Supporters' Association

Examiner Reports: March 2014

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Contents

5th
12th
19th
26th

6th

We'll start this week with a report of the last two matches: "Ah well, that's the joy of being a Giants supporter."

Being part of the team involved in the Heritage Project, I find it both interesting and fascinating looking through and recording all the items brought in.

You, the general public, really have made our life both easy and difficult!

Easy in the fact that you have responded magnificently with our requests for memorabilia.

Difficult because we have so much material to record for posterity! Every item is being scanned and photographed and will eventually appear on the website.

Of particular current interest are the scrap books.

One was handed in just as the project was getting under way. It covers the years from 1910 through to 1946 and is not solely about Fartown. It is of such interest that all the 98 A2 size pages have been photographed in their entirety and have been put together in blocks of ten in the PDF format.

And there are another half a dozen like this!

You can own your slice of memorabilia from the project. The Collectors' Cards.

These are proving to be a great hit and consist of two sets:
Huddersfield Greats – the top 50 players who have donned the famous Claret & Gold;
Fartown Giants – the best RL players from the Huddersfield district, nurtured by local amateur clubs.

And now a word of warning.

The exhibition at the Tolson Museum is drawing to a close. We shall be dismantling it at the start of May. If you have not yet seen it, 'Get on down there'! [Please check the museum's opening times before setting off.]

It goes without saying that the amount of material increases the nearer the present day we get, so here is an appeal.

The oldest item we have, I think, is a fixture card from the 1881-82 season. There must be items older than that.

What of the early Rugby teams? Photographs of the area and ground at Rifle Fields [Springwood] where the first matches were played? Programmes, newspaper cuttings, there must be some out there, please ask around.

Speaking of old items, Tony Johnson [sorry Tony!] and his team are putting together a fabulous display of ex-players for the designated Heritage Game [Warrington, March 30th].

The Friday previous will be the Players' Association's annual dinner [there are still a couple of places available if you want to dine with your heroes]. Then on Sunday morning a sedate match is in the process of being organised [sedate? I've heard that Paul Reilly could well be turning out!]. This will be followed by a parade on the pitch by the ex-players.

The Heritage website, where you can purchase the cards, is www.HuddersfieldRLHeritage.co.uk, and for updates and good reading about HGSA www.GiantsSupporters.co.uk.

12th

It is always sad when someone passes away. It is even sadder to members of a community when it is one of their own. Especially when that person has given so much to the community.

And so it is with the Giants and Keith Burhouse.

To newer members of the Giants community, Keith might not be particularly well known. Keith preferred it that way. But if it were not for Keith and his family, there possibly might not be a Giants community at all.

Yes, there have been many people who have put their all into Fartown, but there were not that many around in 'the dark days' when Keith put his heart and soul into repairing holes in the stand roof, paying players' wages, etc, etc.

A member of the Heritage Project's Steering Group, Keith shed light on much that went unreported at the time of Arena 84. It really will be a fascinating read when the project's book is published later this year.

Ever the gentleman, Keith will be sorely missed.

Kieron Purtill was out guest at Turnbridge WMC last week.

He gave a fascinating insight into what goes on behind the scenes at the club: how the coaching staff from 1st team to U15s is a close knit group. He remarked how much the club has improved not only on, but also off the field in all areas since his first stint with us.

A fuller report will - eventually! - appear on the website.

At half time on Sunday, on behalf of HGSA committee member Ian Thwaites presented Ken Davy with another cheque for £500. As usual, this will go towards the development of youth at the club.

We also had another presentation.

Last season, one of our pre-match activities for youngsters was a craft session. One of the items made was a motivational poster. The youngsters involved presented their work to Shaun Lunt and the club have said that it will be hung in the Giants dressing room at each home game.

Finally, HGSA has produced a limited edition lapel badge in recognition of our League Champions status. They will be on sale at the Warrington game, priced £3.

The Heritage website, where you can purchase the cards, is www.HuddersfieldRLHeritage.co.uk, and for updates and good reading about HGSA www.GiantsSupporters.co.uk.

19th

First some dates for your diary:

March 30 – Heritage Match Day. Take a trip out to Fartown to watch Fartowners play. Yes, some ex-players are taking on a team from the police.
April 1 – Andy Kelly will be our guest at Turnbridge.
April 21 – a pre-match Junior Disco.
And keep an eye out for s selling raffle tickets with a first prize of a match day with the Sky team!

