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!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Morley Rugby League Club?

I found the information below on Morley Rugby Union Club's website- I think it makes interesting reading!

On the 29th of August 1895, in the George Hotel in Huddersfield, 21 representatives of Clubs from Yorkshire and Lancashire met to form what is now the Rugby League. 
There should have been another two persons present, i.e. representing MORLEY RFC, but since travel in those days could only be done by train, and was considered a long journey, our two notable gentlemen decided to fortify themselves in readiness for their arduous trip. This they did by calling at several hostelries on route to the station, needless to say they missed their train, and the rest as they say ......is history.’
So should there have been an extra club taking part in the first season of  the Northern Union?


 Is the story true? 

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 1990, 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.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Where are they now?

1969/70 was my first season at Barnsley and when I recently looked at the fixture list for that season I was struck by how things have changed in rugby union over the past 40 years. Exactly why some clubs have disappeared, while others have improved their status and still another group has declined is hard to explain. Was the reason the impact of leagues, professionalism or the increasing range of leisure activities available? Notably, rugby union has suffered a decline in playing numbers. Clubs that once organised four or five teams now only organise two or three. Players can now move freely between the two codes but that hasn’t had a significant impact on player numbers.
The reality is that the reasons for the changes are complex. There isn’t just one reason for clubs disappearing, improving their status or declining. I have listed below the clubs that were in the 1969/70 Barnsley fixture list, the name they go by today and, if they are still in existence, which league they are in.

1969/70
CURRENT CLUB NAME
2011/12 LEAGUE
HEATH OLD BOYS
HEATH RUFC
NORTH ONE EAST
YORKSHIRE COPPER WORKS
NO LONGER IN EXISTENCE

ROTHERHAM
ROTHERHAM TITANS
THE CHAMPIONSHIP
BRAMLEY BARBARIANS
BRAMLEY PHOENIX
YORKSHIRE THREE
RODILLIANS
STANLEY RODILLIANS
YORKSHIRE FOUR
STOCKSBRIDGE
NO CHANGE
YORKSHIRE FIVE
LEEDS CHIRONS
NO LONGER IN EXISTENCE

SHEFFIELD TIGERS
NO CHANGE
NATIONAL LEAGUE 2 (NORTH)
WEST PARK OLD BOYS
WEST PARK LEEDS
YORKSHIRE TWO
BEVERLEY
NO CHANGE
NATIONAL LEAGUE 3 (NORTH)
OLD WATHONIANS
WATH UPON DEARNE
YORKSHIRE TWO
YARNBURY
NO CHANGE
YORKSHIRE TWO
HUDDERSFIELD YMCA
NO CHANGE
YORKSHIRE ONE
CLECKHEATON
NO CHANGE
NORTH ONE EAST
OLD RISHWORTHIANS
NO CHANGE
YORKSHIRE THREE
LEEDS CORINTHIANS
NO CHANGE
YORKSHIRE FOUR
BAILDON
NO CHANGE
YORKSHIRE THREE
LEEDS ENGINEERS
NO LONGER IN EXISTENCE

BURLEY
NO CHANGE
YORKSHIRE THREE
HALIFAX VANDALS
NO CHANGE
YORKSHIRE THREE
OLD GRAMMARIANS
NO LONGER IN EXISTENCE

EAST RETFORD
NO CHANGE
MIDLAND FOUR EAST (NORTH)
YORK
NO CHANGE
YORKSHIRE ONE


Barnsley currently play in Yorkshire Two and in 2011/12 only have fixtures against three of the twenty three clubs listed above.