As the All Four Cups team started to break up, Hunslet’s search for talent to match that side was a bit hit and miss but a few gems were unearthed writes Martin Stewart.
League positions slipped in the two seasons after the fabulous 1907/08 campaign, before the top-4 finish of 1911/12, prior to things deteriorating up to the Great War (the Parksiders finished 18th in 1914/15).
Of the signings made up until the Great War, standout players were:
A forward signed from County Durham although he was a Cumberland County player. Fowler made 187 appearances for Hunslet before transferring to Huddersfield.
Harry `Toffy’ Toft,
A Welsh halfback from Swansea RU.
Agoal-kicking forward from Hartlepool Red Rose. He made 362 appearances, scored 105 tries and kicked 395 goals. He toured Australasia with the Northern Union in 1914, playing nine games, but did not make the test team. Was selected to tour in 1920 but withdrew due to injury.
James `Danny’ Wyburn
A RU county forward signed from Gloucester, who transferred to Hull at the start of the war.
A winger. Played on through the war and transferred to Leeds in 1921/22 for a then record £1,000 (although there may have been another player involved). He moved on to Bradford Northern before returning to Hunslet in 1924/25. He was selected to play in a Tour Trial in 1920 but withdrew due to injury.
Arthur `Peg’ Newton
A forward who signed from Dewsbury in 1914. He played just six games during the War but resumed his career after peace was declared, making 136 further appearances up to 1925 when he transferred back to Dewsbury.
The first black professional rugby player. He was brought across from the USA after a committeeman spotted him playing quarterback in New York while on a business trip. Made his debut against York the same day as his namesake Herbert, who was not quite as exotic, hailing as he did from Purston.
Full list of players can be found by clicking here