In 1986 after many years of lobbying and consideration within the RFU hierarchy the RFU finally agreed to the resumption of League based rugby in the North West. Initially a trial League system was to be implemented, and in another nod to encroaching professionalism the League was to be sponsored by Girobank (today known as the Post Office Bank). That initial League comprised 97 North West clubs (England at that time had 1100 registered clubs) arranged in Leagues North, East and West, playing each other only once in the season. Macclesfield were a founder member of the Girobank North West League. The following season a League structure was implemented across the country. And so on 17th October 1987 Macclesfield found themselves playing Cockermouth at Priory Park, a fixture that could never be envisaged up to that time. The Macclesfield side that day was: David Close, Chris Miller, David Lowndes, David Cummins, Trevor Clark, Peter Duffy, Richard Usher, Paul Charnley, Iain Taylor, Steve Mannion, Steve Henshall, Paul Clarke, Mark Droy, Anthony Walker (Captain) and Mike Rowlands. On the bench were – John McCreery & Chris Southan.