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Jack Bartholomew

Sincere thanks to David Gronow for permission to publish the following article and photographs.

Full Back/Centre 1906-1911

In the fifteen years or so following the formation of the Northern Union in 1895, Huddersfield evolved an entirely new attacking technique.

Insistence on the backs, not the forwards as hitherto in many club combinations at the time, as the primary attacking force was the factor in taking the Fartown club to the top and keeping them there for a spell which no other club could match.

One player who contributed to this policy was Jack Bartholomew.

Bartholomew, born on 20 January 1888, was an eighteen year old Morecambe club player when he made his first appearance for Huddersfield, playing at Right Centre against Hunslet at Fartown on 21 April 1906.

In those days the Northern Union had fifteen players a side, and it was not until the following season (1906-07) that the thirteen a side game was introduced, Bartholomew playing in 35 games, scoring 11 tries and kicking 23 goals - his best scoring feat was at Fartown on Easter Monday, 1907, when he landed eight goals in a 31-2 win over Swinton.

'Barth' appeared with great success at full back, centre and half back.

He played at Full Back in three Yorkshire Cup Finals for Huddersfield, two of which were won - in 1909/10 as Batley were beaten 21-0 at Leeds, and in 1911/12 at Belle Vue, Wakefield, where Hull KR were defeated by 22-10, Huddersfield also emerging as Yorkshire League winners, with the Fartowners runners-up in 1910/11, going down 2-8 against Wakefield Trinity at Headingley.

In the summer of 1910, Bartholomew, with Huddersfield team-mate Jim Davies, was a member of the first Northern Union Touring team to Australia.

The tour was a great success, spreading the rugby league word with games in Brisbane and Newcastle, as well as playing in front of huge crowds in Sydney.

Although not playing in any of the Test matches, Bartholomew played in five district games, scoring three tries and kicking a goal, he also had the misfortune to sustain a broken rib in one of the matches.

Bartholomew made his last appearance with the Fartowners in a home game with Halifax on 23 December 1911, however, it was not until March 1914 that he left Huddersfield and joined Bradford Northern.

After the Great War, Bartholomew, playing mainly at stand-off half, gave good service to Bradford until 1922.

Bartholomew was the uncle of Eric Morecambe, the comedian.

Previous Club: Morecambe

Huddersfield debut: 21 April 1906 v Hunslet

Final Huddersfield appearance: 23 December 1911 v Halifax

Appearances: 187 Tries: 41 Goals: 51 Points: 225

Transferred to: Bradford Northern

Honours: Northern Union

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