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KBGS Old Boys' Forum

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KBGS Old Boys' Forum
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Best Team Ever ?

Was the First XV in 1958/59 the best KBGS team ever? (See Fixtures Card, posted on this website under Rugby, page 6.) Played 22, lost only 3 (two to Leeds University, one to the Old Boys); 347 for, 76 against. Can anyone remember a better set of results?
Arguably as good, except for fewer games played was the second XV the same year: played 11, won 11; 195 for, 29 against!!

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1954-59

Current location (optional) Denholme garethwhittaker99@hotmail.com

Re: Best Team Ever ?

You will remember, Gareth, that we played together in some of those fixtures.

The match statistics of the 1st and 2nd XVs would suggest that that season was one of - if not the - best for kbgs rugby. I know that Gilbert was proud of the results. No doubt other kbgs teams had classier performers but on results our team record takes some beating.

The reason for our successes (in my humble) was that we had been trained in the basic skills from the 1st Year at Lawkholme; schooled in wanting to win through the House Competition; and given a simple strategy to employ against opponents by Gilbert. Of course, selection must have played a part in it somewhere - and Gilbert takes the credit/blame for that. And the same criteria applies for the 2nd XV which was Henry Allison's barrow. The good thing about the 2nd XV was that they had readily available worthy replacements for absentees in the 1st XV. Squad Rugby before its day?

Neither team had "stars" who won games on their own but there were some exceptional players in each who made it easy for the rest of us to do a workmanlike job which, as the fixture list shows, brought excellent results.

That experience of team play and spirit I took forward into a few more seasons of enjoyable rugby in other spheres of competition and achievement. But I owed it to the experiences which stemmed from 2 seasons at KBGS - the most formative being the one to which you refer, Gareth.

I would like to hear from some of those lads from either team on this site.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1952-60

Current location (optional) Lincoln

Re: Best Team Ever ?

Wasn't Jeano in that team?

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1958-65

Current location (optional) Leeds

Re: Best Team Ever ?

I don't remember David Jeanes playing in the school team 1958-9. He is not in either of the photos of the 1st or 2nd XVs for that season. He would have been in the 4th form. His preference at that time was to play on the wing - which he did for the 1st XV in 1959-60 and 1960-61. In the season 1958-9, the wings were Brian Marklew (not in the school photo) Ian Park and Gareth Whittaker.David Jeanes was to make his name in later years as a forward - both in the Union and League codes.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1952-60

Current location (optional) Lincoln

Re: Best Team Ever ?

I remember my pride at playing with my older heroes - Dave Harrison, Dave Thomas, Dave Cullen, Dave Ogden, Malcolm Archer, Brian Marklew, Terrry Marston and Tony Durham. But it could only have been very few matches when Brian Marklew or Ian Park, the regular wingers, were unavailable.
My memory of the 2nd Team is much hazier. It may have included Peter Graham, Ken Umpleby, Roy Kelk, Roger Manton, Geoff Newiss, Keith Waddington. Maybe David Jeans. You say he doesn't appear on the 2nd XV photo, Terry. But where is that? I'd love to see it.

Did any KBGS cricket team ever have as good results as these?

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1954-59

Current location (optional) Denholme garethwhittaker99@hotmail.com

Re: Best Team Ever ?

Sorry, Gareth. I mistakenly took the 1959-60 2nd XV (Photographs: Rugby: Page 7) to be the one in question. John Topham was captain. The year before Martin Parker captained the 2nd XV which must be the one you seek. Sure it's not in your attic?

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1952-60

Current location (optional) Lincoln

Re: Best Team Ever ?

Which year did they win the Ilkley 'Sevens', I think it was a couple of years before I arrived so probably about 1956 ??

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 58-64

Current location (optional) Wirral

Re: Best Team Ever ?

1956.
See "Ilkley Sevens" thread.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1958-65

Current location (optional) Leeds

Re: Best Team Ever ?

In answer to Gareth's question "Can anyone remember a better set of results ", I offer the following ;
From the "Keighlian" Summer 1944.

Ist XV results----Played 19 Won 17, Drawn 2.--364 points scored against 70.

Again Easter 1945, Played 14, 13won , 1 Lost 442 points for , 34 against .

Easter 47, after the very severe winter with no games for weeks , played 13, won 12, lost the last to the Old Boys. For 300, against 71.

I have put the pages onto the sports section for the record.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 43-46

Current location (optional) Tasmania

Re: Best Team Ever ?

After a bit more searching I found the Easter 1956 Keighlian and the results for the 55-56 IstXV show ---

Played 16, won 15, lost 1. Points for 300, against 26.

Gilbert Swift wrote "The first Fifteen has had a brilliantly successful season and will go down in the records as one of the finest sides in the history of the School"

Alas my collection ends in 1958 so I have no record of your season Gareth.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 43-46

Current location (optional) Tasmania

Re: Best Team Ever ?

Thanks for these results Mike. I concede that all of these - 43/44, 44/45, 46/47 and 55/56 - are better than 58/59. but now I find I can't decide among these which is best. Perhaps if the 55/56 team won their return fixture against Leeds Univ. and beat the Old Boys and also won the Ilkley Sevens, they should just have it. The best First XV ever! But I have a slight preference for the 43/44 team who beat Leeds U. twice as well as beating both the Old Boys and the Keighlians and not losing a single game.
However, (said he, clutching at a straw) only one team had a perfect record: the 58/59 Second XV.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1954-59

Current location (optional) Denholme garethwhittaker99@hotmail.com

Re: Best Team Ever ?

Geoff Newiss has pointed out that the 58/59 2nd XV wasn’t the only team with a perfect record. The 59/60 Under 14s also played 11 and won 11. (Points for 420, against 12!!). It would be interesting to know if this team managed to hold together for the next few years to form an equally brilliant senior School XV.
Incidentally, Geoff appears on both the 1st and 2nd XV photos for 58/59 both of which have now been posted on the Photo Browser. These photos help to clear up the question of whether Dave Jeans played in either of these teams – he didn’t. Right again Terry. But you were wrong in thinking Henry Allison was in charge of the 2nd team. As can be seen in the photo it was W.H.B. Key.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1954-59

Re: Best Team Ever ?

I suspect your interest in developing this line of comment and recollection must stem from your career in Mathematics, Gareth. Were you ever an accountant or statistician?
You got me over Henry Allison – it was the following season (1959-60) that he took over the 2nd XV from Bill Key – with my Longsdon colleague John Topham as captain.

In the season 1958-9, David Jeanes did not play in the 1st or 2nd XVs - he was in the Colts under Frank Wellock – who noted in the Colts Fifteen report in “The Keighlian” (Christmas 1958)
“The weakness was still a lack of thrust on the wings, and so, for the Roundhay game, Jeanes was moved out on to the left-wing.”

The following season (1959-60) Jeanes was a regular in the 1st XV – at first as a winger – but was moved in short order into the second row where his physical skills were more suited and his strength assisted my role as hooker. I next met him in the Old Boys Match at Stoneycroft in 1961 (Page 8 – Rugby photos Old Boys XV 1961) and we were in the same Old Boys team at Thwaites 1962 (Page 8 Rugby photos – with Frank Wellock as referee.)

The regular wingers in 1959-60 were Sid Barker and Roger Manton. That season Roger scored a lot of tries but – to his chagrin – The Yorkshire Post schools’ rugby correspondent registered his tries in our local national daily in my name. It must have been Gilbert’s writing. (See - page 8 - “Gil Swift’s Team Sheet “ which was copied to me by – Roger!!)
Sorry, but not my fault, Rog.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1952-60

Current location (optional) Nirvana