NOW AND THEN
Jack Richardson

Born 14th Feb
1950 a valentine baby (say no more you only have to look at me) at St Mary’s
Hospital.

Lived in Belle Isle 6
Broom Terrace until I was two when we moved to the other side of the river,
lived a top of Halton Hill for a while in a large house with most of my mothers
family, Grandparents, Aunties and Uncles. Then we moved to Asket Avenue in
Seacroft.

Lived there with my
parents, 3 brothers and two sisters.

Went to school at
Beechwood County Primary until the age of 11 then went to an all boys school
Foxwood. The main sport was football then Rugby Union which I tried my hand at
played full back at first then lost my place to a lad called Ian Simpson who
signed for Dewsbury when he left school and I ended up on the wing.

Left school at the first
possible moment even though my form tutor said I would be better doing another
couple of years.

My first job was
apprenticeship at a printing firm in East Street but the money was poor and my
mates had money to burn so I left.

I then worked for 20 years
in the clothing trade as Warehouse and Distribution Manager

Based in Leeds with
warehouses under my control in Barrow-in-Furness and Tadcaster,till the trade
was ruined by cheap imports and Maggie Thatcher.

I then worked as
Commercial, Contracts and Distribution Manager in the service industry
supplying Furniture and flooring to the building trade.

Met my wife Margaret at
The Regent (slip inn) on York Road age 17 was married at 18 in 1968 our son Lee
was born Good Friday 1970 one of the best days of my life. Still married after
45 years and still no complaint she a rock. I was saying, one of the best days
of my life another 2 to come.

My next big day which I
thought was never going to come a lad from Seacroft signing for Hunslet.

I started my love for
Hunslet at about 8 years of age, my father also called Jack supported Hunslet
man and boy, I had to wait till he thought I was old enough to travel and mix
with the crowds which were a far number back in the day.

I knew when I was playing
union at school the only place I wanted to play was Parkide. At the age of 16 I
decided my journey should begin. I set off one tuesday night with a friend
caught number 16 bus into town then number 2 at the corn exchange to the top of
the Crescent and walked down to the ground. Got to say it was daunting meeting
40 lads who you did not know from Adam.

My first coaches were John
Groves and Malcolm Abbey, we were made welcome, I was lucky I was quite quick
and found a place on the wing and made it my own. Winning lots of cups in the
juniors and even more in the under 19 was always nice. Our coach in the 19s was
fearless Freddy Williams who must have seen something in me as he recommended
me to the A team. One game that stands out not for the right reasons still
laugh about it today, playing at Clayton Bradford it was a foggy cold day pitch
was very heavy mud up to your ankles, anyway I broke from our own 25 no one to
beat and as I came out of the fog saw what I thought was the corner flag and dived
it was the 10 yard flag because the weather was so bad they had put flags on
all the lines, luckily we won and I did manage to score.

I was not signed till I
was 21 I was playing ‘A’ Team games and 5 trial first team games before I
signed the massive contract on 03/04/71.

Had some great memories
with the ‘A’ TEAM winning the Senior Cup against Cas at Cas and a losing
Championship final also against Cas at parkside coached by Alan(moose)Preece.

I made my first team debut
v Swinton at station road Harry Poole
was coach at the time.

Not long after the team
was made up of a lot of young men with big hearts who all they ever wanted to
do was play for Hunslet Parkside.

The best wingman I played
against was Alan Smith at Leeds hard and fair is the only way to describe him
but the best player must be Alex Murphy while playing for Leigh, this is the
greatness of the man playing at Parkside only minutes to go Hunslet leading
16-15 drop goals worth 2 points Murphy dropped a goal from the touch line to
win the game 17-16.

Most respected and admired
Geoff Shelton and John Griffiths two Hunslet Legends of my time.

After my playing days were
cut short through injury I became a fully qualified Rugby League Coach I coach
the Leeds Colts at the time Maurice Bamford was first team coach then with
quite a bit of success in the Amateur ranks. I coached Nags Head in Chaple
Allerton to numerous league titles and cup wins, East Leeds to the premier of
the conference and Leeds and District cup, Hunslet Warriors to two Yorkshire
Cup Finals victorious in one and narrowly losing the second also coached Leeds
Supporters and the Dalesman also with success. I was also qualified as a
coaches coach and help many coaches to achieve their goals.

I cannot put into real
words how humble and privilege I was to wear the Hunslet Parkside colours a lad
from Seacroft come good (and that does not happen often).

Finally the other best
thing in my life the birth of my Granddaughter Sian my princess will be 18 at
the time I am writing this now and then.

Long live the spirit of
Parkside and all who wore the shirts proudly.