Believe it or not, lacrosse has been a sport at the heart of Eccles since the late 19th century.
The first record of Lacrosse in Eccles was in 1896 when Eccles won the second division championship.
Lacrosse in England grew at the turn of the century, with 30 clubs in the Manchester area. Three of these clubs alone were in the Eccles area: Eccles, Monton, and Barton.
However, by 1906 a rift happened at Eccles LC and the splinter club of Boardman was formed. The name derived from the street where most of the players lived, Boardman Street, which is still in the centre of Eccles.
All of the clubs knew success until the First World War cruelly snatched their players away. Due to losing their players, Monton and Barton folded. In 1929 Eccles played Boardman in the Flags Final, the FA Cup equivalent to lacrosse, with Boardman beating Eccles. They went on to win the Iroquois Trophy, named after a founding American tribe credited with popularising lacrosse.
Shortly after this, both clubs suffered difficulties and in 1932, the two clubs joined forces and became Boardman and Eccles LC.
In the present day, Monton Sports Club is where Boardman and Eccles ply their trade. They’re the only lacrosse club left in Salford. The sports club has been at the centre of lacrosse in the area for 117 years and was the first sport played at the club in 1903, long before the introduction of cricket. They currently have a Men’s Senior Lacrosse and Junior Lacrosse for both girls and boys. Several of their players have even represented England, Wales and Scotland in international competitions.
They are placing emphasis on their junior teams at the moment. Their girls’ team has grown astronomically within the past year. They’ve even chosen a separate name for the boys’ team to make their own identity: Boardman Bears.
Rob McGowan, one of the coaches for the junior teams, said: “We only had around 10 junior players this time last year, now we have around 60, including a 30 strong girls team! This is all done through hard work from coaches, keen parents and the support of the club.”
They’re pressing for the same growth within their boys’ team, the Boardman Bulldogs. The age group they’re looking to recruit is 5 to 15.
“It’s about breeding players through, so they’re always part of the club and community.
“We want to make it part of Monton Sports Clubs identity, to put it alongside cricket and football.”
Currently, there is a big age gap between the oldest member of their junior teams and the youngest member of the senior team. They are looking for players to come bridge this gap, however long it may take.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve never played lacrosse before, it’s all about giving it a go.
“We train every Sunday at 11 am at Monton Sports Club and all equipment is provided. It’s a great team sport.”
If you are interested, get in contact with the organisers, details on the flyer below, or head down to Monton Sports Club on a Sunday morning!.
Monton Sports Club