Supporters' Association

Examiner Reports: December 2013

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Contents

4th
11th
18th
26th

4th

So, how was your World Cup?

It was a magnificent advert for Rugby League.

Those South Pacific Island teams were monsters. Literally!

The tackling; the hits; the barnstorming runs – all were a joy to watch, complete with the comments such as "Ooh!" and "Wow!!". If some of the money raised by RLWC2013 were to be invested into developing more world class half backs, then there really would be more than 3 teams vying for the title of World Champions.

And what of the home nations?

If the game continues to expand and develop at grass roots the level, it will not be long before we truly can have a competitive Home Nations tournament. [It really is a myth that Rugby League is a northern sport. It is growing at junior, amateur, university, and semi-professional levels. Just look at how Bristol promoted the game in that area – total credit to the council and local volunteers down there.]

You all know, of course, that Australia did not have a try scored against them after the England game.

But have you given it a moment's thought that of the 4 tries scored against the World Cup winners, 2 were scored by the Huddersfield Giants? Full marks to Leroy and Brett for this achievement. And I know what you are all thinking: "What could England have achieved with our Danny in there?"!

The accolades showered on our own contingent, whichever country they played for, has been a joy to hear. At last, the name of Huddersfield Giants is being spoken of with respect. We are attracting the world's top players; we are developing players coming to us; and we have world class home-grown talent – an outstanding 'Well Done' to Leroy!

And the final?

Unfortunately, for most people who went by public [private enterprise?] transport, the letter Q will perhaps remain in the memory longer than the match itself! And please, do not say 'typical Rugby League', the train operators and Manchester transport people all knew months in advance that 70+ thousand would be descending on Old Trafford for the day.

Finally, our night of joviality, our Reindeer Race Night [Friday 13th December]: there still are tickets available. All details are on the website [www.GiantsSupporters.co.uk] or from Dave Calverley [07887 878 425].

11th

So at what stage is the Heritage Project? Here are project leader Brian Heywood's thoughts:

RLWC2013 Celebration Day.

The day ran very smoothly. The exhibitions and panel sessions were of outstanding quality and feedback from those who attended the event has been overwhelmingly positive. There were immediate requests that the event should be annual, or at least bi-annual, and contact details of attendees were taken.

Tolson Museum Exhibition

The Tolson reports that the exhibition is very popular and this is reflected in the exhibition comments book.

The following have been written for the exhibition:
a guide;
trails for KS2 and KS3, to be distributed via Kirklees' three schools' enrichment facilitators;
a trail to be available at the museum (basically the KS2 trail with a different title).

Collectors' Cards

These are selling very well and their quality well-received.

They are available:
online via the project website www.huddersfieldrlheritage.co.uk ;
Tolson Museum;
stadium shop;
The Zone, which is also taking phone calls and advising on outlets
by post/cheque, payable to Huddersfield Community Trust, addressed to – 15 Station Road, Cayton, Scarborough YO113TG.

St John's Stone Memorial Garden

15 children from Birkby JS planted poppy seeds at the opening of the garden at 11am on 11 November. The school has agreed to take on the planting and landscaping as part of their gardening club.

The stone will be engraved 'St John's Stone Memorial Garden'. The size and position of the plaque is still to be finalised.

Larchwood launch and Reminiscence Boxes

The launch of the Larchwood partnership and of our Reminiscence Boxes launch took place at the stadium on Tuesday 26 November. Feedback from Ann Mancey of Larchwood has been very positive.

Our Reminiscence Boxes include sets of Collectors' Cards, old Huddersfield rugby league programmes, and picture quizzes about local amateur cricket grounds, about Huddersfield Town FC and about international sports stars. The boxes are to go into the Kirklees care homes rota system.

Still to come are:
A World War 1 trail around Huddersfield Town Centre;
A book about Huddersfield in World War 1;
'The Wagstaff Trail' exploring the haunts of the 'Prince Of Centres' in and around Holmfirth;
A Huddersfield Rugby League book containing articles not to be found in other similar publications.

The website, www.HuddersfieldRLHeritage.co.uk, contains a vast amount of information and is well worth a browse.

