On this day 140 years ago Salford rugby made history, as it became the first place to host a rugby game under floodlights.
Night fixtures are now a common occurrence, but it wasn’t until 1878 that the first game was hosted under the Salford lights.
Today in 1878: The first #rugby match under lights takes place in Salford, #England between Broughton and #Swinton. About 8,000 to 10,000 fans were in attendance. #Broughton won the match. #sports #history #underthelights #OTD #MondayMorning
— Today In History (@URDailyHistory) 22 October 2018
The match at Yew Street saw two ‘Gramme’ floodlights suspended 30 feet in the air as the crowd witnessed home side Broughton score two goals, three tries, and three touchdowns and claim a comprehensive victory over local rivals Swinton who failed to get a score on the board.
With only two lights being used in this nationwide first it did mean that only half of the ground was visible with The Manchester Weekly Times reporting at the time that “the other two corners were almost completely wrapped in darkness”.
A game today would be abandoned if the illustrious four corner floodlights gave way however that just shows how times have changed in the world of sport.