Why Ronnie was out of the picture...

Why Ronnie was out of the picture...

THE PRICE some players pay for their sport was revealed by a picture of an Batley amateur rugby team.

Ronnie Ellis, 87, of Westway, Hanging Heaton, is missing from a team shot of Batley Carr Rangers taken in the 1951-52 season.

The loose forward was out injured, having had his left eye accidentally gouged in a game against Thornhill.

It sadly caused him a lifetime of problems, including a recent haemorrhage which had to be treated at Pinderfields Hospital.

Ronnie, a retired former decorator, recalled the incident as an accident that was in no way malicious.

He said: "I was trying to make a pass and a hand came across my face. The next thing I knew there was blood everywhere."

As a result he missed a team picture that showed off three of their recent cup wins, including the Oldroyd Cup and the League Cup.

Ronnie recalls the side battled Thornhill, Nelson Rangers and Hanging Heaton for honours around that time.

He added: "We didn't particularly have any really outstanding players, but we worked hard for each other as a team.

"We were always around the top two or three every season and we liked to pass the ball."

Hooker Tommy Fenton, brother of English channel swimmer Eileen, is shown on the back row, seventh left.

Norman Tinker, who pulled the strings at stand-off, is front row second right next to Ernest Wilby.

Coach Peter Barry was a miner at the Thornhill pit who on weekends sold Caddy's ice cream around Batley Carr from a trolley.

Son Terry said the team used to get changed at the former Carr Hotel pub on King Street.

Ronnie, married to Catherine for 61 years with three children and three grandchildren, believes the picture was taken around October 1951.

He added: "It was the weekend when the Holme Moss transmitter was first switched on.

"Because of my injury I remember watching the first broadcasts while having to wear spectacles."

Back row (left to right) are: Jimmy Whitehead, unknown, unknown, Clifford Barry, Charlie Brook/e, Arthur Sands, Tommy Fenton, Sid Proctor, Edwin Redfearn, Jack Sands (brother of Arthur), Joe Robinson, Peter Barry (Clifford's uncle).

Front row (left to right are: Austin Richardson, Harry Beaumont, Eric Lodge, Jack Looker, Norman Tinker and Ernest Wilby (general manager Philip Lees has his hands on Ernest's shoulders).


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