Club: Yorkshire Carnegie
Ground Opened: 1992
Stadium Name: Headingly Stadium
St Michaels Lane
West Yorkshire LS6 3BR
Telephone: 0844 248 6651
Fax: 0844 248 6652
Club Web Site
Home Colours: Black and Green
Away Colours: White and Yellow.
For Fixtures go to:
Yorkshire/Leeds Carnegie-A Brief History
Leeds RUFC was originally formed in 1992 by a merger of Roundhay and Headingley. In turn, Leeds RUFC became Leeds Tykes after the club was bought by Paul Caddick and became part of Leeds Rugby Limited, the world’s first dual code rugby partnership which saw one company controlling and running a professional team in Rugby League (Leeds Rhinos) and Rugby Union (Leeds Tykes)
However, following the Championship winning campaign of 2006-07, it was announced that Leeds Metropolitan University had entered into a joint venture with the club and taken a majority stake in Leeds Tykes, with the club renamed Leeds Carnegie for their return to Premiership rugby.
In May 2009 the club was re-structured with Leeds Rugby taking control of the club once again. In order to attract greater financial support for the club Leeds Met returned its 51% stake to Leeds Rugby.
The name of the club remains Leeds Carnegie RUFC. The name Carnegie
derives from the Scottish entrepreneur and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who’s Carnegie Trust funded the establishment of a PE training college in the 1930’s.
Carnegie College is now the Carnegie Faculty of Sport and Education within Leeds Metropolitan University.
In the summer of 2014,it was decided to rename the club Yorkshire Carnegie to better reflect its wider regional identity.
Leeds Carnegie: An Introduction
Gary Hetherington is a former pro rugby league player and coach who, at the age of 27 formed his own club, Sheffield Eagles, and took them to Super League. In 1996 he sold up and joined with Paul Caddick, an ex-Headingley lock-cum-property developer, in buying the debt-ridden Leeds CF & A, owners of Headingley stadium and Leeds RL. Leeds RUFC was acquired and Leeds Rugby became the world’s first dual-code club.
In 2007 (when the union side was rechristened Leeds Carnegie, from Tykes) ownership passed to Leeds Metropolitan University in a town-and-gown partnership designed to harness the university’s coaching expertise and facilities, and even encourage a few of the city’s 35,000 students to go along and watch. It’s proved a tough nut to crack and two years ago ownership reverted to Caddick.
The league team, Leeds Rhinos, average 17,500 for home games and are a Super League powerhouse. Leeds Carnegie worked their butts off to draw a crowd of 6,762 for the 2010/11 visit of league leaders Leicester and, as usual, they lost.
So who are these masochists who choose to watch Leeds Carnegie instead of the Rhinos, or even promotion-chasing Leeds United? Well, Aleenandra Pullan is one. “I can go to any home or away game, “she says, “and meet someone I know for a drink. I supported Leeds United for 25 years and never witnessed that.”
Spoken like a true believer, and in tune with Hetherington’s belief that maintaining a Premiership team is about more than the club’s personal health. “We’re custodians of a club that serves the fraternity of Yorkshire rugby. Yes, we need corporate support and support on the terraces but we also want to provide aspirational players in Yorkshire with a platform to play on. We like to engage with all the clubs in Yorkshire; we take our club to the community.”
The ground that Leeds Carnegie calls home is as famous as they come.
Headingley Carnegie (the “Carnegie” stems from the city’s sports institution founded by a Scot in the 1930’s) is the oldest ground in the premiership,opening in 1890. But five years later came the Great Schism and union wasn’t played there again until 1996/97, when Caddick and Hetherington came to the rescue. Leeds RUFC had been formed only a few years previously, Headingley and Roundhay merging in June 1992 and starting at Level Three.
They’ve had a yo-yo existence, although it’s easy to forget that after reaching the Premiership for the first time in 2001 they stayed for five consecutive years, even finishing fourth in 2003. A Powergen Cup triumph was another high and at times the fans have come-one Christmas visit of Jonny Wilkinson’s Newcastle drew 14,293.
Now, while funnelling as much funds as possible towards the playing squad, they also pledge to reinvest any surplus into facilities and infrastructure, a new scoreboard video screen being the first in a series of mod cons that is planned to conclude with two rebuilt stands.
Last Updated July 2016
Copyright Miles & Miles Publishing 2016