KBGS Old Boys' Forum

A place to discuss Keighley Boys' Grammar School. 


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Billy Boston

There was an article in the Sports section of the Telegraph a few days ago concerning the renowned Billy Boston, the ex Wigan Rugby League player, born in Tiger Bay, Cardiff. Billy became a legend in his time playing for Wigan and England. He played 488 games for Wigan and scored 478 tries. He made 31 international appearances and scored 24 tries. Some record!

Until I read the article, which I assume was written in sport of the BLM campaign, I admit that I did not know that Billy’s childhood ambition had to play rugby union for Cardiff and Wales. He did neither and when he was doing his National Service with the Royal Signals at Catterick, his mother accepted £3000 offered by Wigan and he turned professional. There is little doubt that his failure to become a Wales RU player was as a result of racial prejudice. But you all probably know this.

When I read the article I was reminded of the day in 1954 when I played for the Keighlians in an early round of the Yorkshire Cup. We had drawn against the Royal Signals and the match was played in some wild place near Catterick. We were overwhelmed by a very good side which included Billy Boston and several rugby league players including Brian Gabbitas and Jan Curnow. Billy Boston would have been twenty years old - my age at the time, but he was already a man of fine physic. To be honest, I remember very little about the game except that I was very cold and glad when the final whistle blew. I don’t remember the final score, only that the 1954 Keighlians would not emulate the side of 1948 and win both the Yorkshire Cup and Shield.

No! My memories of that day concern an incident on the way back to Keighley after the game. As was the norm on away matches, the coach which conveyed the team to Catterick stopped on the way home at a pub. That particular night the stopping place was in the market place in Ripon, at a pub which had a dance Hall at the rear. When I think about it, it was a similar set up to the Black Horse in Skipton. We’d been there for a while when our winger, Arnold Angus came up to me and said that he’d asked a girl to go outside with him for a drink - Arnold had with him a bottle of gin. The girl had agreed as long as she could bring her friend with her. She went off to find her friend and Arnold approached me to make up a foursome. We waited outside. And a few minutes later the girl turned up with her friend. “Let me introduce you to Arthur.” “B****r Arthur“ said Arnold and stormed off inside. His plans had been thwarted!

Happy days! I believe that Billy Boston ran a pub in Wigan - perhaps he still does. I hope they erect the statue to Billy in Wigan, which is what the article was all about. He deserves it.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1945 - 50

Current location (optional) Norfolk

Re: Billy Boston

Didn’t Billy play for Keighley for a time in the sixties? There’s no mention of that on his Wikipedia page, but I’m sure I went to see him play at Lawkhome Lane. Unless I saw him play with a visiting team. He was a chunky guy, but had an incredible turn of speed.

Re: Billy Boston

I don’t think Billyever played forKeighley. I’m no expert on RL but doubt very much whether he payed for any club other than Wigan. Chunky? You could say that ! I remember seeing him play at Wembley on one of the occasions when Wigan won the RLChallenge Cup. I had a seat adjacent to the steps to the Royal Box and can remember thinking as I patted Billy Boston on the shoulder as he went up to collect his medal, that I was glad he wasn’t that shape when I faced him a few years earlier!

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1945 - 50

Current location (optional) Norfolk

Re: Billy Boston

Yes I was there when Billy Boston played for Wigan against Keighley at Lawkeholme Lane in the Rugby League Cup. Probably about 1966. Boston was mixed race and very chunky.

It was magic. A full capacity crowd and Keighley won! I think the BBC covered it with Eddie Waring commentating as if it was the most important event in world sport. Those were the days. Is Keighley still playing Rugby League.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1960-1967

Current location (optional) Cape Town formerly Gilstead

Re: Billy Boston

Thanks, Peter - that’s the game I remember.

