Objectives: To compare the prognostic value of the World Health Organization (WHO) 1973 and 2004 classification systems for grade in T1 bladder cancer (T1-BC), as both are currently recommended in international guidelines. Patients and Methods: Three uro-pathologists re-revised slides of 601 primary (first diagnosis) T1-BCs, initially managed conservatively (bacille Calmette–Guérin) in four hospitals. Grade was defined according to WHO1973 (Grade 1–3) and WHO2004 (low-grade [LG] and high-grade [HG]). This resulted in a lack of Grade 1 tumours, 188 (31%) Grade 2, and 413 (69%) Grade 3 tumours. There were 47 LG (8%) vs 554 (92%) HG tumours. We determined the prognostic value for progression-free survival (PFS) and cancer-specific survival (CSS) in Cox-regression models and corrected for age, sex, multiplicity, size and concomitant carcinoma in situ. Results: At a median follow-up of 5.9 years, 148 patients showed progression and 94 died from BC. The WHO1973 Grade 3 was negatively associated with PFS (hazard ratio [HR] 2.1) and CSS (HR 3.4), whilst WHO2004 grade was not prognostic. On multivariable analysis, WHO1973 grade was the only prognostic factor for progression (HR 2.0). Grade 3 tumours (HR 3.0), older age (HR 1.03) and tumour size >3 cm (HR 1.8) were all independently associated with worse CSS. Conclusion: The WHO1973 classification system for grade has strong prognostic value in T1-BC, compared to the WHO2004 system. Our present results suggest that WHO1973 grade cannot be replaced by the WHO2004 classification in non-muscle-invasive BC guidelines.