Thatto Heath ARLFC was formed in 1981 by Frank Barrow.

They were accepted into NWC Div 4 and gained promotion immediately to Div 3 in 1982.

There followed an unprecedented run of success winning countless cups and titles culminating with winning the BARLA National Cup in 1987, the first time in the Clubs history (Runners Up in 1994).

Thatto Heath 1981 – 1999 went on to become one of the most successful Clubs in amateur rugby league with 1 BARLA National Cup Trophy, a record 5 BARLA Lancashire County Cups, 2 Champions Challenge successes, a record 7 NWC Premier Division titles, 2 NWC Challenge Cups, 3 NWC Premier Challenge Cups and 8 St Helens Cups.

St.Helens Crusaders ARLFC was formed in 1982 by Danny Rylance and Dave Mathews.

They trained on Saints front pitch on Dunriding Lane and played their first ever game, away at Ince St. Williams, being beaten 84-0. They won their first Cup in a small competition, sanctioned by NWC, named the Lancashire/Yorkshire Cup, played between Crusaders, Blackbrook and 2 teams from Hull and Castleford.

St. Helens Crusaders 1982-1999 became known for its strong junior/youth section that had produced players such as Keiron Cunningham, Lee Briers, Steve Prescott, Kevin Brown and James Graham and lifting the BARLA Lancashire Cup at u12s in 1996

Thatto Heath Crusaders – St.Helens was formed on the 15th.June 1999, making this year our Silver Jubilee

Thatto Heath had already been awarded a Sport England grant and had ambitions to build a permanent home and Clubhouse, and in the spring of 1998, Thatto Heath opened talks with St Helens Crusaders regarding a merger of the two Clubs, but the timing wasn’t quite right.

In 1999, UGB was pulling out of the town and were selling Bobbies Lane to developers, leaving St.Helens Crusaders with teams at u7s – u16s and Open Age homeless.
On behalf of St.Helens Crusaders committee, the then Chairman Dave Yates contacted the then Thatto Chairman Chris Honey and then Vice Chairman Mike Denning to see if the previous proposed merger was still on the table… and thankfully it still was!

Both Committees met several times and eventually it was agreed a mass members meeting would take place at the Sidac Club. We have the minutes from that meeting taken by our Secretary Janet Haselden, in our records. Various questions and concerns were discussed and on a show of hands the recommendation to merge was agreed by the members and the new Club Thatto Heath Crusaders was born on the evening of the 15th.June 1999.

New Name? At a meeting in the Springfield, a new name was agreed by the new committee that best incorporated the names of both former Clubs and so Thatto Heath Crusaders – St.Helens was agreed.

New Badge? A new Club badge was designed in the agreed Club colours of red, black and white. Incorporating the new full name and elements of both previous badges.
We went public in July 1999 with a full spread in the St.Helens Star. We still hold a copy of that original page in our records, the picture was taken where the Clubhouse now stands.

Growth? Thatto Heath Crusaders has grown into one of the largest Community Clubs in the Country. We currently boast 26 teams and approximately 500 players and 150 Coaches and Volunteers.

Winners? Thatto Heath Crusaders playing record June 1999 – June 2024.

BARLA National Cup – Once with NCL team and once with NWML team. Twice with u18s, once with u14s and runners up with u16s.
BARLA Lancashire Cup – Once at Open Age, twice times at u18s (runners up once), twice with u16s, once each at u15s and u14s, runners up at u13s.
NCL Premiership won twice and runners up once, and NCL Premiership Grand Final won twice and runners up also twice.
NCL Grand Final winners at Mens Open Age
European Cup with Mens Open Age and European Challenge with Womens Open Age
NWC Premiership 7 times and NWC Premiership Cup once.
National Youth Challenge Cup, National Youth Grand Final at u18s
NWML Div 1 winners, Div 1 Grand Final winners, NWML Cup and Alliance Cup runners up, NWML Grand Final twice winners, once runners up
Womens Challenge Cup – Winners 4 times.
Womens Premiership winners 3 times, runners up at u16s, League 1 Play Off Final winners

A full record of significant achievements and milestones to date, can be accessed here.


We are well led by our Chairman Mike Denning who has been at the helm for much of our existence and is supported by a very hardworking team of volunteers.
in 2003 we were the very first Rugby League Club in the country to gain Sport England Clubmark status, opening avenues of funding. In 2017 we were the very first Rugby League Club in the country to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

The Club simply would not exist but for the hard work of all our previous and current volunteers. We owe so much to those who serve and have served, we are continually in your debt, thank you so very much.

Thatto Heath Crusaders – One Community, One Family, One Club

We are truly indebted to all the players at our Club and to previous players from both Clubs who have played a vital part in having set the platform for others to follow and on behalf of the Club, we thank each and every one of you.

THC synonymous with Trust, Honesty, Commitment, together we have achieved so much and our objective going forward is always self-reflection, to continuously improve and to maintain high levels of service to our members.

Yours in Sport
Dave Yates – Vice Chaiman – June 2024 – our Silver Jubilee Year