Re: Billy Boston

Hi Peter,
We never met. You are much younger than myself. And living in Cape Town! Wonderful place - I have visited a couple of times. The reason for this post is the enquire whether you ever came across a lad who was in my form at KBGS who emigrated to Cape Town many years ago to work in the textile industry. His name was Henry Calow. Long shot but I thought I’d give it a try.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1945 - 50

Current location (optional) Norfolk

Re: Billy Boston

I recall a match - Keighley v Wigan - when I was a young lad.
We had a winger called Mel Smith. He was very quick. I think he may have been Northern Counties 100 yds champion at some point. He was facing Boston on the wing. At some point someone on the Wigan team kicked ahead and Boston and Smith both ran towards the ball. Boston was intent on gathering the ball but Smith decided to fly hack it into touch. He succeeded but, with his follow through, caught Boston full in the face. After a bit of magic sponge Boston was soon back on his feet but Smith spent the whole of the rest of the match trying to avoid Boston. At one point his centre passed him the ball and, rather than run at Boston, Smith ran across the field behind his own team, set off down the other wing beating everyone on the way and scored a try.
He remained unscathed for the whole match, having avoided Boston.
Oh ....... Keighley lost - but I suppose that goes without saying.

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

Current location (optional) Leeds

Re: Billy Boston

Thanks for your original post, Denis, for it has stirred up many memories. A year or two before I went to KBGS I was already a Keighley RL fan and remained so throughout my time at School until, in the lower sixth, I got involved in School rugby, playing with a very good second team. My memories of Keighley's games and progress in the fifties (never very great apart from one season) remain quite vivid, and, as I say, this thread has stirred a few. Did you know, Denis, that the Jan Curnow (a Cornishman) you mention, actually played for Keighley RL for a year or two (second row forward, if memory serves me), but never really fulfilled the promise which, presumably, led to his signing in the first place. A case, like that of many, who failed to switch codes successfully. The Mel Smith you mention, Shaun, was, in fact, an old boy of the School, and if you look at the Keighlian for the mid-fifties you'll find that he won all the sprint events in the School sports, invariably, and at least once was Victor Ludorum - as well as playing in various School rugby teams. By the time Smith ran away from Boston and scored the brilliant try you describe, Shaun. my love affair with Keighley RLFC was over and I was playing rugby for Leeds Yarnbury while teaching at Pudsey GS. But (and here memory does not serve me), I recall that there was another School player, a bit younger than me, who went on to great things as a RL player - though not with Keighley! I'm almost certain he was mentioned some years back in one of the earlier threads. Anyone remember who that might have been?

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1951-58

Current location (optional) Keswick

Re: Billy Boston

I think, Doug, that you mean David Jeanes (I think that's how you spell his name). He was older than me and he was a bog broad lad. Played RL for many years. In my memory he played for Trinity, and was called up for England once (but I'll have to do a bit of research to find out if my memory playing tricks).
I think that Jeano was in the fifth form when I was in the first so that would match up with your memory of someone who was a bit younger than you. Jeano had a little ploy with Harry Blinks when we first started school. He turned up at the door of the classroom when we were about to start a French lesson because he had "failed to hand in his homework". Harry "told him off" and Jeano did a good job of quaking in his shoes. Harry's way of making sure that he got no problems from the new entrants?

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

Current location (optional) Leeds

Re: Billy Boston

Yes, David Jeanes was in my year but not the same class. I had to try to tackle the big sod - impossible!!
Here's an article about him.
https://www.cravenherald.co.uk/nostalgia/nostalgia_history/10038335.sporting-success-was-in-the-jeanes/

Re: Billy Boston

It seems that my memory wasn't too bad. Here's an interesting link. Jeano had clearly achieved considerably more than I recollected.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Jeanes
It seems that I had overestimated his age. He was actually 3 years older than me not 5. Must have been his size that gave me that impression. Interestingly the Wiki article has his weight in his playing days as 16st 5lb. Nowadays he would be considered far too lightweight to be a prop forward. He will be 76 now. wouldn't it be good to know where he is and ask his opinion of the current rules in both RL and RU - they've changed a bit since he played.
Oh, and it seems that his first name was Horace. Now did any of you know that?

