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The latest news, updates and information for the Hunslet RL Ex Parkside Players Association.

The Holy Grails of Hunslet R.L.

LATEST NEWS Posted on Wed, August 27, 2014 11:52AM

Two Founding of Hunlet R.L. Minute Books have emerged. one that was given to Geoff Gunney and loaned to Ray Abbey and one that was given by the Plenderlth Family to Hunslet Hawks and identified by the Hawks Pat Benatmine.
Bernard Shooman a former RL referee,R.L. Historian and a member of Hunslets Heritage committee has let us have his thoughts on the Two Holy Grails of the founding of our Great Club.

Dear All,

Had a long chat to Peter Jarvis today and one of the things discussed was the mysterious case of the two different minute books for 1883, the formation year.

Having a spare hour this evening I decided to do a bit more research on the subject. I must say at the outset I have only seen the first page of the one held by Pat, which I saw via Jarvo’s email. I have also had the benefit of seeing Pat B’s printed narrative of the period 8th. May 1883 to 3rd April 1884, which she kindly emailed me.

The one currently on show at the Abbey House Museum was in my possession for a couple of weeks and was studied in more depth, after which it was returned to Ray Abbey.

My opinion, for what it’s worth, leads me to believe the following:-

1. The minute book currently at the Abbey House, is the formal minute book of the Hunslet Cricket Club.

Each meeting’s minutes are signed.

2. The minutes for the meeting held on Tuesday evening, 8th May 1883 clearly announces the Special

General Meeting to be held on Tuesday 21st May 1883 at the Cemetery Tavern , for the specific ..

purpose of setting up a Rugby Football section of the club. The minutes are signed.

3. The Special General Meeting held on 21st May was minuted (in Pat’s book) BUT NOT SIGNED !

Significant – but logically it could not be signed, since there was no formally appointed officers of

the Rugby Section, only officers of the Cricket Section who had attended the meeting and who,

presumably, set up an administration to cater for the Rugby Section. It was also decided that the club be

re-named The Hunslet Cricket and Football Club. Note also, the first colours were blue & white squares.

4 My conclusion is, therefore, the minute book at Abbey House is the minute book of Hunslet Cricket club.

The minute book held by Pat B. is the minute book of the Hunslet Rugby Football Club. I would guess

that subsequent Rugby meeting minutes are signed (can you confirm this Pat ?)

I hope this MAY clarify the situation – I am quite happy to be shot down in flames if further evidence or views emerge. This is merely my attempt to at least stimulate some more thoughts on the subject of the two minute books.

Kind regards,
Bernard Shooman

Larkin older than we thought

LATEST NEWS Posted on Fri, August 22, 2014 09:58AM

We have just been bloged from Australia.

Hi Stuart

Colin LARKIN here from the sunny Gold Coast in Australia ( just in case some rugby players didn’t know which country it was in !!! *;) winking

I’ve just read the latest blog and I had a good laugh over some of the articles written by different people, give Jarvo my regards and I pray that there will be many more years that he will wake up and not be able to feel wood on either side of him !!! having that in mind please tell him that my birthdate is 2/6/46 not 2/6/48

Thank you Stuart and keep up the good work

May God bless you all, regards Colin

“Not many people admitt to being Older than we thought he was. thats what a Life of Riley does for you, i.e. Living in luxury in the Gold Coast and having a Bobby’s Job.
Cheers Colin we Hope to see you soon at the next re-union.”smiley


This Months Missing Birthdays

LATEST NEWS Posted on Thu, August 21, 2014 11:16AM

OR Jarvo does it again.

As you know due to other commitments I have had to take a back seat in the running of this website, so Jarvo in his wisdom appointed an apprentice Jack the Lad Richardson so he could get him to do all his work for him.

Well this month Jarvo forgot to inform poor Jack that one of his tasks would be to look at our data base and put on the blog those names and dates of their birthdays each month

Well Lewis Cardis birthday was on the 17th HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY LEWIS, GET WELL SOON.

