ONE of the most famous names in amateur rugby league is getting ready to celebrate a host of anniversaries.
During the era when only one or two amateur clubs could qualify to play in the prestigious Challenge Cup against top professional sides, Dewsbury Celtic became a household name for their exploits.
At a reunion on Saturday July 25 at their Westtown ‘home’, the Irish National Club, the green and whites will mark the centenary of winning the Yorkshire County Cup in 1915.
And special guests on the day will be Billy Mitchell and Dennis Lyons, the two surviving members of the club’s great 1955 side which reached the Challenge Cup first round against Workington Town.
It was Celtic’s first qualification but over the following years they would be back repeatedly against the professionals – not only in the Challenge Cup but also the John Player Trophy, taking on sides like Wigan, Hull KR, Swinton, Featherstone and Castleford.
Celtic runs not only its National Conference League senior side, but junior teams across the age ranges.
The first team is at home on July 25 and afterwards, at 4pm, past players and fans are invited to the reunion in the club on High Street. There will be a buffet and entertainment from an Irish band.
As well as the Yorkshire Cup centenary and the 60th anniversary of reaching the 'first round proper for the first time, it is 50 years since Celtic qualified to meet Swinton, and 40 years since their famous clash against Hull KR at Batley’s Mount Pleasant, when they faced stars like Roger Millward and Clive Sullivan.
The club is hoping to welcome back a good representation of old boys from both those sides.