24 Nov 2015 in Heritage - The way we were
Personalities from Rangers past look back and share their memories
I joined Saddleworth in February 1959, along with Jim Whittaker , Keith Beard , Norm Rowe and myself. We all came from an A V Roe team, which was disbanded.
50 years later. I still have friends from those first few years, plus many more I have become friends with over the years and while some have passed over to the big rugby field in the sky, all are still in my mind and remembered for all the things we did and the fun we had.
Like being involve in games that got so rough, that both teams were sent off. Of the Saddleworth pitch which got that muddy, you could not tell players apart, until Geo Dew, the President at the time , said enough and arranged for his construction company to do something about the drainage. He also supplied transport, his company employed an whole lot of people and so we got mini buses and once or twice a full size, that is until someone
tried to turn it round in a car park and got balanced on a small wall.
Lots of people came to mind like Peter Bamford, a forward who went on to play for Oldham, who was well known not only for his strong tackles, hard drives and fitness but also for his short temper. In one game the Siddal scrumhalf, a small pushy type, got at Peter so much, that Peter chased the guy in and out of the fans on the line.
Then there is laid back Peter Kearns , at a game in Hull, I was at 7 and he was 13, I called for Micky Mouse , a move Tiger Finan brought from Huddersfield. Well, I was tackled by three players and Peter was under posts, with one hand on the ball on the ground, the other hand in the air, while he called for the ref’s attention.
Off the field, it was mainly drinking, trips to Wembley, celebrating Cup wins or loses, at one time smashing metal beer trays on your head seemed like a fun thing to do. Singing was something else which as always been important, we were so good we were invited back to a few pubs in London, but it maybe it was the amount of beer we drank. Ian
Bennett could always lead us in an whole range of songs. I will always remember Terry Flan's under 18's singing " WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS" in the club.
Then there were the dirty tricks that were done, all in fun, of course, like on breakfast do's, giving the young hungry players toast loaded with pepper and anything hot, leaving Barry King in a Chinese in Blackpool, when we did a runner, while he was in the toilet.