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Jeff Smith

Fartwon v Keighley

I still have plenty of contacts and family in Huddersfield and I have always been interested in my family history. I am a member of the Huddersfield Family History Society where you have an article in the latest edition of their magazine on "H R L - A Lasting Legacy" and invite anyone with memories or memorabilia about Rugby League in Huddersfield. I thought there would not be many people around nowadays who saw or played in that historical game against Keighley in 1951, when Cooper scored 10 tries. I was only just 17 ( my birthday was in August) and only my 3rd game in the 1st team so it was a big occasion for me to play against my home town with all my family andmates there.

I attach my favorite photo taken by the Examiner of Cooper in full flight breaking the tackle ofthe other prop Brereton, I am the player in a scrum capon the far left corner flagging, I like to think I made a try saving tackle at the corner post.!!

It was not a very good performance by our team but I offer 2 lame excuses 1. our regular winger Len Ward who was the county winger was injured and did not play. I would like to think he would have put up a better performance than our reserve winger. 2. We played with 14 men for most of the match after Brereton was sent off trying to stop Cooper from scoring any more tries.

I notice Huddersfield schoolboys played in a curtain raiser that match. I played in one at Fartown2 years before in 1949.

I have a couple more photos of the match but I am sure you will have full access of the Examiner photos.

As a matter of interest I signed professional forms for Keighley in October 51 after I had played 3 games in the reserves, I was given a free transfer in Dec 1951 because I could not train with the team at Keighley as I was going to Huddersfield Tech 3 nights a week plus Saturday mornings where I was doing a Textile Dyeing course. Because I had not played Rugby League after the age of 18, I was still eligible to play Rugby Union I believe this rule was made to cover boys who played Rugby League at School. Nowadays it does not matter but in those days even playing amateur league was taboo, I don't think they ever envisaged a full professional sneaking in on that rule. Nowadays I am a Rugby Union man, I played for the Old Boys at Waterloo for several years then played Union in Australia for 4 years, I was captain of Tasmania before coming to Sydney and retired. I now support our local Rugby Union team and the Wallabies.

Hope all this is of interest to you,


Jeff Smith.

Fartwon v Keighley 1952
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