Clayton RLFC - History - 1947 To December 1950

1947 To December 1950

In 1947 the Bradford Amateur Rugby League placed an advert in the Telegraph and Argus announcing a meeting to be held in the evening at the Central Hall, Clayton, with a view to starting an amateur rugby league club in Clayton. From this meeting the club was eventually formed.

To raise cash to start the club selected people were offered a Vice Presidency in return for donation of ten pounds. First approach was to Mr Charles Vosper he agreed. Next approach was to John Hainsworth a local joiner who also agreed. The last approach was to Mr Harry Shepherd the local builder who agreed but said he would give six scaffold poles for the goal posts instead of ten pounds. A loan of thirty pounds from the founder of the club, Gordon Wright, set the club on its way.

An approach was made to Bradford City Corporation Parks Committee to see if the Delph Recreation ground was available. The reply was “no”.

An approach was then made to Mr Metcalfe, farmer, Town End, to see if his paddock which was below and next to the Delph recreation ground was available. He advised that the Seed brothers, maltsters, owned the paddock. Mr Michael Seed subsequently approved and offered financial support. Both were withdrawn when Mr Seed learned the club was going to be called “The Clayton Amateur Rugby League Club”. Having been an amateur rugby player himself, he said he a could not be associated with the professional code.

Next approach was to the Parks Committee to ask if the field in Green End opposite the Baptist graveyard could be used; permission was refused.

Mr George Rhodes who lived in Bradford Road owned a paddock just below the Broadfolds Allotments and he offered free use of the paddock. The paddock was anything but level but the offer was accepted.

The original jerseys had horizontal orange and black stripes and so the team was named “The Clayton Tigers”.

The Amateur Rugby League Secretary was informed of progress and lack of sufficient numbers to make a team. Prospective players in surrounding areas were advised and eventually the necessary numbers were enlisted. Quite a few came from the North Bierley area.

The original team members from Clayton were: Eric Holland (captain),Peter Holland, Bruce Nottage, Bobby Barker, Arthur Hainsworth, Gordon Wright.

All other players were not from Clayton

Eric Holland resigned and was replaced as captain by Ernest Pearson.

Mr Jack Bolton who lived in Aberdeen Terrace was an ex league player; having played for the Huddersfield Professional League Team. He accepted the job of team coach.

Bradford Education Department arranged for an instructor run PT sessions on Friday nights at the local Board School.

Mr Adamson, caretaker at the Board School, offered the use of the students cloak room and both teams changed there. Referees used a private house.

A 'B team' was organized with an all black strip.

Insurance cover was arranged at the cost of 2/6d per player. First player to receive an injury was Jack Haigh who lived in Lime Cottage, Clayton Lane. In an away game on a very hard ground Jack was tackled and broke his jaw.

Some time later the Parks Committee offered the use of the recreation ground at the top of Beaconsfield Road. It was at this time a man called Jack Smith joined the Club. He was a 100 yards sprint champion and no opposition player could catch him.

Mr Willie Watson, Reva Syke Road, Clayton, took on the position of Club President. Gordon Wright continued as treasurer. A Mr Crowther became Club Secretary.

Mr Jack Wilman, landlord of the Albion Hotel, offered the use of the pub’s front lounge for Club meetings, and from that point onwards all Club meetings were held there.

Frank Sugden, who lived in Aberdeen Terrace, Clayton, played Rugby Union for the Otley Club. He agreed to play for the CARLC

Some others who played in the team during this time were: Jack Haigh, Tony Haigh, Harry Dalby, Derek Greenwood, Crowther

Some time later, outside this time period the team won the Bradford ARL championship. Ernest Pearson was captain of the winning team.

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