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Hopping Mad

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  1. Back in the Eighties, they used to say Whitehaven had more directors than players. Must admit, I can't identify you, but I do see plenty of Town stalwarts - David Beck, Ian Hartley, Bill Pattinson. Think Town awarded testimonial years to Beck and Pattinson.
  2. Do you have any memories to share, of them filming in the dressing room etc. Paul Charlton (check out the perm!) obviously didn't moderate his language for the camera!!
  3. Yes, amazing. Vigo's treble, and team-mate Jim Nulty's superb solo try in the same game, made it onto the BBC's 100 Top Rugby League Tries video. Four from one team in the one match!
  4. In his 2002 autobiography, Memoirs of a Blood and Thunder Coach, Maurice Bamford devotes the best part of two pages to his time coaching Greetland. The village's collective memory of Bamford is that he almost bankrupted All Rounders. Here's why. Bamford says: "Ten good Aussies and Kiwis came to me at Greetland in about four weeks. We were up and running. Local teams who considered Greetland a pushover suddenly came up against a fit, fast and skilful side."
  5. Yes, the only NCL ground I've been to where I felt distinctly uneasy.
  6. Good to see an early example of rugby league's commitment to inclusivity.
  7. You're quite right, Linzi. Apologies. Been a couple of decades since I was at Stockport RU!
  8. Might be worth adding this to your selection, Anthony. It's a six-minute excerpt (dressing room scenes/match action at Derwent Park) from a 30-minute, Eric Robson-narrated Border TV documentary about Workington Town. The full version was on YouTube. I've posted a link previously, some time ago, but it seems to have disappeared from YouTube. The full version features interviews with Arnie Walker, Alan Banks, Ike Southward, Andy Key etc.
  9. Certainly remember Northern’s red shirts. Been one or two plain shirts. When I started watching rugby league, in the 1970s, Cas had plain amber shirts. Is that their traditional style? Bramley played in plain amber shirts (no black chevron) at various times. Ditto York (no black hoops). Widnes have often favoured all red as an alternative strip. For a couple of seasons in the 1980s, Blackpool (pale grey) and Whitehaven (chocolate) had plain ‘away’ shirts. Always liked Blackpool’s distinctive tangerine (inspired by Blackpool FC, presumably), black and white shirts. Design never seemed to change, either, which was nice. On the subject of Bramley, I remember in the 1980s they created ‘home’ and ‘away’ strips from the same colours: amber with black chevron; black with amber chevron. Cool. A lot of rugby union club colour choices were taken from schools the founding ‘old boys’ had attended. Anybody know anything about the colours worn by defunct Northern Union clubs such as Heckmondwike, Liversedge, Runcorn and Stockport? Stockport RU - no connection with the RL club - play in red, blue and white.
  10. Huddersfield RU play in the same colours as Fartown.
  11. Is that the same club as Leeds St John's (who, apparently, played in blue and amber quarters)?
  12. Club historian Andrew Hardcastle provides a lovely explanation of Halifax's blue and white hoops. In The Thrum Hall Story, he writes of the club's first game, away to Leeds Athletic Club, in November 1874: "Before the match the first priority for Halifax was to obtain a set of shirts, which were to be paid for by the players. Whereas some clubs had a particular reason for wanting certain colours, the Halifax players had no preference. A London manufacturer was contacted. It sent along two samples for consideration: one was black and red hoops, the other blue and white. It was decided to adopt the black and red but the manufacturers, it was then discovered, did not have the required sizes available in these colours. The alternative blue and white therefore had to be accepted." Interestingly, when Halifax Town FC were established in 1911, they chose blue and white (albeit stripes not hoops). The Dukes speedway team, which came along later still, opted for red and blue (the colours of the Duke of Wellington's Regiment).
  13. In his book 50 Years of Bloody Sundays, Doncaster RLFC 1951-2001, Peter Hilton suggests Doncaster's choice of blue and amber was a reflection of "much helpful assistance" from Leeds in setting up the new club. Apparently, York chose amber (or yellow) and black because their first captain had played previously for Wasps.
  14. Interesting to note how clubs have changed their colours over the years. In A Ton Full of Memories, author Brian F. Cartwright says Batley started in cerise and fawn (Brian doesn't explain the choice) then moved through all white to blue & white hoops and on to cherry and white. Then back to cerise and fawn before a reappearance (marking an anniversary, I think) in 2020 of cherry and white. Workington Town wore green and red hoops for their earliest games. Those late Victorian football cards indicate Barrow set out in narrow red and white hoops (like the Lancashire county team).
  15. I remember reading Hunslet, having played initially in white shirts, opted in the 1930s for myrtle, white and flame - the University of Leeds colours - because the Leeds club had long ago nabbed the city's colours, blue and amber. Carlisle's stylish red, white and blue hooped shirt was a variant on the colours of Brunton Park landlords Carlisle United FC. Cardiff City, Fulham, Kent Invicta and Runcorn Highfield did the same thing. As for Whitehaven's interesting colours, the estimable Harry Edgar reveals, in his excellent 1998 club history, Chocolate, Blue and Gold: "I'd always suspected that there must be a good story behind such an unusual choice, that perhaps the colours reflected some little-known symbolism, but apparently not. The view was expressed that most other colour combinations were already taken by other clubs [Haven were formed in 1948], a slight disappointment, I must admit, but nonetheless the new club - should it be admitted [to the RFL] - would certainly have one of the most distinctive strips in the game."
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