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

Current location (optional) Leeds

Re: Billy Boston

Well, now, we don't do too badly once we all get going - settin us stall out! Yes, Jeanes was the man and the Wakefield Trinity connection certainly rang a bell. Did my reference to Curnow ring any other bells for any of you - maybe his playing days were over by the time you were watching - or not watching - t'steam pigs at Lawkholme.

Doug

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1951-58

Current location (optional) Keswick

Re: Billy Boston

Allen D Thompson (Doug)
Well, now, we don\'t do too badly once we all get going - settin us stall out! Yes, Jeanes was the man and the Wakefield Trinity connection certainly rang a bell. Did my reference to Curnow ring any other bells for any of you - maybe his playing days were over by the time you were watching - or not watching - t\'steam pigs at Lawkholme.

Doug
Who remembers Terry Hollindrake? My mate in our village told me he was his cousin.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1953-8

Current location (optional) Brighouse

Re: Billy Boston

When we were kids playing 'touch rugby'in Lund Park, Terry would occasionally join in with us - big thrill!!

Terry Hollindrake

Thanks Trevor. memory's so bad I had to search for Lund Park on-line.

We often patronized t'Oxford Hall pictures Satdy neets.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1953-8

Current location (optional) Brighouse

Re: Terry Hollindrake

In my recollection Terry Hollindrake was the best locally produced player Keighley had. The only ones who rivalled him were incomers. There was a Welshman who had made the move from RU. I think he was called Garry Owen. Then there was a large forward whose name I can't hope to recall. He used to get the ball, back into the would-be tacklers and confuse the opposition with his unloading in the most unlikely directions.
Terry must have been really good though because my dad never once complained about anything he did on the pitch.

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

Current location (optional) Leeds

Re: Terry Hollindrake

Scroll down this page for a recent picture of David Jeanes. https://www.wakefieldexpress.co.uk/news/milestone-anniversary-most-famous-all-cup-finals-705292

Re: Terry Hollindrake

Aye, it were easy for me, I lived in Lawnswood road, just over t'road from Lund Park. And yes, I remember going to t'Oxford picture 'ouse Satdy neets, couldn't see t'screen for blue smoke!!!!

Re: Terry Hollindrake

Was that the "Gary Owen" who gave his name to the kick .

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

Current location (optional) Tasmania

Re: Terry Hollindrake

I think that the "garryowen" comes from Ireland,but Garfield Owen was a former Welsh RU international who came to keighley from Halifax and a fine full back. I remember going to an evening game (no floddlights) ion 1951 or 2 against Wigan.Billy Boston played and an appeal was made before kick off for Terry H. He was on National service and was on leave and turned out against Billy. I am not sure but I seem to remember that Terry got 2 tries that evening and I think we beat Wigan 20-10. Would have to trawl the Keighley News archives to find out if my memory is right!

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1948-54

Current location (optional) Bingley

Re: Terry Hollindrake

Wow. Terry wouldn't have had his 18th birthday until December '52. Two tries against Wigan (and Boston) at that age shows how good he was.

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

Current location (optional) Leeds

Re: Terry Hollindrake

I saw Terry play in what I think was his only international match, against New Zealand, at Headingly. He played on the wing, partnering the famous Leeds centre, Lewis Jones. I say 'partnering' but unfortunately, for whatever reason, Jones froze him out of the game, he hardly got a touch of the ball. England won comfortably, I think, but Terry might as well have stayed at home. He was a very versatile player, equally at home at full back, wing or centre, and a great goal-kicker. Did he play for Keighley up to retirement from the game or did he ever move to a more fashionable club?