And in between it is, St Helens. The 4th round match that everyone wanted to be the final!

But how did we get to this stage?

Let's go back to 2005.

The beginning of the 2005 Super League season saw the club make its highest-profile signing in fifty years when Australian centre Michael De Vere signed from the Brisbane Broncos, becoming the club's first Australian international player since Pat Devery in the 1950s.

For the kick-off of the 2006 season the club unveiled a host of new signings to strengthen the squad, including the iconic New Zealand international scrum half Robbie Paul. After a convincing victory over Salford in the quarter final, the Giants faced Leeds Rhinos (ironically coached by Tony Smith) in the Challenge Cup semi-final at Odsal Stadium, Bradford.

Against all the odds, massive underdogs Huddersfield pulled out what is regarded as possibly their best performance of modern times, Stuart Donlan and Chris Nero with 2 tries apiece and Michael De Vere with a try and five goals steering them to a 30-12 victory. Huddersfield lost the 2006 Challenge Cup Final to eventual Super League champions St Helens 42-12, but the performance heralded the best Huddersfield achievement since 1970.

games including two wins in the Challenge Cup. The highlight of this run was the 36-12 victory over the Bradford Bulls in front of the Sky Television cameras on 18 May, the Giants first victory over the Bulls since joining the top flight. In addition, Sharp was named consecutively as Coach of the Month for April and May.

The Heritage website, where you can purchase the cards, is www.HuddersfieldRLHeritage.co.uk, and for updates and good reading about HGSA www.GiantsSupporters.co.uk.

26th

So, what was it like to watch matches at Fartown?

If you want to saviour the atmosphere of that famous old ground, pop along this coming Sunday to watch some of your favourites play. Paul Reilly, Marcus St Hillaire, David Oates, Paul Royston, Neil Flanagan, Anthony Farrell, Alan Boothroyd, Phil Huck, Colin Harris, Martin Maders, Damon Scholes, Rob Salmon, Darren Fleary, and Joe Berry will be taking the field against a police masters side. Kick off is at 11:30am.

For those of you who have been brought up on 'Summer Rugby', let me give you a flavour of what is was like in olden times.

Spectators either stood on the huge, open terrace or sat on wooden benches in the stand. [As an aside, why is the seating area always called the stand?] To be a little more comfortable, you could loan a cushion for a penny [whilst I am not condoning this, the cushion did serve as a useful missile if the referee had an off game!].

Remember, matches were played in winter, so snow, hail, and gale force winds with horizontal rain were to be expected – conditions you 'summer' people will never have experienced at a game!

In more modern times, matches could be played at night with the advent of floodlights – there was even a competition specifically for such games, the BBC2 Floodlight Competition. On such occasions, if you were a Terrace-Sider, you could even air your views to Mr Eddie Waring situated in his scaffolding-structured commentary position.

There was no queuing under the stands for half-time refreshments, you queued in the open at the wood hut for your tomato soup and pork pie, a brief feeling of warmth in the middle of winter.

You had to feel sorry for the scorers, though. Perched in the open, fully exposed to the elements - though shielded from the prevailing winds – on the white scoreboard. They had to bend over to put scores either of the HUDDS line or the Opponents'. [As a lad, I could never understand why 'Fartown' never scored any points!]

You can view my photographs of that fantastic stadium when the last league match was played there in 1994. They are on both HGSA's website and the Heritage one.

See you on Sunday to relive our memories – why not write them down so they can go on the Heritage site? Introduce yourselves, I'm the one with the fez and the scarf!

Dave.

Dates for your diary:

March 30 – Heritage Match Day. In addition to the above match, 50 ex-players will be parading on the pitch.
April 1 – Andy Kelly will be our guest at Turnbridge.
April 21 – a pre-match Junior Disco.
And keep an eye out for s selling raffle tickets with a first prize of a match day with the Sky team!

The Heritage website, where you can purchase the cards, is www.HuddersfieldRLHeritage.co.uk, and for updates and good reading about HGSA www.GiantsSupporters.co.uk.

Reproduced by kind permission of the Huddersfield Examiner
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