Supporters' Association

Examiner Reports: September 2015

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Contents

2nd
9th
16th
23rd
30th

2nd

The first laws of Rugby Football were drawn up in 1845 by three senior pupils at, you guessed it, Rugby school.

The Rugby Football Union was founded in 1871 in the Pall Mall Restaurant in Regent Street, London.

1895 saw the infamous meeting at our George Hotel when 22 clubs agreed that broken time payments should be allowed, and they broke awake from the RFU forming the Northern Rugby Football Union.

Of today’s Super League clubs, nine were represented at that gathering. Can you name them?**

Batley, Halifax, Hunslet, Leigh, Oldham, and Rochdale Hornets are the clubs with teams which are still playing professional rugby.

But which are the other seven clubs?**

To celebrate 120 years since this breakaway, the RFL organised a parade of rugby clubs prior to last Saturday’s Challenge Cup Final.

There were dozens of clubs represented, each carrying a flag of their team.

All, that is, apart from the original 22, who wore a commemorative shirt in their team’s colours.

So, if you were at Wembley, did you recognise all those 22 colours?**

What an exhilarating experience it was to walk round the pitch in front of thousands of spectators.

And what a performance by Lizzie Jones. How did she manage to keep her emotions in check?

On Monday, a petition was organised to have a single made of her live performance. [She sang ‘Abide With Me’ to the assembled throng.] By the end of the day it was announced that it would be released on i-Tunes – subject to the BBC’s permission.

Watch out for this release and let’s get it to the top of the charts.

In those 120 years, our club has had great highs and the deepest of lows. [A timely plug for ‘Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants’!]

The last 20 of those years has seen the Giants slowly but surely become a club to be feared once more.

We have climbed out of the second tier to the very pinnacle of Super League.

We have had some quality coaches and world class players.

But one man has been there all this time and has made it all possible.

I hope that the next time you see him, you will say a huge “Thank You” to Ken Davy.

The Wagstaff Trophy, who would you least like to leave the club? Current first-teamer? Up-and-coming youngster? Vote NOW at:
http://www.giantssupporters.co.uk/Forms/Wagstaff.html

Our AGM is on October 6th; details & nomination form for new committee here:
http://www.giantssupporters.co.uk/Forms/AGM%20Nominations.html

 

Get in touch with Dave Calverley for paper forms for both of the above [07887 878 425].

We are almost into the second printing of ‘Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants’. Be sure to buy your copy before it is completely sold out [at www.HuddersfieldRLHeritage.co.uk or by phoning David Thorpe - 01484 533378].

** Answers next week!

9th

Following on from last week’s article about it being 120 years since the formation of the Northern Union [Rugby League], it is quite appropriate that this forthcoming Sunday will see Chairman Ken Davey unveil a Blue Plaque at the Fartown ground.

It will be 120 years almost to the day that the first Rugby League match was played on that hallowed turf.

On the 14th of September 1895, Huddersfield beat Wakefield Trinity ten nil.

However, it was not the first rugby game to be played there.

Since its inception, the club had played matches at Rifle Fields [where Greenhead Park is now].

When a second pitch was required, Huddersfield Athletic Club joined forces with St John’s Cricket club at Fartown.

Alterations and additions to the ground commenced during the summer of 1878. The first match was played on Saturday 2nd November, 1878 when Huddersfield took on Manchester Rangers.

The captain that day was Harry Huth and was our first player to don the England shirt.

Back to the present day.

Be at Fartown a little before midday – and be prepared to stay for the next hour or so to watch the Masters Match between our Players Association and Halifax Boothtown.

Relive your memories of Lee St Hilaire, Paul Reilly, David Oates, and others as they don the famous Claret & Gold once more.

Another update.

The live singing of ‘Abide With Me’ by Lizzie Jones at the Cup Final is now available on iTunes.  It is currently number 34 in the iTunes chart!

