1944 – 1973
Cec Thompson and Geoff Gunney Sign
In the years from 1944 to 1956 Hunslet reached the semi final of the Challenge cup on 4 occations, and the semi final of the Yorkshire cup on 5 occations. Hunslet also reached the final of the Yorkshire cup in 1956 losing to Wakefield Trinity 23 points to 5, the match played at Headingley with a crowed of 31,147, this was the last occasion the Yorkshire cup final crowed would exceed 30,000.
1951 signinings of 17 year old Geoff Gunney along with Cec Thompson, Arthur Clues then joined Hunslet who became a key figure in 1954. 1959 saw Hunslet reach the championship final losing to a strong St Helens team 44-22 after finishing 3rd in the league.
Player/Coach Fred Ward Lifts Hunslet
1961-62 saw Hunslet finish in 25th and were relegated to the newly formed 2nd Division. At the start of 62 season Fred Ward joined Hunslet as player coach and for a while fortunes changed and spirits lifted. Hunslet went back to chocolate and white in contrast to previous v Hunslet choose two chocolate bands round the middle. In Freds first season Hunslet went on to win 2nd Division Championship to secure first division rugby back at parkside, also added the Yorkshire cup to the trophy cabinet beating H.K.R in the final 12-2 at Headingley infront of 21,742 spectators.
Hunslet went to wembley to face a star studded Wigan team and played in what turned out to be the greatest Cup final played at Wembley,Hunslet going down 20-16 in what was discribe by Eddie Waring a Great Great cup final.
Season 65-66 saw Hunslet again runners up this time in the Yorkshire cup losing to Bradford Northern 17-8.
Hunslet back in decline
Afer the break up of the 65 team Hunslet went back into decline although signing players such as Dave Marshall, Mick Chamberlain,Tommy Thompson and a couple of welsh boys Morgan and Williams, Robin Hurl from Halifax Rugby Union and later from the junior ranks Phil Sanderson, George Clark, Geoff Nichols, Jimmy Crampton and many more. In 1970 71 season saw more players leave the club or retire after a near players strike,Though the players mostly junior signings plus Mr Hunslet Geoff Gunny tried the final game was played on Parkside in April 1973 in front of a small crowd against York.
Last Hunslet side to play at Parkside Back Taylor Sanderson Dobson Sykes Griffith Adams Charlton Middle row Barron Richardson Watson G. Clark J Clarke Front row Horrocks Gunney(capt) and Rycroft
Though the door finaly closed on a great club one of the founders of rugby league will live on forever a club seeped in history and comradeship surpassed by none and to this day meet anually the first Sunday in June to celebrate their past memories.
The ground was badly neglected and was finally sold for industral development, I was privileged to play in the last ever game at Parkside a memory I will cherish.