Supporters' Association

Examiner Reports: November 2015

Examiner articles by year:

2012

March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December

2013

January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December

2014

January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December

2015

January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December

2017

January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December

2017

January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December

Contents

4th
11th
18th
25th

4th

November the 4th. Mischief Night – for those who remember it!

Well, how’s this for a piece of mischief?

Thank goodness it’s all over.

The hype, the near universal coverage, the lies…

As was written the other week, the first ‘Rugby World Cup’ was played in France in 1954 – at the instigation of the French.

An article by Eurosport from 2013 states: “The final watched by 30,000 mostly Frenchmen, was the culmination of the first world cup in either code of rugby, with union not hosting such a contest until 1987.

“Captain Dave Valentine’s side of underdogs – since most of his first-picks had chosen to stay at home – unexpectedly beat the host nation 16-12 at Parc des Princes in Paris.

“Each Great Britain player, who had forfeited wages by playing during the regular league season, also received a £25 bonus and a commemorative penknife.”

OK, I’m jealous.

Not of the game of union, but of its administrators.

It is said “Well, union is made up of ex-public school, Oxbridge types who are in positions of power both in the country and in the workplace”.

This is true.

But it is also true of an ever-growing number of ex-League players.

At the forthcoming match against New Zealand at the Olympic Stadium, I shall be sitting with 50 ex-Oxford RL players, mostly ex-public school.

Most of them have jobs in the city. They are all devoted League fans.

They all have played in the Oxford v Cambridge Varsity game – the RL one, naturally.

There has been such a fixture for nigh-on forty years now.

That’s hundreds of men who are now the ‘pillars of society’.

Why are they not been used?

OK, there has recently been formed a Rugby League Business Network. [Let me know if you want to attend a get-together in the House Of Commons on Friday. Drinks and canapés, with guest speakers Messrs Crabtree and Hunter-Paul!]

But there are hundreds of Oxbridge men who would be willing help promote our wonderful game.

Why is it that some years ago Ellery Hanley, Martin Offiah, Shaun Edwards, and others, were household names?

Because they appeared on our TV screens week in week out, back in the days when the BBC aired our game.

These days Eorl and Robbie are probably our two most nationally recognised figures.

If we want fewer Thursday night games we must wrest control back from Sky.

And the only way we can do that is by having a huge amount of financial support.

And how do we do that?

By tapping up the men [sorry ladies, this is not sexist, purely factual] who run today’s industries and who have played the game.

And, perhaps, having more air-time nationally to entice sponsors, ie more games on the BBC.

I have recently self-analysed and yes, it is my jealousy of ‘the dark side’ that has prompted what you are reading.

But the RFL and the RL International Federation MUST act quickly before there really is only one game of rugby.

For all information about the Heritage Project head over to www.HuddersfieldRLHeritage.co.uk, and for HGSA www.GiantsSupporters.co.uk.


11th

What happens when a group of drunken youths pick up and carry away a steward at a football game?

Following on from last week’s subject, I attended a Rugby League Business Network meeting on Friday – on the Houses Of Parliament Terrace! Complete with wine and canopés!

This is a fairly new organisation, and the meeting mainly consisted of business people and MPs from darn sarf.

The members of this group are totally committed to our great game and they represent a huge, influential resource.

The questions to the RFL are:
“How can you use them?”
“What backing will you give them?”
“Will you forge stronger links with them?”
And, more basically, “WILL you listen to them and act on their suggestions?”

The questions are necessary and are based on comments about the RFL I heard from various members. If they are not listened to they will simply fade away.

On the lighter side of the evening, Robbie [Hunter-Paul] and Eorl [Crabtree] performed an admiral double act, answering questions put to them by the assembled throng.

Unfortunately for Robbie there was a large group of ex-Oxford students present, so when he credited Cambridge with their excellent hospitality when he attended their annual dinner, there was raucous booing from the back of the room.

He had attended the Oxford dinner – and regularly wears the Oxford RL tie when appearing on television!

To be fair, he did hold his hand up and apologise.

The following day I had to contend with not simply a handful of ex-students, but 50 of them!

And what was even worse, John Smith’s was £5 a pint!!

The stewards patrolling the stadium’s Fan Zone were absolutely marvellous. One in particular was continually taking and giving banter to the afore-mentioned group.

So, when closing time came and he was suggesting that everyone should now go home, they picked him up and carried him with them, singing “We’re taking you home, we’re taking you home!”

Were the police called?

No, he simply put his megaphone to his lips and joined in!

You see, these are Rugby Football fans, not, at the risk of upsetting some people, Association Football ones.

So, credit where credit is due, the RFL did a good job in staging this match in London. They must now join forces with the RL Business Network to build on this success.

Over to you, Red Hall.

Very briefly, our own double-act last week was an outstanding success. Ken Senior and Ian Van Bellen were superb value for money at our November meeting.

And finally, a plug for our Reindeer Race Night. Details can be found on our website [www.GiantsSupporters.co.uk] or by contacting Dave Calverley [07887 878 425].

 

18th

Well done Steve McNamara.

