Supporters' Association

Examiner Reports: January 2015

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Contents

7th
14th
21st
28

7th

Those of us who attended our latest gathering at Turnbridge were treated to a tremendous evening. Our guest was one of those men whom we all love to hate – a referee!

As is the case with many of these figures, when you actually meet and chat with them, they are really genuine, honest people. Such was the case with Robert Hicks.

Rugby League is in Robert's blood. His grandfather was the chairman at Oldham in the 60s and his father played for them. Robert admits that he was not good enough to be a player, but he wanted to be involved in some capacity.

His first experience was as a touch judge at the age of 13 and has been an official ever since.

However, for a profession he studied law at Leeds University. This stood him in good stead when he was asked by Stuart Cummings to become a full time, part time referee!

The firm of solicitors for whom Robert worked decided that they could not accommodate him working only 3 days a week. Fortunately the World Cup was starting to take shape, and Robert was offered a part time job at the RFL in the legal department. His latest work being to draw up the contract with Ladbrokes as sponsors for the Challenge Cup.

The most illuminating part of the evening came when Robert answered questions from the audience. His answers were given from the heart – both from a fans point of view and also from the refereeing side.

For example, he agreed that if he were a Giants supporter he would totally agree that THE drop goal should have stood. However, the camera angles did not conclusively show that the ball had gone between the posts.

Sky have the playbacks from their cameras synchronised so that each second of a play can be shown from a different angle. The BBC do not have this facility, hence there was no definitive proof to go against Mr Bentham's decision [even if he had gone to the big screen].

Robert gave a thoughtful and considered view into how referees make their decisions – and also what really ought to happen on the field!

A truly excellent evening where people came away saying "what a nice chap Robert is".

People really should have more access to referees in situations like this. It will make them realise exactly what the referee is going through on the pitch and how and why decisions are made.

It is now less than 2 weeks away from the Fans Forum, Tuesday 20th. Doors will open at 7:00 pm to be ready for a prompt 7:15 start.

The panel will consist of Paul Anderson, Craig Huby, Chris Taylor [new director], and Danny Lockwood [publisher of the Rugby League newspaper League Weekly]. Entry will be free for HGSA members, season ticket holders, and accompanied children, otherwise a nominal fee of £2 will be charged.

Deposits are now required for our Pre-Season meal at Bradley's restaurant on Friday 30th January.

Full details can be found at www.GiantsSupporters.co.uk.

'Huddersfield In World War 1' can be purchased at The Zone, online at www.HuddersfieldRLHeritage.co.uk, or via David Thorpe [01484 533378].

14th

Well, are you excited?

Our first match is on Sunday. OK, it is 'only' a pre-season 'friendly' against the Bulls, but it means that, at long last, summer is almost here!

Summer Rugby [remember that the phrases 'Summer Rugby' and 'Super League' are fully interchangeable] will start good and proper on Sunday 8th February when we shall entertain Hull. Are you ready for the 'Every-Second-Will-Count' season?

In case the fever has not quite got to you yet, come along and express your feelings to our coach, Paul Anderson; tell our new signing Chris Huby what you expect him to do in the coming season; just who is Chris Taylor and what will he bring to the club; and as for Danny Lockwood, well!!

Yes, the Fans Forum is next Tuesday, the 20th. Doors will open at 7:00 pm to be ready for a prompt 7:15 start.

Entry will be free for HGSA members, season ticket holders, and accompanied children, otherwise a nominal fee of £2 will be charged. A raffle for lots of luxurious and much sought-after items will also be held.

Who'd be a Chairman!

Our Pre-Season Meal has developed a hiccough. Fortunately after drinking from the wrong side of a glass and holding our breath for 100 minutes, we have been able to rectify the situation.

You will no doubt have read in the Examiner that Bradley's Restaurant is no longer. Andrew Bradley phoned last week to inform me of the situation. Consequently the Pre-Season Meal will now be eaten at Northern Taps [still Friday 30th]. The cost for the two course meal + glass of wine will now be £14.

Northern Taps is located towards the lower end of King Street. It also has a wide selection of drinks, including real & craft ales. Those of you who are desirous of pre-meal drinks are welcome to join us at Northern Taps from 5 o'clock onwards.

The menu can be found on our website. Diners must pre-order their meal - I have to inform Northern Taps what you want to eat by January 25th. This places another onerous task on you – not only do you need to pay a £5 deposit or £14 per person, but you now have to let me know what you want to eat!

Full details can be found at www.GiantsSupporters.co.uk or contact Dave Calverley on 07887 878 425.

'Huddersfield In World War 1' can be purchased at The Zone, online at www.HuddersfieldRLHeritage.co.uk, or via David Thorpe [01484 533378].

21st

So, did you get some honest answers at the Fans' Forum?

Or did the panel just 'tow the party line'?

The atmosphere in the Revell Ward Suite was buzzing as HGSA chairman Dave Calverley welcomed supporters. The 100-strong audience at times listened attentively and at others times could not wait to ask follow-up questions.

