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Thursday April 19th 2007 < Back Print Page
West Yorkshire Rugby League Memories Go Online
Just six months after being launched, the University of Huddersfield’s Up and Under Rugby League Oral History Project is about to unveil its new website.

The three year project is funded by an £85,000 grant from the University, and aims to both preserve and celebrate Rugby League heritage in West Yorkshire by recording personal memories of the sport’s rich past in communities across the region.

Project manager Rob Light and an enthusiastic group of student helpers have been busy carrying out the interviews, which are already beginning to build a comprehensive and colourful picture of the sport during much of the last century.

Those people who have so far been interviewed share a wide range of reminiscences, shedding light on, amongst other things, the experiences of pre-war players, grade one referees and supporters of the game in the years which followed the First World War.

Rob Light said: “One of the first interviews to be included on the website is with Sam Morton, whose memories draw mainly on his close association with amateur Rugby League.”

“A stalwart of the famous Dewsbury Celtic club, Sam began his playing career for West Town boys in the 1950s and later coached a number of BARLA representative teams, including the first ever amateur Great Britain side to tour the southern hemisphere, in 1977.”

The reminiscences of Sam Morton can be heard at www.rugbyleagueoralhistory.co.uk along with a selection of audio clips from five of the other interviews which have so far taken place. A web page provides background information and photographs for each of the clips, which are around four minutes long, and additional content will be added on a regular basis.

As Rob Light again explains, “All the interviews provide a fascinating insight into the sport’s past from different perspectives and listening to these extracts provides a perfect opportunity for fans of the game to sample some of the intriguing and insightful memories that are being collected.”

However, the project is always on the look out for more contributions from anyone who has been involved in the game. You don’t have to have a memory like Sam Morton to take part, just an enthusiasm for Rugby League and experiences of the game which help tell the great story of Rugby League in West Yorkshire.

Please contact Project Manager Rob Light on 01484 473032 or email r.f.light@hud.ac.uk if you would like to get involved.
The British Amateur Rugby League Association.
West Yorkshire House, 4 New North Parade, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. HD1 5JP, England
Tel: 01484 599113, Fax: 01484 510682, info@barla.org.uk
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