Thanks for memories of a champion team

Issue 644

WE asked you to give us details about a photo of the champion Thornhill Lees Trinity RL team... and dozens of you came forward with information.

For instance, Angela Waterworth, 68, of Almscliffe Avenue, Earlsheaton told us about her brother Kenneth Hollings, captain and scrum half of the team, who broke his leg at work – during a lunchtime game at the Dawson Brothers factory in Gomersal.

Although his playing career was already over by then, Kenneth – pictured fourth left on the front row – had skippered Trinity to several league and cup wins in the early 1950s. Mrs Waterworth recalled it was not just his employer who was affected by his injury. She said: “His wife was not pleased as in those days it meant she was missing out on his wage.”

The grandson of Kenneth’s other sister, Joan, is Dewsbury-born Super League referee James Child.

Meanwhile, John Nicholas, whose dad Harold was the Thornhill Lees team’s sponge man, said they were a ball-playing side who had a secret weapon.

The former engineer at Yorkshire Electric Transformers said: “They could mix and match it. If anybody did anything rough they sent on Charlie Wood (second row from top, fourth right) and he’d sort them out.”

John, who grew up 100 yards from the team’s Slaithwaite Road base, said players changed at the Royal Hotel.

Now living in Huddersfield, John added: “Thornhill were one of the best teams in the area and had a good following.

“They'd get 200 to 300 at games, which was pretty good for an amateur side.

“Sometimes the ground would be two or three deep all the way round.”

Other notable figures in the photo include Clifford Smith, landlord of the Royal Hotel (third row from top, first left); Denis Williams (front, second right); Fred Senior (front, first right).

Thanks to all who contacted us with their recollections.

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