Danny Lockwood [publisher of League Weekly] fielded, amongst others, questions about the negativity of the Rugby League press. His reply was that there is such a limited coverage of our game, it is only right that people have an opening to get things of their chests.

In addition, he went on to say that RL in the national press is dying. Papers are cutting back with the result that the remaining sports' reporters tend to focus on what they perceive as the king of sports – soccer!

Danny also spoke of the snippets he had heard from the RFL, such as the Challenge Cup Final might be moving to an earlier date so that it does not fall in the middle of the new Super 8 rounds.

MC for the night Tim Burton then introduced Craig Huby as 'the beard to be feared' and asked if he would be on the receiving end of banter in his home town of Castleford – especially after his antics in the recent panto. Craig replied that he probably would, but that it would make him play harder in the match there.

Our new commercial director, Chris Taylor, was quite forceful in his views that increasing the crowd is a team effort with the current supporters playing just as an important part as the club. "If each of the current season ticket holders brings along just one more person, Ken Davey will be a happy man".

Paul Anderson talked us through the reasons behind this year's pre-season training.

Last year 17 players missed these important sessions [due to the World Cup and injuries], so a lot of the team was playing catch-up with fitness levels. This, he hopes, has now been rectified. "Wait while you see a certain player not only crashing through, but also keeping hold of the ball!".

After many more questions and honest answers, this hugely successful evening – for both the Supporters Association and the club - drew to a close. The audience departing with an air of expectancy for the season ahead.

Next up is our Pre-Season Meal at Northern Taps on Friday 30th January, closely followed by Marcus St Hilaire at Turnbridge on Tuesday 3rd February

Everyone is welcome at all our events. Full details can be found at www.GiantsSupporters.co.uk or contact Dave Calverley on 07887 878 425.

'Huddersfield In World War 1' can be purchased at The Zone, online at www.HuddersfieldRLHeritage.co.uk, or via David Thorpe [01484 533378].

28th

January sees the end of phase one of 'Huddersfield Rugby League, A Lasting Legacy'. A Celebration Event is being held at the University's Heritage Quay on Thursday evening.

So, what is being celebrated? What is the legacy of the project? What has been achieved in the past 3 years?

Hundreds of items of memorabilia have been loaned to the project. There have been international and county caps, old shirts, medals, hundreds of programmes and photographs, and many scrap books.

This resulted in the magnificent exhibition put on at the Tolson Museum in 2013/2014. It was the most popular event at the museum for many years.

Volunteers were trained in the use of voice recorders and the art of interviewing others. Dozens of fans and ex-players were interviewed and their comments recorded for posterity.

University students spent many hours in the library poring over old editions of the Examiner, researching life in Huddersfield during World War One.

The outcomes of all this effort has been:

Two packs of Collectors Cards consisting of players who have donned the famous Claret & Gold. One set is of native Huddersfield men, the other is of outstanding players from all over the world.

Two books. The one dealing with how Huddersfield and its people dealt with World War One has already been published. The other, consisting of previously unpublished material, is a fresh approach about the history of the club.

Films of various events associated with the project.

The placing of the St John's Stone in the grounds of the John Smith's Stadium.

Two heritage trails. One is around Holmfirth, linking various landmarks associated with one of the game's greatest ever players, Harold Wagstaff. The other leads you around the centre of Huddersfield, highlighting places associated with WW1 events.

Education Packs for schools, including many theme-based assemblies.

Helping the RFL organise the launch of the World Cup back in 2013. And that magnificent rendition of the infamous 1995 meeting at the George Hotel by Scholes J & I School.

The website. Over 2000 pages of memorabilia collections, programmes, fixture cards, photographs of past players and teams, official club documents, records of every match played since 1895 up to the Super League era, and photographs of all the events of the project.

It is impossible to list everyone involved with the project, but here are one or two of the major players together with some of their roles:
Laura Hanson had the idea several years ago and put in many hours ploughing through the minefield that is the Lottery bid process.
Brian Heywood, the project manager, who ably led the team of volunteers and did a lot of the writing.
David Gronow and David Thorpe who spent many, many hours researching material for the cards and books.
Ken George who put together the various films of the project.
Angela Sykes, Graham Sykes, and Howard Taylor put in many interviewing hours.
Tony Johnson, linking the present to players of the past.
Keith Burhouse, whose enthusiasm for the club will never be forgotten.
Dave Calverley, the website supremo.
AN Other and SO Else, whose names have been lost in the mist of time, and who put so much effort that without you, nothing would have been done.

Now for Phase Two…

Next up is our Pre-Season Meal at Northern Taps on Friday, closely followed by Marcus St Hilaire at Turnbridge on Tuesday 3rd February.

Everyone is welcome at all our events. Full details can be found at www.GiantsSupporters.co.uk or contact Dave Calverley on 07887 878 425.

'Huddersfield In World War 1' can be purchased at The Zone, online at www.HuddersfieldRLHeritage.co.uk, or via David Thorpe [01484 533378].

Reproduced by kind permission of the Huddersfield Examiner
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