The Hunslet RL Ex-Parkside Former Players’ Association is to hold its annual reunion – the 49th – this year on Sunday 4 July.
The event will take place at the usual venue – the Hilton Hotel, Neville Street, Leeds – and will again take the form of a three-course meal, with a guest speaker. It is being staged a month later than usual to fall in line with the government’s Covid-19 roadmap.
Attendance is limited to men who played for Hunslet Rugby League club prior to the sale of the iconic Parkside ground in 1973 (as such, the Association is arguably the most exclusive gathering in world sport) together with carers where applicable. Guest speakers, meanwhile, become Honorary Members of the Association and are invited to all future reunions.
Former players have gathered on the first Sunday in June since the inaugural event in 1973 – until, that is, last year, when the coronavirus made it impossible for the veterans to convene in the time-honoured manner. Thanks, however, to the efforts of Billy Adams (who was the last Hunslet player to score at Parkside, with his conversion of Ronnie Dobson’s try in a 22-5 defeat by York on 21 April 1973) a number of members were able to meet virtually via a social media platform in December and sing the club’s famous `war-song’ “We’ve swept the seas before boys, and so we shall again,” thereby ensuring that a thread spanning almost half-a-century remains unbroken.
The committee has kept the cost of tickets down to £15, with no charge for nonagenarians.