And how Hunslet celebrated their March arrivals…
Bob Pickles (born 2 March 1945). A product of the Hunslet schools and Hunslet supporters Under 17s and Under 19s, Bob attended Middleton primary and senior schools before signing professional forms for Hunslet in October 1961. A cultured stand-off or fullback, he made his first team debut against Bradford Northern at Odsal on 9 October 1965 and totalled 21 first-team appearances, scoring one try and kicking 35 goals. He was transferred to Keighley for a fee of £1000 and, after Parkside was sold, successfully coached Hunslet Parkside, which Jack Lunn subsidised, and then Middleton Marauders. Played for New Hunslet when the club was relaunched, kicking the first goal through the `TV’ uprights. Also played for Middleton Arms and Bisons and has been heavily involved at Leeds Academy for many years.
The day following Bob’s birth, Hunslet beat Oldham 19-12 at Parkside in the Wartime Emergency League.
Bob Bingham (born 4 March 1944). Bob attended Dewsbury Road county primary school and is another stalwart who came through the Hunslet conveyor belt. Unfortunately was not offered professional terms, but was a good number 8 when scrums were contested. Went on to play for Bus Vale.
On the same day as Bob was presented to the world Hunslet accounted for Wartime Emergency League visitors Batley 8-3.
Steven Lee (born 14 March 1949). Steve gravitated through the Hunslet production line and, after signing on his 16th birthday, made his `A’ team debut against Wakefield on 20 August 1966. His debut for the first team was against Doncaster at Parkside on Boxing Day 1966 – a game in which he made a huge impact. He appeared 33 times for the first team, scoring three tries, before transferring to Dewsbury in March 1970. Had captained Hunslet National School, Hunslet Schools and Yorkshire schools.
Two days before Steve was born, on 12 March 1949, Hunslet hosted Wakefield Trinity in a league fixture and prevailed 14-6.
Colin Mullarkey (born 14 March 1935). Colin served Hunslet Juniors, Hunslet Intermediates and the `A’ team with distinction and may well have been destined for a notable career at Parkside but for his national service call-up. A regular at Hunslet’s reunions, he has the club running through his veins.
When Colin first saw the light of day Hunslet, who had won the Challenge Cup the previous season, were still smarting from a 10-3 defeat at Castleford – who would go on to lift the trophy at Wembley – in the quarter-finals, before a record Wheldon Road crowd of 25,449. The Parksiders quickly got the wheels back on the wagon with a 41-12 stroll over Bradford Northern on Saturday 16 March.
Peter Rycroft (born 18 March 1951). Yet another local product, who played for Hunslet City Boys, followed by Hunslet Juniors and Hunslet Intermediates. Signed on 9 March 1969 and made his first team debut at Wakefield Trinity on DATE. Totalled 76 games, including the last game at Parkside, against York on 21 April 1973. A member of the Hunslet RL Ex-Parkside Former Players Association committee.
The day before Peter first graced the planet Hunslet travelled to Hull for a league game and returned from the Boulevard celebrating a 9-2 triumph.
Phil Sanderson (born 25 March 1950). A rampaging second row forward who played 143 games for the club, featuring with Peter Rycroft in the last match at Parkside. Went on to play for Leeds and Bradford Northern.
On the very day the champagne fizzed for Phil, Hunslet won at Hull 25-5 in a league fixture.
South of the River is grateful to the Rugby Record Keepers Club for access to statistics.