Junior Section teams moved to our new home at Monk Sports Club, Hillock Lane, Woolston in what has proved to be an excellent decision. This has allowed the club to flourish out of all recognition with the facilities on offer; we have one pitch on Monks’ as well as four pitches on the adjacent Hillock Lane Playing Fields.
At the end of 2012 the committee of Woolston and Warrington Wizards met and it was agreed that they would merge back under the Rovers name and a successful application was submitted to rejoin the National Conference League from the 2013 season.
As well as now having 2 Open Age and an Under 18s side we have 15 Junior sides now playing out of Monks’ and we have been confirmed as the biggest Community Rugby League Club in the town; this has not happened by luck, it is down to the dedication from many people who have ensured that we are getting back to where we believe we should be, not just locally but on a National basis.
As we enter the 2018 season we can look forward with immense pride and optimism; hopefully by the end of this year we will have many more pieces of silverware in our club along with even more children and adults wearing our famous jersey and playing on our newly named Sadore Construction Field at Monks.