And so we reach Number 13

The last man to pack down in the scrum & a position associated with copy book tackling & ball handling skills.

Let our time machine travel back to 11th September 1994. The day of our first ever game at the Tetleys Stadium (Help me out- Wasn’t it called New Crown Flatt back then?) A record was broken on that landmark day that still stands with the supremely talented Les Holliday scoring 32 points against Barrow.

This being the most points ever scored in a game by any player in the entire history of our club. Les wasn’t a local man, he was a Cumbrian fron Whitehaven & a family steeped in Rugby League. 

He was the son of Bill Holliday who was a legendary figure in the history of Swinton. This explains why Les started his career with the Folly Lane amateur club based in Pendlebury before following in the footsteps of his father & signing for the lions of Swinton in 1982.

He spent five years at Station Road before crossing the pennines to join Halifax for two years. His next move was to Widnes but in 1993 he donned the red, amber & black.

I can remember thinking what an incredible signing this was by Dewsbury. Les gained representative honours for Cumbria & even made 3 appearances for Great Britain. After leaving Dewsbury he returned to Swinton where he became coach. He really did enjoy a fine career that included several appearances in major finals. He played in the 1988 Challenge Cup final for Halifax against Wigan at Wembley. He picked up a winners medal in the 1990 Lancashire Cup final when Widnes beat Salford at Wigan.

Les made two Regal Trophy final appearances, in 1990 he was in the Halifax team beaten by Wigan but had the joy of gaining a winners medal in 1992 when Widnes had a 24-0 victory against Leeds.

His other final appearance was as captain of Swinton when they beat Hunslet in the 1987 Second Division Premiership final at Old Trafford.

Will his points in a game record at Dewsbury ever be beaten?

There must be something about the no 13 shirt that inspires records to be broken at Dewsbury because our tries in a career record belongs to Joe Lyman. Joe played for Dewsbury from 1913 to 1931 scoring 144 tries in 454 appearances.  Guess what? That figure of 454 career games is also a Dewsbury record! Joe wore No 13 & captained Dewsbury on that iconic day in 1929 when we played Wigan in the first Challenge Cup Final to be played at Wembley. 

The 1973 Championship Final victory over Leeds saw local man Joe Whittington feature in the shirt.

Like so many of that team Joe was signed from Shaw Cross & typified the spirit & exciting talent that team possessed. The match programme tells us that Joe was a sheet metal worker!

Back to the record breakers & time to recall Greg Pearce who jointly with Francis Maloney holds the record for goals kicked in a game, Greg kicked 13 against Blackpool Gladiators in 1993. Like Les Holliday, Greg was an ex Swinton player. I have a memory of being stood on the South Stand at the Tetleys Stadium & Greg falling on his backside whilst taking a conversation yet the ball still sailed between the posts!

Glen Coughlan was a popular figure in a Rams shirt. Born in Australia he played for Dewsbury in 1989 & had two spells with our club before his final appearance in 1994.

Harry Street enjoyed a long & distinguished career as a coach & player.Born in Castleford he played for his home town club as a war time guest in 1945 but the rest of his playing career was spent away from Wheldon Road.

Harry was spotted by St Helens playing Rugby Union for the army whilst based in Chepstow. He had 4 years with the Saints but ironically suffered a non rugby related injury when breaking his foot whilst working in a glass factory in St Helens.

In January 1949 Harry was transferred to Dewsbury for £1000. In 1951 he went back across the pennines to Wigan before returning to the white rose county in 1957 to play for Leeds.

His playing ended in the navy & white of Featherstone Rovers in 1958. He made 4 appearances for Great Britain & 6 for England, All 4 GB appearances came when he was a Dewsbury player as did three of his England caps.

He appeared in various finals & also played four times for Yorkshire. Ironically after spending most of his playing career away from his home town he went on to coach Castleford for 6 years before moving to Odsal as coach of Bradford Northern. 

I Really must mention crowd favourite Damian Ball, a native of Halifax & an integral part of the trophy laden era under Neil Kelly. 
Always liked to throw in a wildcard & David Morgan Jenkins fits that bill! A welsh dual code international who initially played soccer & had trials with Swansea.

He then settled into the union code with Treorchy & made his five nations debut against England at Cardiff Arms Park in 1926. He retained his place for the rest of the series but later that year made the move to rugby league with Hunslet where he became a welsh international in our game. In 1931 he switched to Leeds before his final move to Dewsbury in 1934.

Charlie Seeling wore 13 in the second leg of our championship final defeat to Wigan in 1944. A New Zealander who also played for Warrington, Wigan & Batley. He enjoyed two spells with Dewsbury including captaining the team. After playing retirement he was coach of the Heckmondwike amateur club.

We conclude with the 2020 & already confirmed 2021 incumbent of the shirt, Chris Annakin. I always feel more confident when I turn up at a game & Chris is playing.

He is definitely a player you want with you rather than against you. Absolutely gives 100 per cent every second of every game.

I recall watching him play for Wakefield Trinity at Wigan on Sky Sports & despite knowing that Trinity were releasing him at the end of the season he gave everything for the shirt, that totally sums him up!