Favorite Moments - 001-025 Your fun memories from EOTB

fm07 - A BRILLIANT NIGHT IN BRADFORD, HOSPITALITY AND HISTORY ALL IN ONE NIGHT

Posted by... quigs eraofthebiff - on ... Monday, May 14, 2012
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Emu Park
Australia
Cronulla .. is the club I follow
 

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During the RLW Supporters tour of the Uk we had a four day break between games. The previous night (4/11/90) we had watch the Aussie put away Castleford in freezing conditions. Out of the blue one of the tour guides had received an invitation from the Bradford Northern Rugby Football Club for anyone interested in attending a function at the Bradford Club. It was a very generous invitation and included a free feed, some drinks, free entertainment, and a chance for the Northern supporters to meet and greet us, as unfortunately for them, and at the time their side was not in the Top Grade and did not play the Aussies during the 90 Tour.

Three bus loads ( the poms call em coaches ) of us supporters made the trip to Bradfords Clubhouse and it proved to be one of the best nights I had on the tour. Their friendly hospitality and the great banter between the "Old Foes" made for a brilliant night. They left no stone unturned to make us welcomed. The meal was great, the beer was good, (cold) the entertainment wonderful, and the company brilliant.

As part of the deal we had to walk from the auditorium area of the club across a narrow lane way to get our meal. That part of the club was, if I remember correctly was also the offices of the club itself.

Whilst inside I noticed the large picture of the aerial view of the world record crowd that were present during the 1954 Challenge Cup Replay played before 102,000 spectators. I was explaining this to a couple of the younger guys on the tour when a gentleman behind me started to politely tell us about the day and the game. He then introduced himself as Jack Bates, the Chairman of the Club. Whilst he was telling us about the historic day he asked ifwe would like to see the ground. I said, No because I knew obviously it was night and he would have to fire up the lighting and also that it would involve some effort and time on his part, and at an expense to the Club, and I for one did not want to be a pain in the butt. But this kind man would not take no for an answer as he could see that we were sincerely interested in the ground and the famous picture on the wall.

(During a later tour the Channel Nine Australia TV Guys, Sterlo, Vautin etc used the same pic as a backdrop to their telecast from the ground.)

Jack shepherded back across the laneway through the auditorium and out onto a viewing platform. Below us was nothing but fog and mist and darkness. Slowly and eerily the huge floodlights came on and started to penetrate the fog.

After several minutes an oval started to materialize, it was like it was situated at the bottom of a huge bomb crater. It was a magnificent sight and one that I will never forget. When the oval was fully exposed I could not help but imagine what it would be like with 102,000 people sitting there watching a game. It must of been a wonderful experience.

Most of the other tourists took advantage of this experience and many thanks to Mr Bates.

Back in the auditorium the night just got better as time flew. The aussies delivered the knockout blow when we won the singalong when the RLW Cartoonist Scott Rigley led a brilliant rendition of Rolf Harris's two little boys ---- christ who could compete against that.

(I look back on that experience and think, what aussie club would put on a free feed, drinks and entertainment for three bus loads (sorry poms, coaches) of visiting supporters, and even when their club was not playing against the visiting touring side.) MANY THANKS TO JACK BATES AND BRADFORD FROM THIS BLOCKHEAD FROM EMU PARK QUEENSLAND.

Help me out here Bradford, or a Warrington or Halifax supporter, I would love to include stories about that famous game in Memorable Matches ----email me.

 

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