Friday 9 December 2011

Who was Bob Oakes?


Probably the most influential figure in Yorkshire Rugby Union in the last century, Robert Frederick Oakes was the Yorkshire secretary from 1907 until 1947 who represented the County at the Rugby Football Union from 1920 until 1945 and was the RFU President in 1933/34.
Bob Oakes was born in 1873 and died in 1952. He had an illustrious playing career, beginning with Hartlepool Trinity. He joined Hartlepool Rovers in 1890, playing for the club for nine years. During his time with Hartlepool Rovers, Bob captained the team for six seasons, played for Durham and the North and gained eight England caps. He moved to Yorkshire at the turn of the century and played for Headingley from 1902 until 1904.
Bob Oakes is remembered by Hartlepool Rovers every year by the R. F. Oakes Memorial match. This is a fixture that in the past has featured many International players. These days it is the final game of the season for Hartlepool, who play a Select XV.
Perhaps Bob Oakes contribution to Yorkshire Rugby Union should be recognised in a similar way. In 2012 it will be 125 years since his birth, a very fitting time to establish a memorial tradition to this remarkable rugby man.

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