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Examiner Reports: February 2016

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Contents

3rd
10th
17th
24th

3rd

What a superb Fans Forum we had last week. People left the event buzzing.

Over a hundred people braved the foul weather to ask questions and listen to answers.

Probably the most asked question of the evening was "Ryan [Hinchliffe], what do you think of/how are you coping with our weather"!

Ryan did lament the lack of daylight and was less than impressed with the wind and muddy training pitches.

Joe Wardle almost struggled to name a club he would not play for – until he remembered Leeds!

Sadly, though Joe did say that his new confectionary business was doing well, he did not bring along any samples.

Referee Robert Hicks was his usual forthright self, and stated that personally he would remove cameras from grounds unless every match used them.

He also announced that there were no rule changes in the forthcoming season.

Robert, perhaps surprisingly, answered that the game he most enjoyed refereeing was the record-breaking match up Kilimanjaro - until, that is, he said that this was because there were no fans watching!

When asked if he thought that TV cameras focussed on coaches too much during games – especially when cans of Coke are thrown – our head coach [Paul Anderson] replied a categorical "YES"!

At the end of the event, Dave Calverley [HGSA Chairman] presented the panel members and MC Tim Burton with their Honorary HGSA membership certificates.

Thanks are due to Huddersfield's TasteCard for a raffle prize of a 12 month subscription.

Talking of well-attended events, Chris Thorman certainly drew the crowds to our February meeting – including many new members. Turnbridge was almost full.

Chris, as usual, expressed his personal opinions on a whole host of subjects.

Want to know what he said?

You should have been there!

HGSA's inaugural Curry Night will be on Thursday 18th February. 7:30 is the time to be at LaLa's in St George's Square.

For those who fancy a tipple beforehand, the King's Head [right hand end of the station] serves excellent ale – and the renovation of the interior is almost complete.

However, it is anticipated that these monthly gatherings will be open only to members of HGSA and their partners, so pay your fiver!!

Julia Lee is an ex-match official and currently the Head of Participation and Regions for the RFL. And, guess what, she also climbed Kilimanjaro!

Yes, we shall be having another member of that Steve Prescott Foundation team at one of our meetings. Come along on Tuesday 1st March to hear her story.

10th

Due to the current injury situation, the Giants are having to lean heavily on our stars of the future. It is their big chance to step up to the mark.

Wigan do it, St Helens do it, Leeds do it. Can we?

We currently do have a good crop of home-grown talent in the squad coming from the likes of Newsome and Underbank.

Sadly, many of the local amateur clubs have ceased to exist over the years.

The Wigan/St Helens area has many more amateur teams than we do. But it wasn't always so.

Here is an extract from 'Shoulders Of Giants':

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.

Charles Brook, a local mill owner and President of the Meltham club admitted that the final was the first rugby match he had seen, but he 'hoped it would not be the last.' Social status was apparently more important than enthusiasm for the game when appointing the figureheads of local clubs.

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.'

Huddersfield's amateur clubs do a fantastic job. Why not search out your local team? Go along and watch them play.

Or better still, become a player or a helper.

Why not join us next Thursday, the 18th? 7:30 at LaLa's in St George's Square is the place to be.

Some of us will be meeting beforehand in the King's Head [right hand end of the station] to saviour the renovation of the interior. Honestly.

17th

Such is the strong feeling about Huddersfield possibly – probably? – losing its A&E department at the Royal Infirmary that the anger amongst the population of the town is reaching new heights.

At our game against Wigan last week, not only were there placards on display for the Sky cameras, but HGSA had '#handsoffHRI' pinned to our flag.

It takes a lot to unite 50 000 people in one locality but PFI and the health authority have done just that!

Hopefully this demonstration of support did not overshadow our half time presentation of another cheque to the Giants.

Committee members Zoe McGuinness and Martin Eastwood gave club chairman Ken Davy more funds towards the development of youth rugby at the Giants.

All in all it was quite an eventful night at the stadium.

Not only was there some sort of action on the pitch [and yet another feeling of frustration in the crowd], but also the sad sight of a player announcing his retirement.

Luke Robinson has been fearless for eight years on the pitch for the Huddersfield Giants. He has quite literally put his body on the line for the team.

How many times have we seen him look round and say to himself "Now, who's the biggest and fastest forward I can stand in front of?"!

Prematurely his body has caught up with him. Luke was given the simple choice of 'walk or rugby'.

Thankfully, the RFL has given Luke permission to have a testimonial year. A team has been put together to think up, organise, and run events for him. All you, the general public, have to do is attend them!

Rest assured, HGSA will be playing its part in helping Robbo.

It's almost upon us.

Our inaugural 'Curry Night'.

6 o'clock Thursday evening in the King's Head followed at 7:25 by a stumble across St George's Square to LaLa's.

Next month's guest at Turnbridge will be Julia Lee. Julia is an ex-match official and currently the Head of Participation and Regions for the RFL. She was with Jenna Brough and Robert Hicks in that little jaunt up Kilimanjaro for the Steve Prescott Foundation!

May will see the 54th anniversary of one of our Challenge Cup Final appearances. Neil Fox [bad boy turned goodie!] has agreed to be one of our guests at a special video evening. We are hoping that Tommy Smales and Harry Deighton will also be there.

24th

OK, let me explain why I said that Neil Fox was the bad guy turned good.

Back in the day, Frank 'Spanky' Dyson was one of, if not the, top goal-kickers in the country.

Not your common or garden plastic tee as high as the goalposts themselves, but heel in the ground, hole made, ball in hole, and kick!

In the 1962 Challenge Cup Final, we scored 2 tries but Frank failed to convert either of them.

Wakefield also scored two tries with Neil also missing the goal attempts.

However, Neil did drop three goals which, effectively, won the match for Trinity.

Bad guy.

Fartown were promoted out of Division 2 at the end of the 1974-75 season, but sank back down at the end of the following season.

A year later, a certain Neil Fox was appointed as our player/coach.

During that season, 1977-78, Neil broke Jim Sullivan's career points-scoring record, set in 1946. January 2nd, 1978 saw Neil kick 4 goals, the 3rd of which took him past Sullivan's record. He went on to score 6220 points.

Good guy?

Oh, yes. He coached the team to promotion. Thanks Neil.

Our inaugural Curry Club evening was a runaway culinary success Thank you LaLa's for excellent food and outstanding service.

Absent curry-lovers of HGSA certainly missed a treat.

Keep tuned to this space for March's venue.

How many players are there in the Huddersfield RLFC Hall Of Fame?

Can you name them?

Whom was the last to be included?

The Huddersfield Players Association look after this section of the club's history.

A player must have been drawing his playing pension for a good many years before being considered for inclusion. But what other criteria should be used?

Since Ken Senior and Tommy Smales were inducted, we have had some barren years.
Should some of the stalwarts of those lean times be included alongside the great of the game?

There have been many who have had testimonials at Fartown – and a lot of them were one-club players.

Who would you choose?

Julia Lee, ex-match official and currently the Head of Participation and Regions for the RFL, will be our guest at Turnbridge on Tuesday 1st March.

Reproduced by kind permission of the Huddersfield Examiner
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