A timeline of the key dates in Orrell Rugby Union's history.
Created by nicktaylor14 on Dec 1, 2010
Last updated: 12/07/10 at 02:40 PM
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The professional side continued to struggle fielding a full team every week and after years of negotiating decided to merge with the amateur Anvils side and revert back to amateur status for the good of rugby union in the area
After a season of negative record breaking, including a 124-0 defeat at the hands of Blaydon RUFC, Orrell knew their days were numbered and played their final ever game at Edge Hall Road against Morley RUFC. Orrell lost 24-17.
In 2004 Dave Whelan announced that he would be leaving the club. By doing so he gave over the ground rights to the clubhouse and first team pitch to Wigan Warriors offering a 25-year lease to Orrell on an expensive rent scheme.
Business man Dave Whelan and Wigan Warriors Rugby League Chairman Maurice Lindsay were drafted in as owners of the club. Big names such as Nick Easter, Sam Reay and Andy Craig were brought in and the club looked to have turned a new leaf. Whelan built the current main stand at the now named Co-operative Community Stadium for £500,000 to optimise comfort for fans.
Orrell were relegated to the ND2 despite a win on the last day of the season against London Welsh. A draw between Otley and Bedford saved both teams which sent Orrell down.
Orrell Anvils or Orrell thirds as they were also known, broke away from the professional outfit to form their own amateur club. Veterans from the club such as Jeff Huxley, Nigel Heslop, Steve Taberner, Micky Glynn and Dick Fisher were drafted in to play alongside young players.
In the 1996/97 Orrell were relegated. TV rights money caused the club to spiral out of control, they overpaid players and gave out massive bonus' such as cars for first teamers. Money ran out and players left the club.
The game became professional which hit the club hard players would be paid but only when they played a match.
In the 1991/92 Orrell came runners-up to Bath missing out on the title on the last day of the season.
Orrell played London Wasps on the final day of the season and were leading until a last minute drop goal from Wasps defeated the amber and blacks.
This was Orrell's best finish in the history of the competition.
In 1989 players Nigel Heslop, Gerry Ainscough, Neil Hitchen and Bob Kimmins were called up to the England 'B' squad to play Spain.
In the 1986/87 season Orrell were entered into the Courage League which is now known as the Aviva Premiership. They finished sixth in the first ever season of the Courage League.
The club won their sixth Lancashire cup in the 1981/82 season
In the 1971/72 season Orrell won the Lancashire Cup without conceding a point. This qualified the side for the national competition.
Orrell continued to be successful throughout the 70s and 80s. This included the opening of a brand new clubhouse fit with gym facilities, showers and spacious changing rooms
As one of the pioneering clubs in rugby union Orrell erected floodlights to enhance their fixture list and enable night time matches
The club were re-formed after the war and their Edge Hall Road ground was built.
The club suspended play between 1939-1945 as players were called up to serve their country and carrying on with the team wasn't seen viable.
Orrell was formed by a group of friends from neighbouring village Pemberton. The friends had a passion for rugby and wanted to start up a club.
At first the team would play all over the area of Orrell and Up Holland.