Thursday, 22 December 2011

An orderly succession?

In 1976 I was elected as secretary of the Doncaster Amateur League in quite strange circumstances. The Derx family who organised the Hatfield Wasps club also organised the Doncaster Amateur League. I began attending League meetings in early 1976, representing Bentley, the club I played for. After a few meetings I was becoming frustrated by what was happening. The meetings were chaotic, an opportunity for club representatives to argue with each other, and worse still no decisions ever seemed to be made. George Derx, who was the secretary, announced at one particular meeting that he wanted to resign. I volunteered to take over and was duly elected as secretary. At the next meeting, a few weeks later, George announced that he hadn't actually resigned and that he really wanted to carry on as secretary. He said I had ousted him from power illegally and he wanted his position back. The people at the meeting did not agree with him so he appealed to the British Amateur Rugby League Association, the governing body for the sport. We both attended an appeals meeting in Huddersfield. I took the minute book with me as evidence of what had happened. The minutes stated that George had resigned and that I had been elected as secretary. As George had actually written the minutes himself it was very difficult for him to argue that I had ousted him from power! The decision of the appeals panel obviously went in my favour as George didn't have any other evidence to support his allegations. Both George and his father, a very fiery character who had lost an arm in an accident, and who attended the meeting as his witness, were outraged by the decision. They left the room issuing threats about retribution, but I never heard from them again!

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