And it will be our Merry Happy Snappers aka Ken Sykes on the 28th of August.
We wish them both all the very best in this comming year.

Jarvo eats Humble Pie and appologises for his Blunder.


A Voice from the Valley’s ( The Vale of York)

LATEST NEWS Posted on Fri, July 11, 2014 10:43AM

We just received this lovely letter from the Grandson of one of our former Players from Wales the late Great Les Williams.

Hi Stuart,

I hope you are well.

My name is Matt Williams and I am the grandson of an ex
Hunslet player, Les Williams. I believe Les played for Hunslet between 1949 and

I’ve been made aware of your site by another ex-player, Ken
Sykes. Despite being raised on the Isle of Wight, I moved to York 9yrs ago and
am now very good friends with Ken’s son, Andrew – he was an usher at my wedding
last October. I also work in Leeds so it’s funny how things can sometimes go
full circle.

I’ve found a couple of pictures which might be of interest
for the website. You may be aware that Les became an international class veteran
athlete in his 60’s, and spent much of his time travelling the world competing
in various competitions. He became world record holder for veterans over the age
of 60 for the 60 and 200 metres events.

The first photo is of Les with a trophy from an athletics
meet; whilst I can’t be sure, I think it is from the World Veterans
Championships in Puerto Rico in 1983 at the age of 61 .

The second photo is of his trophy cabinet. This held pride of
place in the dining room of his home in Penryn, Cornwall, and his now in Penryn
Museum. He was awarded the freedom of Penryn for his services to

I hope they are of interest to you.

Best regards,


They sure are Mattew, and this Sunday Hunslet play a welsh team and there should be an article about the Wesh players who played for Hunslet and Les should get a mention in Jarvo and OLD Mother Bensons column “One Short of a Front Row”

Hunslet’s First Heritage Dinner

LATEST NEWS Posted on Thu, June 26, 2014 10:17AM

And some more

LATEST NEWS Posted on Fri, June 06, 2014 12:51PM

Top one is of the South Leeds taxi co after delivering two special OLD TIMERS, Geoff Gunney and Jimmy Brogden, in the background is some of the Youngsters of our ex Parkside Players Association????

The bottom two are the magnificent display of Memorabilia that Keith Rowson and Ray Abbey worked tirelessly to put together- Well Done Chaps- you are both ARTISTS!!!

First Photos from the 42nd Re-union

LATEST NEWS Posted on Fri, June 06, 2014 11:56AM

The first photo’s from last Sundays Reunion are just starting to filter through!
Thanks lads you are getting better at it with each year.

Out 42nd Re-Union By Ernest Lundy our sober reporter

LATEST NEWS Posted on Thu, June 05, 2014 10:54AM

The 42nd Reunion

Eighty years to
the day since the Hunslet Rugby League club won the challenge cup, defeating
Widnes at Wembley, there was a coming together of the great and the good, the
famous and the not so famous, at the Leeds Hilton on Sunday June

It was the
occasion of the 42nd re-union of the ex-Hunslet Parkside players for all who had
worn the jersey of Myrtle, White and Flame, the clubs old colours during the
Parkside days, and invited guests.

The first thing
mentioned was the tragic loss of Alf Burnell’s daughter Lorraine. He can be
assured that all who know Alf and his family offer their deepest

As usual there
was the gathering of all shapes and sizes near the bar , near to which
photographs of Hunslet and Leeds teams of the past were on display, and on a
table across the register of those present was there to be signed as also were a
couple or rugby balls, no doubt for use in a charitable cause. Dear old Frank
(Shanks) Watson, was sitting there quietly talking with Barrie Lee, as was Sonny
Russell in another group near the door, while the rest were animatedly
discussing and reviving tales from their playing days, as old sportsmen

Having a word with
Frank, he mentioned that with the passing of each year few of his age-group
still survived and that many of those present were unfamiliar… At the age of 90
plus that is hardly surprising, as many of the younger members have hardly
passed the age of sixty. In two weeks time we will have another nonagenarian in
Alf Burnell who, in view of his recent loss still seems to have the vitality and
humour of a much younger man.

