The guys wearing the number 7 shirt have always been my favourites – they have always defied the logic that Rugby League is a game for power-packed physical supermen!
The shirt is usually worn by the smallest player in the team, but invariably the bravest and cockiest!
They are the brains of the team and are the most skilled at kicking the ball in open play.
As with everything else in life, you never forget the first and my young days at Crown Flatt saw Alvyn Newall emerge as an early boyhood hero.
Newall was an elusive runner and skilled drop goal kicker who was captain.
He was an influential part of the Dewsbury team that got to two Challenge Cup semi-finals in the 60s.
If you saw Alan ‘Acker’ Bates play you will have never forgotten him – so brave, and a top player in an era when Dewsbury mixed it with the best.
He wore the shirt in our 1973 Championship final triumph and the 1972 Yorkshire Cup Final, both against Leeds at Odsal.
He was also our scrum-half when we finished runners-up to St Helens in the 1975 BBC2 Floodlit Trophy Final.
Alan was loyal as well as great and had a testimonial in 1976 – and four appearances for Great Britain were proof of his standing in the game.
Barry Eaton played for several clubs but, in my opinion, played his best rugby at Dewsbury.
Barry was a massive part of our 2000 Northen Ford Premiership Grand Final winning team.
During that fantastic season he kicked 170 goals and totalled 398 points – both are season records that still stand.
He was an absolute stand-out player during a memorable era for the rams.
Thornhill lad Danny Brough kick-started a great career at Dewsbury.
He came to us from Wakefield Trinity before moving on to York City Knights.
He made his Super League bow in the black and white of Hull where he was a Challenge Cup winner in 2005.
He briefly left the top tier to join Castleford Tigers in 2007 and was a major part of the Cas team who beat Widnes at a packed Headingley to win promotion back to Super League.
However, that was his last game as a Tiger as he had already agreed to sign for Wakefield Trinity in 2008, and he went on to win the prestigious Albert Goldthorpe Medal that same year.
Danny moved on to Huddersfield and enjoyed a golden year in 2013.
The Giants won the League Leaders Shield that year and Danny was named Man of Steel – the most prestigious individual honour in the domestic game.
And that wasn’t all in his 2013 diary – he also captained Scotland in the World Cup.
Possessor of a fantastic kicking game, the career of Danny Brough is not yet over, but, without the opportunity that Dewsbury gave him, none of the above may have happened.
Another Thornhill lad who was a goal-kicking scum-half was Mark Keyworth.
Mark played in the eighties & was part of a team that included many home-town boys.
Mark Conway and James Elston were both influential figures who had played with Wakefield before wearing our colours.
Conway had quite a pedigree, having made many representative appearances, including being part of the first ever Great Britain Colts tour to Australia and Papua New Guinea in 1982.
He once kicked 13 goals in a single game for Trinity in 1992.
James Elston came to our club in the John Harbin era. He had versatility value and was just as comfortable in the hooking role.
More commonly referred to as Jimmy by our fans, he was one of those cheeky larger than life type players who went on to the administration side of the game when he retired from playing.
Anthony Thackeray was a fans’ favourite who has featured for several clubs and performed with credit for all of them.
A native of Hull who many hoped would have stayed longer at Dewsbury than he did.
The current incumbent? None other than Liam Finn!
I have always been a big fan of his, even when he played for other clubs.
Many pundits pigeonholed him as lacking pace, but, whilst he may not win many 100 metres sprints, he always appears to be several minutes ahead of anybody else on the pitch in terms of reading a game, and his goal kicking is up there with the very best.
In 2009, he was the National League Two player of the year whilst he was here at Dewsbury, and the following year he was Championship player of the year as a Featherstone Rover.
Incredibly, he reached a stage at Featherstone where he was deemed surplus to requirements.
This actually worked in his favour, as the wise man that is Daryl Powell took him to Super League with Castleford Tigers.
Liam did a fantastic job at The Jungle and played for them in the 2014 Wembley Challenge Cup Final against Leeds.
Liam has enjoyed a fantastic international career with Ireland and captained them in the 2013 world cup.
The common theme with all the above is their rugby brains – and their subsequent ability to influence the course of a game.