Hollindrake wasn't the only home-bred player of distinction - though there were, admittedly, very few. Len Ward, the only claimant to the right wing position for many years was a great favourite at Lawkholme Lane. He had a magnificent sidestep and was, in his heyday, extremely fast. I once heard a story - possibly apocryphal - that his namesake, Ernest Ward, captain of Bradford Northern and England, once spent a whole evening (in the Crossflatts Airdale Heifer) trying to persuade Len to sign for Northern. But Len wasn't interested, for whatever reason. But had he made the move he would almost certainly have played for England. For a time, when I was at Pudsey GS, I was mates with Johnny Rock, who had played for Keighley on the left wing, during my school years. Johnny was a great sprinter, but he had no sidestep, and I remember him telling me that Len Ward had tried, on several occasions, to reach him how it was done, but he could never get the hang of it. A pity because he too might have reached international standard with that additional attribute.

The bamboozling forward mentioned was almost certainly Chris Brereton who, in one memorable season - probably 1951-52 when Keighley beat Wigan (as noted above) for the one and only time in the club's history - combined brilliantly with the magical half-backs, DeLloyd (ex-Warrington) and Dai Jenkins (ex-Leeds), to make many scoring chances, using well-rehearsed tactics such as accurate back passes, or suddenly changing the direction of play, setting up tries for Wardy on the 'blindside' of the scrum, and so on, Brereton (reputedly a very lazy front forward) being the chief tactician. It was always a mystery to me why that brilliant team, though largely unchanged, settled back into lower mid-table mediocrity the following season.

Doug

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1951-58

Current location (optional) Keswick

Re: Terry Hollindrake

Allen D Thompson (Doug)
I saw Terry play in what I think was his only international match, against New Zealand, at Headingly. He played on the wing, partnering the famous Leeds centre, Lewis Jones. I say \'partnering\' but unfortunately, for whatever reason, Jones froze him out of the game, he hardly got a touch of the ball. England won comfortably, I think, but Terry might as well have stayed at home. He was a very versatile player, equally at home at full back, wing or centre, and a great goal-kicker. Did he play for Keighley up to retirement from the game or did he ever move to a more fashionable club?

Hollindrake wasn\'t the only home-bred player of distinction - though there were, admittedly, very few. Len Ward, the only claimant to the right wing position for many years was a great favourite at Lawkholme Lane. He had a magnificent sidestep and was, in his heyday, extremely fast. I once heard a story - possibly apocryphal - that his namesake, Ernest Ward, captain of Bradford Northern and England, once spent a whole evening (in the Crossflatts Airdale Heifer) trying to persuade Len to sign for Northern. But Len wasn\'t interested, for whatever reason. But had he made the move he would almost certainly have played for England. For a time, when I was at Pudsey GS, I was mates with Johnny Rock, who had played for Keighley on the left wing, during my school years. Johnny was a great sprinter, but he had no sidestep, and I remember him telling me that Len Ward had tried, on several occasions, to reach him how it was done, but he could never get the hang of it. A pity because he too might have reached international standard with that additional attribute.

The bamboozling forward mentioned was almost certainly Chris Brereton who, in one memorable season - probably 1951-52 when Keighley beat Wigan (as noted above) for the one and only time in the club\'s history - combined brilliantly with the magical half-backs, DeLloyd (ex-Warrington) and Dai Jenkins (ex-Leeds), to make many scoring chances, using well-rehearsed tactics such as accurate back passes, or suddenly changing the direction of play, setting up tries for Wardy on the \'blindside\' of the scrum, and so on, Brereton (reputedly a very lazy front forward) being the chief tactician. It was always a mystery to me why that brilliant team, though largely unchanged, settled back into lower mid-table mediocrity the following season.

Doug
Wasn't there also a fullback called Joe Philips?