Stuart Keane
arrived in a black outfit with sparkling sequins, with one trouser leg missing
and a pink feather boa wrapped around his neck, which had something to do with
the charity adopted by the association. Peter Jarvis was running around like a
half back attending to the welfare and proceedings of the

At 1-15pm we went
in for lunch, and while we ate pictures of Old Hunslet were shown on a large
screen reviving memories of almost forgotten times and places. Of the guests
present Harry Jepson spoke from the volume of his long association and knowledge
of rugby league. Gary Hetherington took his turn in similar fashion. Bill
Fotherby and Malcolm Reilly were especially interesting! Bill Fotherby told of
his time at Leeds United, Hunslet Hawks and Harrogate Town. While admitting that
he was never tough enough or strong enough for rugby league he used to stand
outside the Parkside dressing rooms as a child and was fascinated by the smell
of the players as they emerged to take the field. This raised a laugh until he
explained he meant the smell of embrocation and other potions to ease sprains
and minor injuries. His story about the two suits he made for Wakefield players
was hilarious, as were his methods of trying to get paid.

Malcolm Reilly was
especially interesting, regaling us with stories of his playing days at home and
abroad. He was particularly humorous in the way he described his constant
brushes with authority in his early days, and described how he only became a
rugby player almost by accident. And at one time was on the point of being sent
home from an Australian Tour for his indiscretions. His comments about the
Aussie press at the time were less than complimentary. But he became a legend in
Australia after coaching his Newcastle club to the title when, due to injuries
he was obliged to play a man with broken ribs during a game in which his side
came back to win after being points behind in the closing stages..

As already
mentioned some famous old faces are still around, including Geoff Gunney, Sonny
Ruston, Frank Watson and others whose face I knew well but am unable to put
names to them. Which, as they say, is par for the course in old age? But perhaps
surprisingly another honoured guest Davis Oxley, did not give us the benefit of
his time in in administration, but seemed content and happy just to be

The last man who
spoke was at one time a near neighbour of Malcolm Reilly, but for the life of me
I cannot remember his name. Those present will know who I mean when I say that
when he told of meeting his future wife in the Spotted Dog, on Penny Hill (once
run by Frank Metcalfe) when asked later where his wife came from he replied “the
rural district of south Leeds, which brought a laugh and even applause from the

To round off the
proceedings Alan Simpson, a Hunslet official or director for many years
auctioned a large mounted picture of the Hunslet team of 1934, and copies of
local newspaper reports, denoting the occasion. The buyer was Bill Fotherby who
paid £300 plus to acquire this piece of memorabilia which, if soled on the
internet should bring a much higher price. After procedural toasts had been
made to Queen , Country and Hunslet Rugby League the old war song “We’ve swept
the seas before boys “was sung, and one has to say “A good day was had by

Except for yours
truly who, not knowing the method of paying for and exiting the car park got
down to the gate to discover I should have paid on an upper floor , and could
not get out of the exit. With cars queuing behind, dear old George Ellener kept
putting the card into the machine as fast as a fiddler’s elbow without result.
Until that one time definitely hard man and legend of rugby league that is
Malcolm Reilly, came and took over by sprinting to the upper floor and paying
the fee. . Proving once and for all that not only was Mr Reilly a great player
and coach, but that he is also a Gentleman

And so we shall

OLD Mother Benson Comments

The Mr Unforgettable speaker was “Phil Evans”

Thanks Ernie Great Blog-you got Jarvo out of it…..?

Peter had too many drinks on Sunday and could not remember a thing about the REUNION. He got so drunk he left his keys in his car that was at his sons house in Middleton,and when he got home via taxi from the Prossie after collecting his wife from a friends house in Bradford. Dian asked him for the house Keys.? They then had to get a taxi back to Miggy and get his son up who was on an early shift.
No doubt everyone was Happy in the Jarvo Family?

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