To date, the Danny Jones fund has raised £230 000 for the RFL Benevolent Fund.

 

There are still a few HGSA members still to cast their preferences for the Wagstaff Trophy – presented to the player whom the membership would least like to leave the club:
http://www.giantssupporters.co.uk/Forms/Wagstaff.html

Our excellent committee will shortly be standing down, having served the organisation for 12 months. Some will be seeking re-election, others will need replacing.

Nominations can be made online at: http://www.giantssupporters.co.uk/Forms/AGM%20Nominations.html

The AGM itself is on October 6th at Turnbridge WMC.

Get in touch with Dave Calverley for paper forms for both of the above [07887 878 425].

Be sure you don’t miss out of owning ‘Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants’. Buy it at www.HuddersfieldRLHeritage.co.uk or by phoning David Thorpe - 01484 533378.

In closing, to put you out of your misery from last week, the original 22 founding clubs were Batley, Bradford, Brighouse, Broughton, Halifax, Huddersfield, Hull FC, Hunslet, Leeds, Leigh, Liversedge, Manningham, Oldham, Rochdale, Runcorn, St Helens, Stockport, Tyldesley, Wakefield Trinity, Warrington, Widnes, and Wigan.

16th

Mixed emotions abounded last Sunday.

It was 120 years almost to the day that the first Rugby League game was played at Fartown. To commemorate the fact the RFL Chairman, our own Paul Morgan, introduced the Giants Chairman Ken Davy who unveiled a Blue Plaque at the ground

The Masters rugby match which followed was a classic example of how sport should be played: there were no tantrums, no talking back to the referee, no cheating, etc.

To exemplify this, for an older player to make a tackle all he has to do is touch an opponent. The ball carrier stops immediately without any questioning of the validity of the tackle and plays the ball.

To watch the Huddersfield Players Association team, you would hardly guess that they had stopped playing rugby decades ago [sorry lads!]. The passing was crisp, moves flowed, beer bellies bounced…

However, they could not have provided such excellent entertainment without the input of the opposition. Halifax Boothtown again superbly provided this.

Whilst old rivalries run deep, the friendships that these players have formed over the years also shone through.

A huge ‘Well Done’ to our former superstar Tony Johnson for organising the event. But, Tony, people are asking if they will see you on the field as a player in the next match!

And the mixed emotions?

Joy to be back at Fartown.

Sadness at the dilapidated state of the arena.

And joy again for the fact that rugby, in the form of St Joseph’s, is still being played on the hallowed turf.

Our excellent committee will shortly be standing down, having served the organisation for 12 months. Some will be seeking re-election, others will need replacing.

Nominations can be made online at: http://www.giantssupporters.co.uk/Forms/AGM%20Nominations.html or a paper form from Dave Calverley [07887 878 425].

The AGM itself is on October 6th at Turnbridge WMC. Our guests will be Stuart Sheard and our Wagstaff Trophy winner. I wonder who that will be.

October 10th: ???

October 22nd: a trip around Magic Rock Brewery. A couple of places are still available.

October 24th: the combined fans end-of-season bash.

Be sure you don’t miss out of owning ‘Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants’. Buy it at www.HuddersfieldRLHeritage.co.uk or by phoning David Thorpe - 01484 533378.

23rd

So, you receive a phone call from the UK correspondent of the French newspaper Le Monde. Do you:
a) Do a somersault giving thanks that your efforts are finally being rewcognised;
b) Slam the phone down;
c) Say “Why?”;
d) Phone that nice man at the Examiner, Mr Roberts, and say “Thank You”?

Yes, I did receive that phone call from Eric.

Being the occasion of the ‘Rugby World Cup’ [the RFU’s wording not mine!], Eric was doing his research for an article about the ‘great schism’ of 1895. And The Examiner’s Mr Roberts had very kindly put him on in touch with me!

I explained from the outset that he would receive an extremely objective, but biased, explanation of the facts.