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1953-8

Current location (optional) Brighouse

Re: Terry Hollindrake

Yes, Peter, Joe Phillips was one of four New Zealanders who signed for Bradford Northern at the end of a national tour of England - another one, a centre, was called Hastings, but the other names have long disappeared from my hard drive. But Phillips, a full-back, and prolific goal-kicker, ended his playing days at Keighley. That must have been into the early sixties by which time I had ceased watching RL. But I seem to recall that there was another full-back who may have succeeded Phillips, called Jefferson (I don't know whether home-bred or import) who was also a great goal-kicker, and much revered by the fans (when Keighley still had fans). That must have been late sixties, early seventies, I think. Does Keighley still have a team or did the club go bankrupt?

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1951-58

Current location (optional) Keswick

Re: Terry Hollindrake

I used to watch Keighley a fair amount, and my favourite player was Roy Sabine, a very good stand off. Also recall Brian Gabbitas but he played for Hunslet who I saw beat Keighley by 60 points once, at Lawkholme Lane.Once even got the bus to see Keighley play over at Halifax. Ah Rugby League country, Bramley,Batley, Dewsbury, Leigh, Trinity, Bradford Northern. Of course some have changed their names now. Keighley Cougars is it now? Some heady days with forwards flopping on the mud after a couple of paces.Yes Terry Hollindrake, the rock n'roll window cleaner, sometomes spotted crossing the bus station and town hall square with bucket in hand. Dave Jeanes, Can't recall other names.A few might come to me. I think Dave Lightowler from KBGS switched codes and tried with keighley rugby league..........more memories of heady Lawkholme Lane days will probably come to me later.
Asfor the rugby pitch to the side of the stadium, less said the better. But in the summer I turn to cricket and dear Frank Wellock.....sad to read of his passing.The Keighley cricket club with pavilion and score boxes provides fond memories.I saw Billy Boston play at Lawkholme. Tower of a man.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 58-66

Re: Terry Hollindrake

Ah yes. Roy Sabine. He was good. Didn't he go on to be coach at Keighley when he retired from playing?
Then there was a forward called Crewdson. Will any more emerge from the depths of my memory? I'll post if they do.

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

Current location (optional) Leeds

Re: Terry Hollindrake

With my brother Peter we watched Keighley Rugby League play throughout the war .The school side usually played Saturday mornings so we could watch or play union followed by the league team in the afternoon . I do remember Len Ward with the brilliant side step . The cup games ended up with the final at Bradford Odsal Stadium as travel was restricted. After the home games it was a scramble up Lawkholme Lane , called in at the coop for a Yorkshire teacake, no filling just bread as it wasn't rationed .

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

Current location (optional) Tasmania

Re: Terry Hollindrake

I think few other than thee and me, Mike, will remember Jackie Mills at full-back. I saw his last game for Keighley, it would be '48 or '49. He was an ace goal-kicker, formerly from York. Others of the same vintage were Martin Creeney, a good who eventually moved to Halifax, Freddy Barratt, a 'utility' back, Bill Ivill, a good left winger who, I think, eventually moved to Trinity, Derek Hallas, centre, who, I understand, became something of a star (and international?) at Leeds. In the forwards there were Joe Flanagan, Clarkson, Pritchard (a hooker who went on to play for a very illustrious Huddersfield team), Traill, also a hooker (whose brother, Ken, was an international loose forward with Northern), and late in his career, but a great asset to Keighley for two or three seasons, Harold Palin (ex-Warrington loose forward, when they were top of the League, but turned full-back, I think, at Keighley - another prolific goal-kicker. Afraid there are not many scrapings left in the barrel now, alas!

Doug


























w

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1951-58

Current location (optional) Keswick

Re: Terry Hollindrake

Doug, you have a hell of a recall of names. I am quite the opposite. You will probably be able to name the chap who played in the scrum for the time I was at Keighley . he was a local , bore himself like a Sgt Major, he walked past our house from Guard House way . Might have been Carter .
Mike

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

Current location (optional) Tasmania

Re: Terry Hollindrake

I think the name was Foster

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

Current location (optional) Tasmania

Re: Terry Hollindrake

Mike,

If it was Foster, he must have been before my time. The only Foster I can recall from roughly those years was Trevor Foster, but he played (second-row, I think) for Bradford Northern and England.