So, is it not a fitting tribute that the club has designated next season's shirts as 'Heritage Shirts'? The alternate shirt being probably unique in the sporting world, in that the players will be proudly wearing images of that great team of yesteryear, the Team Of All Talents.

Finally, our night of joviality is almost upon us. Our Reindeer Race Night is on Friday at Turnbridge WMC. We still have room for a couple more of you! All details are on the website [www.GiantsSupporters.co.uk] or from Dave Calverley [07887 878 425].

18th

What a Rugby League year!

Who would have thought a mere 12 months ago that 2013 would have been the success it has been?

I'll skip over the absolutely fantastic World Cup and concentrate on our own club.

Baloo [coach Paul Anderson] kept saying that team 2013 was a different breed and it would make its own history. Did you believe him?

The knockers certainly did not. All and sundry kept waiting and waiting for the slump. It never came. And yes, it really is true, it was not a dream, we did finish at the top of Super League. Even the glorious teams from the forties and fifties did not achieve that!

And it is even sweeter for those 5000 of us at the Keighley game in April 1986 when the club's lowest ever crowd of 303 turned up to watch a desperate draw in horrendous conditions. [Well, it would have been 5000 if everyone who says they were there actually were there!]

How many of this team will achieve the honour of being included in the club's Hall Of Fame?

Ken Senior, a great stalwart of the sixties and seventies and a member of the Players Association, was the last inductee.

There are 21 greats in in that prestigious group. [Can you name them? If not, you find them in Set 1 of the Collectors' Cards entitled 'Huddersfield Greats' – a great Christmas present!]

I'll put forward my suggestions, and in so doing I do not want to insult omitted players, past or present:
Paul Reilly – as they say, if you cut his body in half it will have 'Huddersfield Giants' running all the way through, like a stick of rock. Woe betide Paul if he ever needs a blood transfusion – Claret & Gold blood is extremely rare!
Eorl Crabtree – what a stalwart! He is the current Mr Huddersfield Giant. A one-club man, such a rarity these days. Can you bring yourself to imagine a Giants' team without him in?
Danny Brough – Captain Fantastic! Record breaker extraordinaire. Man Of Steel 2013. Etc, etc. But has he been at the club long enough to be considered a Hall Of Famer?

Who would you include? We all have our favourite players, but to be in the Hall Of Fame you must be totally objective. Send your thoughts to the Examiner and post them on HGSA's website.

Collectors' Cards can be purchased via www.HuddersfieldRLHeritage.co.uk, and leave Hall Of Fame comments on www.GiantsSupporters.co.uk.

26th

So what is the state of Rugby League as we near the end of 2013?

We have experienced perhaps the most successful World Cup ever [apart from one minor exception!].

Attendances at matches were phenomenal – even in the non-heartland areas. Hats off to everyone, including the council, involved down in Bristol. They proved what can be achieved with sheer enthusiasm.

The semi-final between England and New Zealand was voted to be the Wembley Moment of the Year.

The South Pacific Island teams were a joy to watch. Mind you, to face up to their forwards would not be everyone's cup of tea!

Due to the financial success of the tournament, the international game now has money to develop the game around the globe. A truly competitive World Cup where more than 3 nations are capable of winning is truly needed.

Although Northampton did not survive, the latest batch of 'southern' clubs have had a comparative first season in the upper echelons of Rugby League. At the risk of upsetting the traditionalists, this can only be good for the game.

To show that the game is very much alive in our universities, the 34th Pcubed Rugby League Varsity Match will take place on 6th March 2014. If the top two universities in the country, with their vast public school intake, can play our game, then there is nowhere in the country that cannot.

But what of Super League?

Whilst the product is outstanding, a lot of clubs are in dire straits. Some of this must be due to mis-management, but surely that does not apply to all of them? It really does make us thankful for Jennifer Davy introducing her husband to, not just Rugby League in general, but our club in particular.

I'm sure that the powers that be at Red Hall [RL's HQ] will apply anyone's magic wand in order to secure Super League.

Our first meeting in the New Year will be on the 7th of January, when Angela Powers [Sky Sports] will be our guest.

Continue to browse www.HuddersfieldRLHeritage.co.uk, and www.GiantsSupporters.co.uk for updates and good reading.

 

Reproduced by kind permission of the Huddersfield Examiner
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