Continuing our monthly series in which board members and supporters pay homage to those who have inspired them.
By Neil Hampshire
At the time of being asked to write this article I find myself in a third lockdown and somewhat reflective. My mind wandered to how I would define hero? Looking to the dictionary definition the description is:
a person who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.
This definition seemed the right starting point. Not least because I wanted to get away from this being just another way of saying who my favourite player was. The definition made me quickly realise that I don’t just have one Hunslet hero but several. Here’s my starter for ten:
J Baines – A committee member of the Hunslet Cricket, Football and Athletic Club who proposed a motion to have a rugby club on 21 May 1883
Walter Hill – Who scored Hunslet’s first ever try
Billy Gilston – Who kicked Hunslet’s first ever goal
Albert Goldthorpe – The game’s first ever “superstar”
T Wright – Who was Hunslet’s representative on the Northern Union breakaway in 1895
The all-conquering 1907–08 side that won All Four Cups
Cyril Morrell – Who scored a try and broke his collar bone when we won the Challenge Cup in 1934
Kevin Doyle – My uncle, who played and scored in the 1959 Premiership Final the year before I was born. He lit the flame that’s never died out
Geoff Gunney – Class act as a player and the man who ensured Hunslet’s survival in 1973
Gordon Murray, Jerry Mason and Ronnie Teeman who were the first Directors of New Hunslet in 1973
Grahame and Margaret Liles and Sean Cluderay – Without whose enthusiasm and financial support the Club would have struggled and who “gifted” their shares to HIST to allow the Club to stay in existence when no suitable buyers came forward
All the officials and volunteers that have helped keep the Club going since its inception
All the players and coaching staff that have represented the Club, bringing both joy and despair, and to paraphrase Rudyard Kipling, we should treat those two imposters just the same!
All the fans who have turned out over the years to support the team, albeit grudgingly for some of them.
Of course, my favourite player was? Well, I’m afraid you’ll just have to wait on that one….