After all the negative comments he has received for not picking the best half back in Super League [our very own Danny Brough], at least he did give Jerry the chance to show what he can do.

And what a performance.

Didn’t it make a change to have the television pundits drooling over one of our players – take note Sky.

Just think what he might have done had he received a pass!

At the moment, Jerry is having a well-deserved holiday. When he returns he has agreed to come along to be presented with his Wagstaff Trophy and take part in a question and answer session.

Because his son is an up-and-coming star with Manchester City [yes, the round ball game! Jerry!!] he cannot attend on Tuesdays as that is training night in Manchester. Quite rightly, Jerry puts his family first. But we shall arrange an extra-special ‘Evening With Jerry’ for you to enjoy.

Another extra-special person is Jenna Brough.

She regularly organisers other Rugby wives for fund-raising activities. This year she was part of the team which played the highest game of rugby ever – up Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak.

Jenna will be coming along to recount her exploits on Tuesday January 5th. [At Turnbridge WMC, 7:30 for a 7:45 start.]

This will be followed on Thursday January 28th by the Fans Forum. It will again be at the stadium but in the Fantastic Media Suite this time. So far the panel will be Paul Anderson and our new storming player, Ryan Hinchcliffe. Jerry is also being lined up for a possible appearance.

In addition, we have approached top referee Robert Hicks.

Robert gave some really good forthright comments when he was our guest previously. His attendance will be determined by the date of the RL referees week training session. [‘Week’ not ‘weak’!]

And what of December, I hear you ask?

The University of Huddersfield has probably the largest archive of Rugby League material anywhere in the country. You can visit their Heritage Quay at any time and have a browse.

To whet your appetite, archivist Dave Smith will give us an insight of what is preserved in the vaults and will, no doubt, bring along some interesting artefacts for us to peruse.

Tuesday December 1st is the date to put in your diary.

And then on Friday 11th December, something else is happening at Turnbridge.

For the life in me I cannot think what it is, but I seem to remember that it is something to do with reindeer having a run out. http://www.giantssupporters.co.uk/Forms/Reindeer%202015.html gives a few more details [or contact Dave Calverley, 07887 878 425].

And finally, “Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants” will make a brilliant Christmas present if you or your loved one have not already got a copy. You can buy it online [http://www.huddersfieldrlheritage.co.uk/Editorial/Shoulders.html] or by contacting David Thorpe, 01484 533378.


25th

As mentioned last week, next Tuesday’s guest will be Dave Smith from the University’s archive section. Consequently it seems appropriate to delve into “Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants”.

This extract is from the chapter on the ‘Amateur Game’.

“Amateur rugby continued to be an important part of the sporting scene in Huddersfield after the formation of the Northern Union in 1895. Most but not all local amateur clubs followed the town's parent club in switching to the Northern Union code. Rugby union continued to struggle on, its clubs having to travel further afield to find opponents as Huddersfield became a Northern Union stronghold, but no local rugby union clubs from 1895 have survived. The oldest rugby union club in the district is the Huddersfield Old Boys, founded in 1909.

“Immediately after the 1895 split, there were 23 clubs competing locally, with most of the villages represented. The Holliday Challenge Cup, in its eleventh season, continued as the most important amateur rugby competition in the district. In the 1895 final, held at Primrose Hill in October, Meltham lifted the Cup for the first time with a 3-0 victory over Lockwood.

“On returning home, the team was led by the village's fire brigade and brass band to the centre of Meltham 'where festivities were sustained with much enthusiasm.'

“The Huddersfield and District Union retained a core of its strongest clubs, and in 1904 formed two divisions, eleven teams in each. In addition, Underbank Rangers, was admitted to the Yorkshire Senior Competition, effectively only one division below the Huddersfield club which was relegated to Division 2 of the Northern Union League in 1903-04. Attracting regular crowds of about 1000, Underbank had emerged as the strongest 'amateur' club, their high standing further emphasising the exceptional quality of Harold Wagstaff, who made his first team debut for them at the age of 14 in 1905.

“On 27 April 1908 the Huddersfield and District Union became the Huddersfield and District League. Formed at a meeting in the Pavilion at Fartown, it is still in existence today.

“Confirming the growing popularity of the game, the town's first workshop competition, staged at Fartown in 1908, attracted 44 entries. Reluctantly making up the numbers for the Acre Mills team was a young amateur association footballer from Halifax, Major Holland. A novice at Northern Union, he was a revelation, quickly catching the eye of the Huddersfield officials who signed him almost immediately. A talented full back and natural goal-kicker, Major Holland went on to play a key role in the development of the Team of all Talents. In 218 matches between 1909 and 1921 he scored 542 points for Huddersfield.

 

Friday 11th December, Reindeer Race Night, see http://www.giantssupporters.co.uk/Forms/Reindeer%202015.html or contact Dave Calverley [07887 878 425].

“Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants” can be bought online [http://www.huddersfieldrlheritage.co.uk/Editorial/Shoulders.html] or from David Thorpe, 01484 533378.


Reproduced by kind permission of the Huddersfield Examiner
Back to TOP