Broughton Cricket Ground was used for cricket from 1851. The ground was also used for lacrosse, bowls and there were tennis courts. Sports meetings were held at the ground; Owens College* students held their annual sports in 1875, Manchester Grammar School in 1877 and Salford Police in 1879. The Broughton track was grass, 440 yards around with good, level turf which could be soft going.
The first bicycle race at Broughton was when a 2 miles handicap bicycle race was included in Owen's College sports on May 11th 1876. Later that year the Sporting Chronicle of October 17th carried a report on the first race meeting of Manchester Amateur Bicycle Club on October 14th. The club events were a 2 miles handicap, 200 yards slow race, 1 mile Maiden race (novice) and a 5 miles scratch race for the Captaincy and Sub-Captaincy of the club. The wheel sizes of the competitor's machines were reported, 50" and 52" being the more popular with some riders on 48".
Owen's College and Manchester Amateur BC continued to hold their annual sports. The Manchester Amateur BC held two club races with their sports meeting on 27th September 1879. The events were a 2 miles handicap, won by WG Worthington off scratch in 7 min 40 sec and a 5 miles scratch race for the Club Championship, which was also won by Worthington in 21 min 3 sec. Bicycle racing seemed to stop in 1879, so this may have been the last bicycle race meeting at Broughton.
Broughton was also used as a first class cricket ground and a touring Australian team played there in 1880. Shortly after this, part of the ground was sold for development and the remainder became the home of Broughton RFC. Broughton Cricket and Rugby Club still play on the ground.
* Owen's College was founded in 1851 in Manchester, with a legacy left by wealthy industrialist John Owen. In 1880 Owens College became part of Victoria University in 1880. In 1903 it was granted its own charter as the Victoria University of Manchester.