The only player I can add to the scrum, other than the few who have already been mentioned, is Ivor Davies, who was the other regular front-row man to Chris Brereton. But we still seem to be missing a few. Also, from the fifties, when I was watching Keighley, other than DeLloyd and Jenkins, and for a season or so, Rowe and Riley (transferred from Leigh), I cannot remember the regular half-backs, Can anyone come up with their names?

One other player I have just remembered was Bert Cook, another full-back, who played for Leeds for most of his career in England (he was Australian, and another great goal-kicker). By the time he reached Keighley, however, he was visibly overweight and lasted only a couple of seasons. We always seemed to acquire former good players when they were already on their way to the knacker's yard, which was certainly a sign of the club's chronic shortage of cash. Any good, home-grown players who showed any real promise were sooner or later sold off elsewhere. There was a very good second-row forward called Kelly, I remember, whose departure (to Wakefield, I think) was hastened when he was caught 'in flagrante' with the wife of one of the Directors (whose name I do recall but will not mention...). The shortage of cash was also perhaps reflected in the fact that the club only seemed to have one gramophone record, which was played at every match prior to the announcements and the start of the game, 'I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts' which, on reflection, now, might well have been a comment on the modest team we always hoped would do great things but seldom did.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1951-58

Current location (optional) Keswick

Re: Terry Hollindrake. - it started off as Billy Boston!

Here’ is another who remembers Jackie Mills. He seemed to do nothing but kick.. In fact I recall most of the names you mention - my dad used to take me to Lawkholme Lane to watch Keighley after the war. We stood in the ‘scrattin shed’ to watch. But no body will remember a Charlie Pickles playing in the ‘forrad’s’. Yes! My dad played with the Steam Pigs in the 1920’s - or so he told me. And who remembers the name of the fellow who carried the magic sponge and bucket in the late 40’s. I do, because his day job was a bin man working in the Refuse Collection team at Skipton Urban Disrtrict Council and I was a trainee in the Health Department. I saw to it that he was paid - £6.8s.6p a week. Lucrative employment in those days! Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. His name was Tommy Parrington.



Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1945 - 50

Current location (optional) Norfolk

Rugby

Trevor PIckles
Aye, it were easy for me, I lived in Lawnswood road, just over t\'road from Lund Park. And yes, I remember going to t\'Oxford picture \'ouse Satdy neets, couldn\'t see t\'screen for blue smoke!!!!
Henry Calow Sorry Denis never knew the guy.

Mea culpa in introducing T Hollidrake to this thread.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1953-8

Current location (optional) Brighouse

Re: Rugby

I’m certainly not complaining. Just pleased that a few old boys are keeping this web site from folding. Hollingdrake came after my time.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1945 - 50

Current location (optional) Norfolk

Re: Rugby

The 'scrattin shed', Denis, with its huge logo along the front, 'Taylor's for Men of the North.' Whoever would have thought then that Taylor's would someday become the choice beer for men of the World, more or less anywhere in the World?

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1951-58

Current location (optional) Keswick

Timothy Taylor

Draught Landlord was available at my Golf club. The 19th hole. My handicap was the clubs.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1953-8

Current location (optional) Brighouse

Re: Timothy Taylor

The nineteenth hole! What a traveller! And you even found Taylor's Landlord at that far spot? Proves my point, doesn't it?

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1951-58

Current location (optional) Keswick

Re: Timothy Taylor At the Gold club.

Although I didn't realise it at the time, the Professional at the golf club was an ex Ryder Cup player.I should have taken lessons. The brother of a mate of mine did take lessons and ended up playing for Yorkshire.

Missed the boat again!

