BARLA Celebrates 50 years

BARLA Celebrates 50 years

BARLA (British Amateur Rugby League Association) celebrate their 50th Anniversary tomorrow Saturday 4th March which will be launched by their 50th Anniversary logo.

A number of events will be announced during the years celebration but BARLA premptied those celebrations when they agreed a undisclosed five figure donation to the Rugby Football League for head cams for match officials to wear when officiating amateur games throughout the winter and summer seasons.  

On the 4th March 1973 all District Leagues were invited to a meeting at Greenside Working Mens Club, Huddersfield,(ironically the town were the Rugby Football League (RFL) then known as the ‘Northern Union’ were formed in 1895) as it was felt the governing body the RFL were not doing enough for the amateur game.

The drivers of the meeting were Tom Keaveney (MBE) and Jack Clayton who held positions within the Huddersfield District League at that time, and at the meeting those present voted to break away from the RFL.

The following month the RFL at its Council Meeting voted 29–1 against recognising BARLA, with only Tom Mitchell (who later became BARLA’s first Patron) of Workington Town, voting in favour of BARLA.

Within twelve months following a change of RFL Secretary to the late David Oxley, this changed to a unanimous vote of approval and recognition of BARLA for it to run the amateur game.

Alan Parker Treasurer of Hull & District Youth League and Lol Rawson the Chair of the Open Age Hull & District League are the only individuals who are still alive and attended that meeting.

Alan Parker,

“Congratulations on BARLA reaching their 50th Anniversary and what they have achieved over those years. BARLA was formed because it was felt by those present, of which I was one felt that those running the amateur game were not doing enough for it and at that meeting it was agreed to break away.”  

Sue Taylor BARLA Chair/ Vice President of the RFL,

“I have been involved in amateur rugby for the majority of my life and knew Tom Keaveney and his wife Moira. I am honoured to have been chair of BARLA for the last ten years in which time I have built bridges and solid foundations through trust and honour in gaining respect and working with the governing body the RFL.

“BARLA have already premptied its anniversary with an undisclosed five figure donation for web cams for match officials to wear during amateur games.

“We are launching our 50th Anniversary logo on the 4th March and we have other plans to come to celebrate BARLA’s 50th Anniversary, these will be announced in due course which will be for the good and benefit of the game.”

Steve Manning

BARLA Media Manager