First of all I pointed out that the ‘Rugby World Cup’ was first played in 1954.

Paul Barriere, President of the French Rugby League, raised the suggestion in 1951, 16 years after the French first mooted the idea.

At a meeting in Blackpool, it was agreed that indeed, the ‘Rugby World Cup’ [its official title] should go ahead.

4 nationalities took part: Australia, France, Great Britain, and New Zealand.

France and GB competed in the final, with the visitors being the eventual winners.

So, the first captain to hold aloft any ‘Rugby World Cup’ was our very own Dave Valentine, captain of Fartown.

“But why was France the instigator?”

Because the wartime Vichy government confiscated all of France’s Rugby League clubs’ assets, and the French now saw that a ‘Rugby World Cup’ would ease their financial situation.

Having put Eric right on the ‘Rugby World Cup’, we proceeded with his research.

He visited Huddersfield where we viewed the Blue Plaques at the George Hotel and the Fartown ground and then went on to the John Smith’s Stadium where we were kindly allowed a tour of the facilities.

I continued my biased, objective narrative regarding the background of the great division, Eric now fully on the side of our great sport. At least, that’s what he said!

We shall see on Friday, Eric, when your article is published in this week’s edition of ‘Le Monde’.

In case you have not yet heard, Germaine McGillvary is the winner of our Wagstaff Trophy. Danny Brough was a close 2nde and Joe Wardle an equally close 3rd.

Hopefully Jerry will be at our AGM [October 6th at Turnbridge] to re-receive the trophy in front of the people who voted for him.

Will HGSA members please use your power to nominate representatives for your next committee. Go online to: http://www.giantssupporters.co.uk/Forms/AGM%20Nominations.html or ask Dave Calverley [07887 878 425] for a paper form.

30th

Gutted.

How prophetic for the RLF to announce, at the season’s start, that ‘Every Minute Counts’.

5 minutes from full time we were well in front.

4, 3, and 2 minutes from full time out lead was just 2 points.

1 minute from full time we were drawing.

2 seconds from full time we were drawing.

Full time we were all gutted.

It is too early to have a review of the season from the RLF’s perspective, but they must be pleased with how games and results have unfolded so far.

Not only with one match to go could any of the top 4 teams have been crowned ‘Minor Champions’, but the last 2 seconds of one game saw the League Leaders Shield slip from Wigan’s grasp back into Leeds’s hands.

Ah well. At least we have been part of the drama so far!

We must now hope that Coach Anderson and his staff can lift those crest-fallen heads to their pre-Leeds readiness.

COYG.

On a happier note from last Friday were the two HGSA pre-match presentations.

One was to present the club with another £1000 for the further development of youth rugby in the town.

The other was to both celebrate and thank Jennifer and Ken Davy for their 20 years at the helm of the Giants.

It is well documented how it was Jennifer’s feminine charms which introduced Ken to the club.

And it has been Ken’s business acumen that has steered the club from whipping boys to the very pinnacle of Rugby League in the UK.

So a huge ‘Thank You’, not only from HGSA, but all Giants supporters. We hope that the small token of our appreciation will be much treasured.

Our raffle is now drawing to a close and the response has been phenomenal.

It will be drawn at Turnbridge WMC on Grand Final day, so it imperative that all of you who still have ticket stubs and money return them ASAP, ideally at our AGM next Tuesday.

Hopefully Jerry will be present to re-receive the trophy in front of the people who voted for him. In addition, Stuart Sheard will be recounting some of his memories from his time as general football manager at the club.

To use your power to nominate representatives for your next committee, go online to: http://www.giantssupporters.co.uk/Forms/AGM%20Nominations.html or ask Dave Calverley [07887 878 425] for a paper form.

In closing, it’s a pity that one has to pay 1 euro to read about Eric’s trip to the North for the paper Le Monde. And it’s even more devastating to find that he’s written it in French!

Reproduced by kind permission of the Huddersfield Examiner
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