Littleborough were due to host Rochdale unfortunately the game never took place.

Taken from the publication “From Parkin to Pepper” by Clifford Beal published April 1947

“When the Rochdale v Littleborough derby match came round in Parkin’s second season on May 22’nd 1920, a large crowd at Dane Street which had paid £240 (which was £100 better than the best previous gate) witnessed what has been known ever since as “The Parkin Incident”

In Parkin’s fourth over he twice appealed for leg before wicket against Billy Brown the Littleborough Professional. After the second refusal, it was seen that Parkin and the umpire had said a few words to each other, and then Parkin walked from the field to the pavilion. Play was resumed after about ten minutes with Parkin back again, but he returned only after a “deputation” had followed him from the field to the pavilion.

Parkin later declared that his action was the result of an umpire stating that he would never give a batsman out leg before wicket to him whilst he was bowling off spinners from around the wicket. Later, when he appeared before the CLL Committee, the umpire denied that he had he had told Parkin what he was alleged to have said.

The professional contended that the delivery he was bowling fulfilled every requirement of the MCC rule, being pitched in a straight line between the wickets and would have hit the strikers wickets.

Rochdale protested to the league against the umpire, and Mr J.A. Milne, the club’s spokesman also alleged that animosity was being showed against the Rochdale team by other clubs. If this did not cease, he told the league committee, Rochdale would either not play Parkin in away games or would call the members of the club to a special meeting and advise them to withdraw from the Central Lancashire League.

The league committee demanded that Parkin should send an apology to them for his actions, and they censured the umpires for not continuing the match immediately the Rochdale professor had left the field. Parkin refused to to apologise to the league, but expressed to the club regret at his action. When Parkin did not act as the league committee had instructed , a Rochdale fixture was cancelled by then, tantamount to a suspension of both club and player.

Rochdale members held a special meeting in July and resigned from the CLL an action in which they were backed by Mr James White, who sent a message that if Rochdale could manage to form a new league, he would prepare to endow it with £1,000

Early in September the late Alderman William Davidson ( the then mayor) invited representatives of the league and the club to the town hall and his mediation brought about a happy ending. Parkin sent the required apology and Rochdale rejoined the league and the unfortunate deadlock was ended”