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1953-58

Current location (optional) Brighouse

Re: Terry Hollindrake

I have only just seen another name In your posting which registers. Chris Brereton! I do recall him playing at Keighley but I also recall him playing for Leeds. In 1947 my father took me to London to watch the Rugby League Cup Final at Wembley where the opponents were Bradford Northern and Leeds. I was thirteen years old; I wore short pants, a green blazer and a green school cap with a Smith House badge.. we travelled by coach from Keighley bus station leaving (I think) at 7.00am Friday morning arriving in London around 6.0m. No motorways back then! Funnily enough, I have more memories of the journey, the lodging house where we stayed and Wembley Stadium than I have of the match, but the only name I do remember is Chris Brereton. Not because he played an outstanding game - he was such a big guy! He was st8ll a big chap when he played at Keighley, but he didn’t run, he shambled!

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1945 - 50

Current location (optional) Norfolk

Re: Terry Hollindrake

On this topic, here's a bit of late news (as the two Ronnies used to say), mainly for Denis, but for anyone else who is interested. You say, Denis, you only remember the name of Chris Brereton from that nineteen forty-nine Leeds cup final team, but oddly enough, there were also two other members of that team who ended their playing days at Keighley (already mentioned in my earlier posts): Bert Cook and Dai Jenkins. Perhaps more interesting, however, is the fact that up to that cup final game, Leeds had not conceded a single point in any of their preceding five matches in the tournament - a record which still stands to this day.

The following year, Bradford Northern were at Wembley again, against Wigan, but this time they lost 8 points to 3 (Alan Edwards scoring Northern's only try. I can still see my dad, with his ear glued to the radio, screaming "he's over! Edwards is over!" - even though it availed them nothing in the end). But another interesting fact to come out of that match was that the Lance Todd trophy, for man of the match, went, most unusually, to a player on the losing side, in fact to prop forward Frank Whitcombe who, when he retired, not many years after, became the landlord at the Airdale Heiffer at Sandbeds. I believe his son eventually played rugby for the Keighlians and, if my memory is not playing tricks, has a stand named after him at the Keighley RUFC ground at Rose Cottage, Utley.

The year after that saw my first appearance at Wembley - Warrington (then my favourite team) against Widnes (score 19 nil), but I know what you mean, Denis, when you say you remember other things more than the match. In my case, it was the 'wonder' of London (which had already been mythologised for me by my parents who had been there in '37 to see Keighley lose to Widnes). I remember, we left Keighley on a special 'cup final' excursion train, at midnight, arrived in London Marylebone just after six, had breakfast at Lyons Corner House, Piccadilly, then went off to the Tower of London on the fabled tube, before heading off to Wembley. After the match - a mere nine-year-old - I was flagging badly, suffering real physical exhaustion, having been on my feet all day, and with hours still to kill yet before the train back to Keighley at midnight. We had some fish and chips, sitting on a wall (God knows where), the first time I had ever eaten skate in my life, and then we went into a cinema, just to have somewhere warm to sit down for a couple of hours. I haven't a clue what the film was because I slept (fitfully) through most of it, but I remember that in one of my hazy waking periods I looked up at the rail that ran, high up, along the cinema wall, and to my horror saw what were unmistakeably two huge rats chasing along the rail, back and forth, back and forth, maybe even a hallucination, but still with me seventy years later!

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1951-58

Current location (optional) Keswick, Cumbria

Re: Terry Hollindrake

Doug - "The year after that saw my first appearance at Wembley" - which team were you playing for, Widnes or Warrington? At such a young age too!

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

Current location (optional) Leeds

Re: Terry Hollindrake

Well done, Shaun, but I did want to keep it at least ambiguous if not quite a secret, being a very modest sort of fellow. But at nine, I was something of a prodigy (if quite untested...), and the answer to your question is, of course, Warrington, the team (aged nine) I always dreamed of playing for... But 1950 saw me at Wembley again (no, not a transfer to Wigan or Barrow) but on what became for several years an annual pilgrimage!

Doug

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1951-58

Current location (optional) Keswick, Cumbria